Monday, July 27, 2015
Notorious Holocaust denier David Irving tells secret rally 'the RAF are war criminals'
Irving's view that the Anglo-American air-raids on Hamburg and Dresden in the closing phases of WWII were a war-crime is not unusual. A wide range of people see it that way. The raids killed a lot of civilians with little obvious effect or hope of effect on the German war-effort
And Irving is actually a very knowlegeable historian on Germany in the '30s and '40s. He was the only one able to identify the Kujau "diaries" as a fake from the get-go
Many people have suggested that he is more a provocateur than anything else and I agree with that. He loves publicity and outraging people -- and his claims have got him heaps of that. He has travelled the world for decades generating controversy wherever he goes. One of his provocations was to have his car painted brown and then declare the color as "N*gger brown". He undoubtedly enjoyed the howls over that.
So I am inclined to think that his minimization of the death camps is mainly a stunt designed to get people to adopt a more critical and hence a hopefully more balanced view of WWII. And the need for a more balanced view is huge. Just the claim that Hitler was "right-wing" is a towering lie
Sadly, however, it is only very marginal people who are willing to listen to him. He does not himself appear to be a member of any extremist group
Convicted Holocaust denier David Irving addressed fascist sympathisers and neo Nazis at a secret meeting in London yesterday.
Irving, a historian who famously lost a libel case after denying the existence of Nazi gas chambers, was the star speaker at an event that attracted an audience of 120 Right-wing sympathisers, including women and teenagers.
Behind closed doors at a four-star hotel in South Kensington, the discredited author gave a speech condemning the Second World War Allied bombing campaign over Germany and Nazi-occupied Europe as ‘a war crime’.
Irving’s contentious speech was titled: ‘Saturation Bombing in World War II – who is to blame?’
An invitation to the event, obtained by The Mail on Sunday, states: ‘David Irving is the world’s MOST respected historian, he’s the world’s TOP expert on World War II.’
But he was widely discredited after his high-profile libel trial and being sentenced to three years imprisonment by an Austrian court in 2006 for denying the Holocaust.
The secret meeting will add to concerns that far-Right groups are trying to garner support in London and Europe amid a rise in austerity and Islamic terrorism.
It comes just three months after The Mail on Sunday exposed a similar meeting of far-Right figures from around the world, organised by the same group, who call themselves the London Forum.
Anti-fascist campaigner Gerry Gable condemned Irving’s appearance at the latest in a ‘growing series of closed international far-Right extremist conferences’.
Former Spandau prison worker Abdallah Melaouhi, self-described ‘best friend’ of Hitler’s deputy, Rudolf Hess, was also a speaker at yesterday’s event.
Also present was Arkadiusz Rzepinski, leader of the Polish nationalist party, NOP, in England.
The invitation told those wishing to attend the meeting to call a mobile number at 8am yesterday. Those who rang were told to meet at South Kensington Tube station at 11am, where they were greeted by retired teacher and known fascist supporter Michael Woodbridge.
They were then led to the four-star Rembrandt Hotel, opposite the Victoria and Albert museum.
Attendees filed into the St James function room, which the group had booked out in a different name, from 11.30am – some wearing tweed and blazers, others in khaki trousers and black T-shirts with the logo of fascists groups including the far-Right Greek group Golden Dawn.
Among the paying attendees were British National Party members and Polish nationalist skinheads wearing camouflage – complete with boots and chains – who filed through the lobby past bemused hotel guests. About 10 women attended and one man brought his teenage daughter.
In 1996, Irving sued Professor Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin books for defamation after being called a Holocaust denier. Irving lost the very high-profile case, which cost him a reported £2 million.
At the trial the judge said Irving had deliberately misinterpreted and distorted facts. The judge said: ‘It is my conclusion that no objective, fair-minded historian would have serious cause to doubt that there were gas chambers at Auschwitz and that they were operated on a substantial scale to kill hundreds of thousands of Jews.’
In parts of Europe Holocaust denial is a criminal offence and in 2006, an Austrian court sentenced Irving to three years in prison after he made speeches denying the Nazis used gas chambers. He later said he had revised some of his views.
The respected historian and broadcaster Andrew Roberts said: ‘It is depressing that such a meeting should take place in the 21st Century. The idea of treating David Irving as a historian at all is absurd.
