Saturday, February 14, 2009
The David Cole / JDL Affair
As An Example
IN JANUARY 2, 1998, David Cole renounced Holocaust revisionism and all of the work that he had done for the cause of historical truth. Many people are wondering what happened. What brought on this change of heart? From all appearances it was a result of threats made against him by the Jewish Defense League (JDL).
In response to his public comments that there are serious flaws in the popularly accepted quasi-historical accounts of the Holocaust, they launched a campaign of hate against him that produced an old-fashioned signed statement of recantation. This campaign included a vicious and threatening diatribe, "Monstrous Traitor," that offered a reward for his home address and was posted on the JDL Website for some weeks or months. When Cole offered them a statement of reversal of the offending opinions, they took down the page aimed at inciting violence toward him and replaced it with the statement of acceptable thought. The JDL used terror tactics openly, and it worked.
Intolerance, threats and force are not typically a good atmosphere in which to find truth. Irrespective of this encounter with intellectual muggers, his work will stand or fall on its own merits in the long term. The film "David Cole interviews Dr. Franciszek Piper" is every bit as valid now as it was prior to the strong-arm intimidation of the man who made it.
The conclusions of David Cole's film have been confirmed recently in Robert Jan Van Pelt and Deborah Dwork's, "Auschwitz: 1270 to the Present." According to Van Pelt and Dwork:
"Visitors [to Auschwitz] are not told that the crematorium they see is largely a postwar reconstruction." (p.363)
We await Van Pelt and Dwork's retraction, but will not be holding its breath in the meantime.
IN REGARD TO ANYTHING relating to the Middle East or Jewish subjects, the USA has many of the characteristics of a totalitarian country and many of the groups who call themselves "liberal" or "peace camp" or "radical" are on that subject the most intolerant, the most totalitarian, the most dishonest and racist. . . . A totalitarian society not only does not tolerate a freedom of opinion, but it cultivates by all means in its power a "received opinion," which all have to parrot, not only without checking it, but often without any understanding of what it means.
Perhaps some Americans will think that I exaggerate. But the danger of a totalitarian regime was always thought to be exaggerated before it arrived. Only afterwards, when it was too late, was it found that the society was already totalitarian in some aspects which were merely enlarged.
There is only one sure antidote to the totalitarian danger: To fight all aspects of totalitarianism in all the parts of one's society and to follow always the dictum of Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living, and therefore with the utmost freedom and without fear of any blackmail to examine everything in the light of a universal concept of justice, applicable equally to all human beings.
- Israel Shahak
In forging their own brand of totalitarianism in the U.S., the Zionists continue to manipulate the victims of the Nazi holocaust as their chief weapon.
- Alfred Lilienthal
WHILE THIS PAGE is ostensibly about David Cole, his case really only serves as an illustration of a problem seldom discussed in public, and therefore not known to most of the public. Cole's experience demonstrates graphically a fairly benign instance of the methods used around the world, day in and day out, to relentlessly and ruthlessly quash attempts by honest people to examine in detail a historical event of legitimate interest to a great many, if not all people in the West and Middle East. The concern about this is not mollified by the fact that many of those who engage in this program of intimidation through slander, mass propaganda and physical threats do so in sincerity, with a firm conviction that what they do has a greater good which more than justifies its wrongs. We ignore these wrongs at the risk of our legitimate rule of law and our own freedoms. The seeming dichotomy of great wars fought by opposing religions who both seek to convey the love of their God to all people, and who will slaughter millions of them to do that, is no mystery if you look at it from the zealot's or fanatic's perspective. The fact that others do not see the greater good at work is due to their own spiritual shortcomings he tells himself, and in the land of the heathen you do what you must to survive and keep the faith. Whatever you must.
Our position on this affliction of the fanatic is a simple one. The one universal good that outweighs all others must be a person's right to follow any life path they choose so long as they offer no infringement on the rights of others. Our Declaration of Independence speaks of the inalienable rights we all have to our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness, which is to say the sanctity of our own bodies, freedom of movement and association, and freedom of thought.Those who seek to deprive others of any of these outside the unfortunate but necessary repressions of the State we call justice earn for themselves what they gave. The principle is that of equity at its most basic level. As you deprive others of their liberty, so shall society see that you are deprived in equal measure, because there is no justification for any individual to take away any other individual's freedoms, even to the smallest part. That power is and must be confined to our mechanisms of government.
The right to harbor unpopular, even intolerant beliefs, and the right to express them are protected by the Constitution, which spells out the unqualified right of all Americans to unfettered freedom of speech. But intimidation aimed at silencing speech, and thus infringing on that right, be it through slander, threats or force, is not so protected. In fact, people who used those exact methods of intimidation to keep blacks from voting found themselves jailed for conspiring to deprive others of their lawful civil rights.
