Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The loon running Iran

I hadn't really wanted to mention this nutcase again for a while, but unfortunately he's like the Energizer Bunny of Holocaust denial. He just keeps going and going and going and goin. If theres's any doubt about it now that the President of Iran is a complete and total wingnut, this ought to put it to rest:
Iran announced yesterday it would stage a conference to question the authenticity of the Holocaust, a move certain to stir international anger.

The statement follows a series of inflammatory remarks by Iran's hawkish president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has described the murder of six million Jews by the Nazis in the second world war as a myth and called for Israel to be "wiped off the map". He has also suggested an alternative Jewish state should be set up in Europe or Alaska.

An Iranian foreign ministry spokesman said the proposed conference would examine the Holocaust's "scientific aspects and its repercussions". The description echoes Mr Ahmadinejad's characterisation of Holocaust denial earlier this month as a "scientific debate".

It is not clear who will attend. But following a chorus of anti-Zionist rhetoric since the president was elected last June, the announcement will trigger suspicions that the aim is to deny that the Holocaust happened. Last month, Mr Ahmadinejad dismissed it as a concoction invented to justify Israel's existence in the heart of the Muslim world. His comments drew widespread condemnation. At a meeting with President George Bush last week, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, described Mr Ahmadinejad's position on the Holocaust as unacceptable.

At a rare news conference on Saturday, however, the Iranian president was unrepentant. He described Mrs Merkel and Mr Bush as terrorists and war criminals, who would soon be put on trial for their support of Israel.

Describing the Holocaust as a question that had to be cleared up by scholars, he added: "My question was very clear. On the pretext of the killing of Jews in Europe, are they supporting the aggression and massacres [of Israel]? They will not intimidate me. Instead they have to answer me. If you started this killing of the Jews, you have to make amends yourself. This is very clear. It's based on laws and legal considerations. If you committed a mistake or a crime, why should others pay for it? Those who murdered [the Jews] should permit them to go back to their own fatherlands. That should be the end of it. You shouldn't say that nobody is permitted to say anything about this."
In any case, here we go with typical Holocaust denial paranoia. Naturally, it's all the "Jews'" fault; it's all a Jewish conspiracy, and Ahmadinejad is representing himself as the "brave" seeker of truth pitted against nefarious forces that don't want him to find the "truth." Anyone want to make a bet that about what this "conference" will end up concluding? Gee, you don't think they'll conclude that the Holocaust was exaggerated and the extermination of European Jewry was not the intent of Hitler and the Nazis, do you? If you have any doubts, this interview on state-controlled Iranian television should lay them to doubt, an interview in which the Institute for Historical Review, the granddaddy of Holocaust denial organizations, is cited as a credible source, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is treated as truth, and lots of denier canards are trotted out as fact, should lay them to rest. A couple of excerpts:
Dr. Majid Goudarzi: "The [Zionists] claimed that they had to be the rulers of the world. That's why they prepared the Protocols [of the Elders of Zion] in Russia, and implemented each and every clause. They wrote instructions how to gain control of the global media, and how to control the world's natural resources. Part of this control..."

Interviewer: "They became the board of directors of the world."

Dr. Majid Goudarzi: "Yes."

[...]

"They want to write history as they wish, and in light of their unparalleled power in the media - if you like, we could talk about that on another show - they have managed to impose the [Holocaust] issue, and to depict themselves as oppressed."
And here's another tidbit:
Dr. Majid Goudarzi: "Mr. Ahmadinejad's message is very clear: If the Europeans did it, they should be the ones to compensate [the Jews]. But who exactly should pay the compensation? It should have been that generation, not the current one. For example, if you want to buy a television in Germany, they take 20 percent tax from you in advance. Some of that tax is on account of the crematoria, the existence of which is in doubt... The money goes into the pockets of victims who do not exist - because, after all, if they perished, there would be no survivors. So it goes into the pockets of the Zionist regime..."

Interviewer: "Do you believe this never really happened?"