‘He doesn’t have the right to call himself that. Historians think of him as a Nazi propagandist and they have the backing of the High Court.’
Speaking in German, with translation provided by Irving, Melaouhi told the crowd about his time working as a prison nurse. He attended to Hess between 1982 and 1987 when Hess was held prisoner in Spandau, Germany, for war crimes.
Hess, Hitler’s deputy who during the Second World War was held prisoner after his plane crashed in Scotland in 1941, hanged himself in 1987. Melaouhi claimed Hess was murdered and released a book about him, describing him as ‘a man of great vision, intelligence and compassion’.
In April, we exposed a similar meeting of the London Forum where the star speaker was Spanish self-confessed Nazi Pedro Varela.
He was arrested in Austria for praising Hitler in 1992 and declared to a baying crowd in Madrid on the centenary of the Fuhrer’s birthday: ‘There were never any gas chambers in Auschwitz.’
Also present was America’s leading peddler of revisionism, Mark Weber, 63, director of the right-wing Institute for Historical Review.
Gerry Gable of anti-fascist magazine Searchlight said: ‘This conference is another piece of evidence of a growing series of closed international far-right extremist Conferences.
‘The core movers range from elderly Holocaust deniers to well-educated men and women who are being trained in ideologies of hate and being made ready for potential acts of terrorism.’
Will the British PM destroy free speech in an effort to save it?
By Peter Hitchens
Is David Cameron the man who will destroy freedom in order to save it? His strange, wild speech on Monday suggests that he is. Mr Cameron, as careful observers already know, has a surprisingly poor grasp of history and politics and does not seem to be very clever.
The reception given to his outburst was mostly friendly, all across what is supposed to the spectrum of media opinion – though increasingly it is not a spectrum but a monolithic bloc.
Did they read it? I did. It is full of seething organic free-range tripe.
He actually tries to pretend that Britain’s involvement in the Iraq War has had nothing to do with the development of resentful Islamist militancy here. He does this by saying that the September 11 attack on Manhattan took place before the Iraq War.
Indeed it did. It was motivated – as one of the hijackers, Abdulaziz al-Omari, made clear in his own recorded testament – by Arab fury over America’s support for Israel, and the continued presence of US troops on Saudi soil. And it succeeded in changing US policy on both.
Terror is rational. Terrorists know that it works, or why has the USA started supporting the two-state solution in Israel which it long opposed, and why is Martin McGuinness invited to Windsor Castle these days?
If Mr Cameron doesn’t like terrorism, then he wouldn’t have met Mr McGuinness and the even ghastlier IRA mouthpiece, Gerry Adams, at Downing Street last week. But he did. How can that be if, as the Prime Minister says, ‘British resolve saw off the IRA’s assaults on our way of life’. Oddly, you only saw the pictures of this pair meeting [Leftist] Jeremy Corbyn on the same day. The Downing Street meeting was not, it seems, filmed.
But that’s only a part of the problem. Mr Cameron claimed that we have, in this country, a ‘very clear creed’. But do we?
He says: ‘We are all British. We respect democracy and the rule of law. We believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of worship, equal rights regardless of race, sex, sexuality or faith.’
Little of this is true. Few regard themselves as British any more. Votes are bought by billionaire donations and incredibly expensive marketing. Democracy is surely not respected by the growing legions who don’t vote. And, as Mr Cameron acknowledged, there are now areas of this country where votes are rigged and voters intimidated for the first time since the days of Dickens.
Freedom of speech, for those who don’t accept multiculturalism or the sexual revolution, is increasingly limited, mainly by threats to the jobs of those who speak out of turn.
Mr Cameron is also plain wrong when he says our freedom stems from democracy. Democracy these days involves agreeing with whatever slogans the Murdoch press is shouting.
Our freedom comes from the 1689 Bill of Rights, which he doesn’t seem to know exists, from Magna Carta, which he can’t translate, from Habeas Corpus, which has been whittled away on the excuse of counter-terrorism, and from jury trial, which is fast disappearing. Freedom of speech certainly can’t be defended by banning ‘hate-preachers’, which Mr Cameron is so proud of doing. Freedom of speech is freedom above all for those whose views you dislike most.