The basis for this was a post-Civil War law passed to address widespread abuses of that kind. That law has expanded quite liberally to include now a variegated collection of non-enumerated rights, such as going to school or working at a job, free of harassment aimed at depriving you of those opportunities. It is not necessary to argue about whether everything falling under this aegis is a legitimate "right" in order to see the illegitimacy of how it is applied, because we will look in a direction that should be a given, toward the inarguable central rights, to see how they fare in the protection game.
It is fashionable now to approve the increasing scope of civil rights law, yet some attempt to make the case that applying it to portions of the Bill of Rights is not proper or not needed. A common rationale is that differences of opinion are private matters that government should not, cannot be involved in. A valid point when only differences of opinion are present, invalid when coercion is applied to limit or deny freedom of speech or deprive someone of their livelihood (such as black-balling dissident authors in the publishing industry). Once coercion enters, the argument is without logic, for if government oversight is valid for protecting any one right then it is valid for all. Politically selected application of justice is a repugnant practice that coarsens and weakens all involved.
Yet that is exactly what is taking place in this country today. Holding generally unpopular views on a number of topical subjects can put you in a class where Justice is truly blindfolded. No one seems to see the blatant abuses committed by those who oppose those views, including vicious beatings on the steps of courthouses, arson, letter-bombs, terrorizing with threats of harm. If you happen to be pushing a topic deemed by popular opinion to be so lacking in merit that it somehow poses a danger to the citizenry, you will find little interest on the part of authorities to address these crimes or lessen their occurrence. This is nothing less than state and public sanctioned vigilantism, or terrorism, and it has no place in societies that would call themselves civilized
One of the hottest areas for this is Holocaust historical revisionism, which to a newcomer seems an oddity. (Emotions run high over history ?? That's the class you sleep in.) Attempts to point out glaring inconsistencies in the popular and now institutionalized account bring howls of rage from those who disagree. If the initial rage isn't enough to make someone cease and desist (which it often is), then the ante is raised and will keep on being raised to whatever level is needed to silence the target. It may start with simple slander, automatic and unfounded labels of "anti-Semite", "denier", "hater", "Nazi" and more are pasted on with the often expressed intent of destroying resolve and/or career, legitimate aims because the target is deemed "unfit" to be a member of any decent society. Those who don't give up are then marginalized by campaigns to convince the public of their evil and 100% erroneous views, their universally undesirable nature. When these aren't effective enough, then threats of injury or death are employed, such as with David Cole. At the extreme end, people are killed, like American-Arab peace activist Sami Odeh, murdered by a letter-bomb of suspected Zionist origin.
The open existence of and tolerance shown for this despicable practice fouls our national social fabric immensely. This is a major thing we'd like to see the public become aware of and hopefully say, "You know, this seems pretty un-American to me. And even if I'm wrong about that, it sucks to allow people to hurt others because they don't like their opinions. And I believe government should give some attention to what's going on." The rest of our job would then be very easy, as frightened people with much knowledge of the truth of the matter could at last speak openly. We might turn out to be right, and we might be wrong. But it would be settled quickly and we could quit hassling about it. Those who claim their feelings are so tender that this can't be allowed would be over it before you know it, and life would go on a little more peacefully.
If getting rid of a death-threat by giving in to coercion was what it took for Cole to regain peace of mind, we understand and neither resent nor condemn, only empathize. No one should be faced with an ultimatum to choose between their beliefs and their personal safety in the United States of America. That is a despicable, and in our minds, criminal affair.
We are all forced to recite a government mandated litany affirming a nonsensical collective belief in non-existent Arab terrorists every time we board an airplane. While we dociley play these sheep-like roles in the instillment of our own "good think," the real terrorists operate publicly and unhindered because they belong to any of a number of designated groups whose excesses one is forbidden to criticize, however legitimately or temperately.
It is disturbing to realize how very far this nation, and much of the Western world, has fallen from the fiery spirit which threw off the yokes of ancient tyrranies in the 18th and 19th centuries, ushering in the Age of Enlightenment. That light now dims because we are all too willing to take "Give me liberty or give me death!" and Newspeak convert it to, "Give me liberty at any cost except personal discomfort or civic involvement." This is how it comes to be that good men stand and say nothing, how in fact we came to be where we are now.
But let us return to the matter at hand, David Cole's run-in with the dark side of the strident opposition to open examination of a historical issue. Addressing the possibility that this complete reversal of belief was sincere, then we hope David Cole is successful in his new endeavors whatever they may be. Perhaps we'll meet on opposite sides in some future debate forum. That would be a treat, because David was always a worthy opponent; quick, well informed, and with a gift for public speaking. He'll do well in any situation, because he has enough intelligence to sort truth from pretense all by himself.
As long as the moral vigilantes and intellectual terrorists among us allow him to, that is.
David Thomas 1/18/98