Dr. Majid Goudarzi: "Look, what they are saying is more false than true. As my colleague has said, if they had even the smallest piece of evidence, they would not sit still, given their great power in the media. Even those who believe that this actually happened doubt the figures. One of the mistakes they made - despite their cleverness - was to claim that [the Nazis] used Zyklon-B gas. This gas, according to chemists - and I asked before this program, just to make sure - is a very dangerous gas. It remains in the air and on the skin for a long time. In the photographs they published, German soldiers are seen dragging the bodies of those who suffocated, and they are doing so without gloves or masks. If this was true, the German soldiers should also have died.

"Besides, if six million people had died, wouldn't there be a record somewhere of at least a hundred names?
It's interesting to note that apparently the curse of ignorant pundits spouting off confidently on television about topics they clearly know little or nothing about isn't a phenomenon limited to the U.S.. ("After all, if they perished, there would be no survivors"? What a moron.) Apparently, Dr. Goudarzi has never heard of Yad Vashem's Central Database of Shoah Victims' Names. It already contains close to three million names, with its organizers working to find and verify more before the generation that endured the Holocaust passes from this earth. These supposed "experts" are also spouting the most basic, easily debunked denier canards out there, ones I've debunked again and again on alt.revisionism and whose detailed rebuttals can be found through a perfunctory perusal of The Holocaust History Project and Nizkor.

I'm guessing that any "conference" called by Ahmadinejad will be highly unlikely to be attended by real historians like Deborah Lipstadt. More likely it will include such noted Holocaust "scholars" as Mark Weber, Bradley Smith, pseudoscientist and pseudo-"engineer" Fred Leuchter, Robert Faurisson, Arthur Butz, or Friedrich Paul Berg (whose description of his website as "ravings" of a "revisionist heretic" is pretty accurate--he's definitely raving, especially the part about diesel exhaust not being lethal), Michael Hoffmann II, or Carlos Porter. I'm sure they'd invite Ernst Zündel, David Irving, or Germar Rudolf as well, were it not for the inconvenient fact that they are in jail right now. (Irving might be free if the conference is held after his trial on February 20.) It'll be just like one of David Irving's "Real History" Conferences (a misnomer if ever there was one), only with sand, Muslim fundamentalist extremists, and a cast of Arab Holocaust deniers whom, unlike the case for those listed above, I've never heard of.

The bottom line is that the President of Iran is an anti-Semite and racist of the worst variety, and that's what's behind his Holocaust denial. Even worse, his mind appears to have been consumed by the Hitler zombie, a rare combination. Trying to have it both ways, he denies that Hitler attempted to exterminate European Jewry, yet he still finds the Nazis a convenient evil to use to demonize Israel with by comparing its treatment of the Palestinians with the "aggressions and massacres" of Israel. Never mind that, whatever excesses the Israelis may have committed in dealing with the Palestinians, they aren't even on the same planet when compared to what the Nazis did to their enemies.

Of course, as is the case with many Holocaust deniers, in Ahmadinejad's mind, "refuting" the Holocaust is a way of attacking the basis of Israel's existence and thus justifying its destruction. Indeed, one salutory effect that might occur if Ahmadinejad actually has this conference is that it will do a lot to link the Holocaust denial with blatantly obvious anti-Semitism, which is why, I suspect, most of the "luminaries" of the Holocaust denial movement listed above will politely decline his invitation. On the other hand, I can't discount the possibility, discussed by Professor Lipstadt, that this conference will be "the biggest thing in the world of Holocaust deniers and other liars" and "will give them a stage unlike anything they have had since the trial." (The trial to which she refers is her trial in 2000, when David Irving sued her for libel in the U.K. for calling him a Holocaust denier and lost spectacularly.) I hope my view turns out to be correct, but I fear that Lipstadt may end up having predicted it better.

18 example(s) of insolence returned:


At 1/18/2006 7:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Loon or goon .. Mullahs and Nukes not good

mynewsbot.com

 

At 1/18/2006 8:47 AM, Anonymous TheProbe said...

Once you scrape your shoes of the foulness of his anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, he does make an interesting point: "If you started this killing of the Jews, you have to make amends yourself. This is very clear. It's based on laws and legal considerations. If you committed a mistake or a crime, why should others pay for it? Those who murdered [the Jews] should permit them to go back to their own fatherlands. That should be the end of it. You shouldn't say that nobody is permitted to say anything about this.""