Nor can it be strengthened by demanding that people publicly declare that they don’t hold certain opinions. Mr Cameron actually said: ‘We must demand that people also condemn the wild conspiracy theories, the anti-Semitism, and the sectarianism too. Being tough on this is entirely in keeping with our values’.
How on earth is he going to make this happen? Electric shocks until they get their minds right? Personally, I’d much rather know that such people held these frightful views, than have them forced to pretend they didn’t.
Then there is: ‘We need to put out of action the key extremist influencers who are careful to operate just inside the law, but who clearly detest British society and everything we stand for.’
Put out of action? If they are inside the law, which protects the freedom Mr Cameron so values, what does this foggy phrase mean? Sandbagging them as they come out of the mosque?
I’m also not very reassured that we have a Premier who thinks he can advise TV companies on who they should and should not invite on to the airwaves. I think we can all see where that leads.
Mr Cameron and Mr Blair, and their predecessors over decades, have gone a long way towards Islamising this country through uncontrolled immigration and state multiculturalism. They have begun to panic, because they at last realise what they have done, and rightly fear they cannot stop it.
Plans for a Gay Pride Parade Through Muslim Areas in Sweden
No, this is not satire. On July 29, a gay pride parade is scheduled in Sweden. But, you see, this is no ordinary gay pride parade. This gay pride parade was created by Jan Sjunnesson, former editor-in-chief for the Samtiden newspaper in Sweden, which is owned by the nationalist Sweden Democrats party (for our Canadian readers, think of the Sweden Democrats as being kind of like the Conservatives or the Canadian Action Party, which means that they’re considered “extreme far-right” in Sweden). The parade is scheduled to go through Tensta and Husby – two areas where Muslim immigrants are more than 75% of the population.
On the event’s Facebook page, the organizers state that there will be public “kissing” and “singing”.
The Facebook page is absolutely filled with angry comments from leftists, attacking the “xenophobic right-wing nationalists” for organizing a gay pride parade through Muslim areas. Since Islam holds that gays should be executed, something like this is obviously an attack on Muslims and should therefore be outlawed. At least, that’s what Swedish leftists – and, indeed, Swedish gays – are saying.
Leftists are organizing a counter-demonstration against this gay pride parade. Yes, really.
To place an LGBT parade to the suburbs dominated by immigrants from the Middle East, however, is an expression of pure racism, according to critics. [Muslims are a race??]
Many leftists are also calling for the parade to be legally banned, and for the people who organized it to be arrested for “hate speech” against Muslims.
Gay pride parades in Europe generally don’t go anywhere near Muslim areas, for obvious reasons. In Nørrebro, Copenhagen (where only 30% of the population are Muslim, as opposed to the more than 75% in the Swedish areas), gay pride parades learned the hard way not to tread within Islamic strongholds.
Formerly, there was a large gay pride parade that went through Nørrebrogade (the main high street of the area). Gays would take stones to the head every year from Muslims, so they re-routed. If gays are attacked in an area that’s only 30% Muslim, just imagine what will happen in an area that’s over 75% Muslim. There is a 100% chance that the gays marching through Tensta and Husby will be attacked, maybe even fatally – and, when they’re attacked, feminists and gay rights activists will be siding with the Muslims who are attacking them.
So, there you have it, folks. When it comes to the Oppression Olympics, Muslims will always rank higher than gays. You might be stoned, raped, beaten, and beheaded – but at least you won’t be racist.
Even in America, You Can’t Say That!
We need to defend free speech whether it’s for Donald Trump or Jerry Seinfeld
More people are now being arrested and jailed in the UK for what they say or believe than at any time since the eighteenth century. That alone is enough to have some of us over here looking upon the US with admiration and barely disguised envy. In America, after all, freedom of expression still appears safe behind the 14-word barricade of the First Amendment to the Constitution, which declares that ‘Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press’.
Yet even in the US today, free speech faces new threats. Writing my book Trigger Warning: Is the Fear of Being Offensive Killing Free Speech? (the US edition is published this week), I was struck by how free speech is being challenged by similar trends across Anglo-American culture. The threat comes not from jackbooted political censorship, but from a more insidious culture of conformism chanting ‘You can’t say that!’.
Here are just three quick examples of where the free-speech wars are being fought in US society today.
In presidential politics
Donald Trump, the ‘billionaire buffoon’ and Republican presidential hopeful, has been rocking the boat with ridiculous campaign speeches – notably his attack on illegal Mexican immigrants to the US, accused of ‘bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and they’re rapists’.
Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton reacted to The Donald’s diatribe with barely suppressed outrage. Her response, however, was not to counter Trump’s arguments (such as they are). Instead she effectively announced ‘He can’t say that!’.
Clinton acknowledged that America does need ‘a candid national conversation about race and about discrimination, prejudice, hatred’. Almost inevitably, however, the next word out of her mouth was ‘But…’. And the but was that we cannot have the likes of Donald Trump candidly expressing his hatred and prejudice. ‘We should not accept it’, said Clinton. ‘You don’t talk like that on talk radio. You don’t talk like that on the kind of political campaigns.’ Free speech and candid national conversations are all well and good, it seems, so long as you don’t say anything disagreeable.
Most revealing were Clinton’s reasons for wanting to shut Trump up. Saying ‘very inflammatory things about Mexicans’, she suggested, could ‘trigger people who are less than stable’, possibly to launch South Carolina-style racist attacks. Her real fear and loathing was not directed at Trump, but at the Americans who make up his audience and who she apparently imagines as a wooden-headed mob waiting to be set alight by an ‘inflammatory’ word. As ever, your view of free speech ultimately reflects your faith in humanity – or lack of it.
The Trump affair also confirmed another new threat to free speech in the US and the West: the rise of a clique of anti-free-speech activists who I call the ‘reverse-Voltaires’, and whose cry turns the French writer’s principled support for free speech inside out: ‘I know I’ll despise and be offended by whatever you are going to say, and I will defend to the end of free speech my right to stop you saying it.’ The reverse-Voltaires do not wish to dispute ideas or arguments that offend them. They would rather deny the other person’s right to say it in the first place.
Their favourite weapons are the Twitterstorm and the online petition, which they deploy to create an easy impression of public opinion on the march, an invisible army chanting ‘You can’t say that!’. So it was that online petitions demanding Trump be hounded out of decent society quickly garnered thousands of signatures. In response, everybody from NBC to Macy’s caved in and cut their ties to Trump.
Many of us may not wish to defend what The Donald said about Mexicans and much else. But we must defend his right to say it, if free speech is to have any real meaning for us. As Hustler publisher Larry Flynt put it with characteristic bluntness, ‘If the First Amendment will defend a scumbag like me, it will protect all of you’.
On the comedy circuit
Jerry Seinfeld recently followed Chris Rock’s lead in announcing that the offensiveness police has made it impossible to tell edgy jokes, particularly on college campuses. As Rock put it, student audiences are ‘too conservative. Not in their political views – not like they’re voting Republican – but in their social views and their willingness not to offend anyone.’
Perhaps more revealing than Seinfeld’s comments was the ‘You can’t say that!’ response it provoked. This was typified by a San Diego State college student who wrote him the inevitable ‘open letter’ lecturing the reasonably successful millionaire comedian about how only comedy routines with the politically correct ‘message’ can ‘work as humour’. The student, Anthony Bertaux, generously conceded that ‘provocative humour’ dealing with race and gender ‘can be crass and vulgar, but underlying it must be a context that spurs social dialogue about these respective issues. There needs to be a message, a central truth behind comedy for it to work as humour.’ The message is that the party line counts more than the punchline in deciding whether a joke ‘works’. This might seem funny if it were not a serious example of a fashionable disdain for free speech from US college campuses to the comedy circuit.
By its nature comedy is always controversial, pushing as it must at the limits of what passes for taste and decency in any era. That is why there have long been attempts to define ‘acceptable’ humour and to censor what is not. However, as with other issues in the Anglo-American free-speech wars, the terrain has shifted. Once the complaints were about blasphemous and indecent comedy, and the censors were conservative politicians, policemen and priests. Now the protests are more often against comedians accused of breaking the new taboos – racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the other usual suspects. And the demands to shut them down tend to be led not by old-fashioned prudes but by radical online activists, the liberal media and even other comedians.