The reparations of the Nazis, and their supporters in *France*, Austria, Poland, etc. were what? Nothing to speak of. In our haste not to repeat the mistakes after WWI, we forgot to hold these countries economically and morally accountable.

 

At 1/18/2006 8:57 AM, Anonymous Mark Paris said...

Anti-Israel government + nuclear power = preemtive strike by Israel to prevent nukes.

Things may get even more interesting over there before long.

 

At 1/18/2006 11:46 AM, Blogger Bartholomew Cubbins said...

I was pinging an Iranian buddy for some insight into this guy. Apparently much of the educated, West-philic middle and upper class is fed up with the politics in Iran so they didn't vote en masse this last election. This guy pandered to the poor and uneducated making promises he won't keep and of course laying blame for their problems on the Jews and the West.

 

At 1/18/2006 12:22 PM, Anonymous Stephen Benson said...

the scariest part of guys like this is that their conscience is clear. like the inquisitors, the priests of the sun in mexico, or any other "holy" warrior, these guys are capable of extreme atrocity without any moral ambiguity or doubt. with a view like this and a nuke in the pocket this guy is capable of anything. it might be that he just wants a seat at the big table come thanksgiving. given implacable enemies on every border it is hard to imagine not scrambling for any weapon you can find. even lunatics are capable of rational actions from time to time. i agree, this is a scary guy at a scary time and place in history.

 

At 1/18/2006 1:02 PM, Anonymous Kapitano said...

There's an essay waiting to be written about the use of truth as propaganda.

Goudarzi is a lunatic. A disgusting racist, antisemite and holocaust denier. Iran's nuclear power programme is there to eventually enable nuclear bomb building.

All true, and all spoonfed to liberals like me and thee to obscure other issues.

At the present rate of industrial development, Iran might be able to build one nuclear bomb in two years time. Just beacuse a lunatic says Bush is a war criminal doesn't make it untrue. Israel is owned by America.

We can be manipulated by true statements as well as false ones.

 

At 1/18/2006 4:23 PM, Blogger Brent McKee said...

Presumably if one brought up Yad Vashem to the Iranian government they'd respond with the usual explanation of "Zionist propaganda." The truth of it is that nothing will be enough to persuade them - if you had a detailed list prepared by the Nazi's themselves I'm convinced that the Iranians would say that it was a forgery concocted by the Israelis and their American masters. And the worst part of course is that they really believe it.

 

At 1/18/2006 6:39 PM, Blogger Babbler said...

Is just me, or is Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Pat Robertson are in a race to see who is the biggest fundie wing nut on Earth?

 

At 1/18/2006 6:41 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Point taken. However, there are plenty of Nazi lists of victims with more than 100 names. It's a straw man argument anyway, because many of the actions don't list the victims by name, just as number of "Jews killed" or "Jewesses killed."

The Einsatzgruppen reports listed the death toll that way.

 

At 1/18/2006 7:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm sure it's been said here before, but I always suspect that people who insist that the Holocaust either did not occur or was greatly exaggerated are secretly thinking, "But next time, we will not leave any survivors!"
VKW

 

At 1/18/2006 7:27 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Indeed. They're what we call the "Holocaust never happened but it should happen again" variety of Holocaust deniers.

 

At 1/18/2006 9:18 PM, Blogger Phoenician in a time of Romans said...

Now, wait a minute:

This is very clear. It's based on laws and legal considerations. If you committed a mistake or a crime, why should others pay for it? Those who murdered [the Jews] should permit them to go back to their own fatherlands. That should be the end of it. You shouldn't say that nobody is permitted to say anything about this."

...is not what a Holocaust denier would say. Indeed, it makes it quite clear that the speaker thinks the Jews were murdered. This Goudarzi person may be a denier, but if you wanna rag on Ahmadinejad, deal with what HE says.

Seems to me he's saying to tweak Israel's butt. Whether or not this is "anti-Semetic" depends on whether you buy into the idea that Israel is identical to Judaism.

If he's anti-Semetic, which he may very well be, then show it by quoting his words, and by demonstrating clearly he's not talking about Israel, but Jews in general

 

At 1/18/2006 9:56 PM, Blogger Subcomandante Bob said...

National Nitwit has the untold story of Iran's true nuclear aims.

Guaranteed at least 50% truthful.

 

At 1/18/2006 10:02 PM, Blogger Orac said...

Phoenician:

Read the rest of the interview if you doubt that this clown is just as much a Holocaust denier as his President.

Some examples:

"Some intellectuals have said that this should be re-examined. Interestingly, the founder of this revisionist movement was a Jew. Paul Rassinier, who was French, was a member of the French resistance in World War II. He was arrested by the Gestapo, and was held in the Nazi camps until the end of World War II. He said that the myth of the gas chambers... These are his words, I haven't told you what I think yet... He said there is no truth to this. He reduced the number of those killed to between 900,000 and 1.5 million."

Or, as I quoted:

"Look, what they are saying is more false than true. As my colleague has said, if they had even the smallest piece of evidence, they would not sit still, given their great power in the media. Even those who believe that this actually happened doubt the figures. One of the mistakes they made - despite their cleverness - was to claim that [the Nazis] used Zyklon-B gas. This gas, according to chemists - and I asked before this program, just to make sure - is a very dangerous gas. It remains in the air and on the skin for a long time. In the photographs they published, German soldiers are seen dragging the bodies of those who suffocated, and they are doing so without gloves or masks. If this was true, the German soldiers should also have died.

"Besides, if six million people had died, wouldn't there be a record somewhere of at least a hundred names"

Note also how he emphasizes "if" it happened, and, like a denier, he downplays the numbers.

No, he's a denier. There's no doubt in my mind about it.

 

At 1/19/2006 12:03 AM, Blogger Phoenician in a time of Romans said...

Read the rest of the interview if you doubt that this clown is just as much a Holocaust denier as his President.

Look, you've quoted that above credited to Goudarzi. Fine - charitably, Goudarzi is a nitwit whose been listening to the wrong people, and uncharitably, he's an anti-semite of neo-Nazi calibre. Either way Goudarzi is a denier.

But you have yet to make the case that Ahmadinejad is a denier. The one quote you've given is that he does believe the Jews were murdered.

Feel free to make the case for Ahmadinejad - but why I'm getting itchy over this is because there's a lot of drums beating for war with Iran, and we should all be familiar with the way propaganda has worked previously.

 

At 1/19/2006 1:41 AM, Anonymous Susang said...

Phoenician, I'm guessing you must have missed this little gem from last month:

"They have invented a myth that Jews were massacred and place this above God, religions and the prophets," Ahmadinejad said in a speech to thousands of people in the Iranian city of Zahedan, according to a report on Wednesday from Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

"The West has given more significance to the myth of the genocide of the Jews, even more significant than God, religion, and the prophets," he said. "(It) deals very severely with those who deny this myth but does not do anything to those who deny God, religion, and the prophet."

"If you have burned the Jews, why don't you give a piece of Europe, the United States, Canada or Alaska to Israel," Ahmadinejad said.

"Our question is, if you have committed this huge crime, why should the innocent nation of Palestine pay for this crime?"

http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/12/14/iran.israel/

Now please excuse me if I've somehow read this quote wrong, but it sure sound like he's denying the Holocaust to me.

 

At 1/19/2006 6:21 AM, Blogger Orac said...

Susang: Thanks for the tactical air support.

"Phonecian": I addressed this issue last month. There is no doubt whatsoever that Ahmadinejad is a Holocaust denier. I'm not sure why you need additional evidence of that than what I presented. His calling a "conference" to examine whether the Holocaust as commonly described by historians actually happened or not alone is enough to tag him as a denier, but since you want more, I referenced my earlier post on the matter.

 

At 1/19/2006 6:56 PM, Blogger Phoenician in a time of Romans said...

Now please excuse me if I've somehow read this quote wrong, but it sure sound like he's denying the Holocaust to me.

Okay, that's more like it.

I'm a little dubious still about a possible mistranslation there - he could either be talking about a "myth" in terms of something that didn't happen, or in the sense of raising it to a legendary status. After all, the last two questions seem to work from a premise that it happened, but that the Arabs should not be the ones to pay for it.

 

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