We have come a long way since the upsurge of modern radical comedy in the 1960s, when the Jewish comedian Lenny Bruce could be arrested and sentenced to the workhouse in America and barred from Britain for using the word ‘cocksucker’ on stage. Bruce was posthumously pardoned in 2003 by Republican New York governor George Pataki, who acknowledged how far things had changed. ‘Freedom of speech is one of the greatest American liberties’, Pataki said, ‘and I hope this pardon serves as a reminder of the precious freedoms we are fighting to preserve’.
These days Lenny Bruce is revered as a pioneering comedy hero. Yet if the young Lenny were magically to appear on the New York stage today, what reception might he get? A very mixed one, to judge by the ‘shut her down’ reaction to the great Joan Rivers before her death last year. His routine about a psychopathic rapist meeting up with a nymphomaniac after they each escape from their respective institutions, or suggestion that he enjoyed sex with a chicken, or description of his audience as ‘seven niggers, six spics, five micks, four kykes, three guineas, and one wop’, might not get him arrested for obscenity by the US state or barred from entering Britain, but it surely would see him accused of racism and sexism and possibly the abuse of animals and the mentally ill by the outraged illiberal liberals of the ‘shut it down’ lobby, who would try to have him banned from campuses. And Bruce’s insistence that he used the n-word and other offensive epithets ‘just to make a point’, that ‘it’s the suppression of the word that gives it the power, the violence, the viciousness’, would not wash with the new comedy censors, who claim the right to decide what jokes others should be allowed to tell or to laugh at, all in the public interest of course.
The most bitter free-speech battles these days can often be fought in the muddy lowlands of sport or comedy, far from the cultural highground. The wish to dictate not just what jokes a comedian should tell, but also what we should laugh at, is the clearest conceivable attempt at thought control. What could be more intrusive than the attempt to police something as reflexive as a snort of laughter? The trends towards a more conformist and intolerant world of comedy put at risk one of the most important sorts of release we have left in a dour world. The pulling of comedy’s teeth should be no laughing matter. If comedians are not allowed to upset and offend, what chance have the rest of us got?
Inside the American mind
One of the important gains of the Enlightenment was the drawing of a firm line between the private and public spheres of life. The autonomous individual would have a public voice, and a private space in which to think and speak free from the watchful eye of any intolerant inquisitor. That line is now being seriously blurred. There is no place to hide from encroachments on free speech in the US as well as the UK – even, it seems, inside your own mind.
We need only recall the 2014 affair of Donald Sterling, billionaire owner of the LA Clippers basketball team. The US media got hold of a secretly recorded conversation, in which Sterling told a female friend, ‘It bothers me a lot that you want to broadcast that you’re associating with black people’, after she had posted online a photo of her posing with basketball legend Magic Johnson. The nationwide ‘secret racism’ storm that followed blew Sterling out of the Clippers and the National Basketball Association.
Sterling’s words were not defensible. Yet he should never have had to defend them. His offensive words ought not to have put Sterling in the public stocks, because they were spoken in private. The notion of interrogating a person’s private thoughts at the point of a hot poker went out with the Inquisition. And a good thing, too. As the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes understood, unlike our public speech, ‘The secret thoughts of a man run over all things, holy, profane, clean, obscene, grave and light, without shame, or blame’.
No longer, it seems. Shaming and blaming men for their ‘secret thoughts’ is now apparently back in style. The result of fudging the line between private and public is disastrous for freedom of thought and speech, as one Washington Post columnist spelt out in response to the Sterling scandal: ‘If you don’t want your words broadcast in the public sphere, don’t say them… Such potential exposure forces us to more carefully select our words and edit our thoughts.’ We are now expected not simply to mind our language, but even to ‘edit’ our private thoughts to make sure they don’t infringe on cultural etiquette.
That ought to be a frightening, unedited, thought. Yet things have now gone so far that there was hardly a word of protest raised against the monstering of a public figure for his private words. The novelist Joyce Carol Oates felt moved to ask if she was ‘the only person in the US surprised that a private conversation, no matter how ugly, can be the basis for such public recrimination?’. (She wasn’t quite the only one – see spiked’s excellent coverage – but the minority was small.) In an article headed ‘End of Free Speech in America’, she asserted the basic truth that in a democratic society we should be free to ‘say anything in private, no matter how stupid, cruel, self-serving or plain wrong, and not be criminalised’. It is a dark sign of the times that those sensible words could themselves now seem shocking to many, even in the land of the free and the home of the First Amendment.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.