Sunday, March 15, 2009


I would have bumped this up, but it's only from last August, and that's just too soon. But man, am I good. I just can't get over myself. Why don't people appreciate me? It's a crime, is all; probably the greatest in history. I can say things like that, because people think I'm kidding. Anyhoo, I just don't feel like dipping into the treasury of my genius, illimitable though it is, to give you anything new today. You don't deserve it anyway, unless you've memorized this blog. Have you? No? No. Of course not. You have better things to do, like watch your professional sports teams on the television god. How I pity you. Oh! -- there's a shiny object! Go chase it! So I give you this, from a year and seven days ago. Hope you can understand it. If you can, a little, come back and I'll reward you by jingling some keys in front of your face.


First we have to determine if doing a deal with the Nazis is a possibility. Knowing what we know now, the answer must be, NO. I say knowing what we know now, about the past. Heaven forfend that we should apply such previous lessons to the present. That would be naïve. Indeed, is the conclusion even correct? Mightn’t we do a deal with the Nazis? Why not? It’s just a matter of what we’re willing to compromise. Being me -- long-boned, blond, blue-eyed … the Nordic ideal … you know, the best thing to be -- what would I have to lose? I am the very image of the Master Race. Except it isn’t about the body we happen to be born into. It’s what we do with it. To compromise with such clear evil is to diminish one's own human value. But is it clear that the Nazis were evil? Such a judgmental term. What is evil, after all? Just a different allegiance. Drawing the line in some other place than we would have it. Evil? Allow me to repeat the word. Naïve.

Evil, to put it in the simplest of terms, is when we care only about ourselves. When we do that, it’s so easy to allow every atrocity to befall someone else. Holocaust and slave trade and abortionism and rape. What care I for such abstracts? I am not a Jew or a black or a fetus or a female. Of course it is possible to do deals with Nazis. What could possibly stay our hand from such a contract? Peace and safety, comfort, prosperity. These are such good things. And maybe sometimes the treaty will be more than just a scrap of paper. We have to start with trust, after all. How else could progress ever be made?

One man stood between Hitler and the total conquest of Europe. France fell. It did not surrender. A hundred thousand French soldiers were killed in the Battle of France. But French PM Reynauld was replaced by Marshal Pétain, who quickly became a Gallic Quisling. Britain almost had the same, in Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, a confirmed appeaser who was next in line after Chamberlain to be PM. Another hinge of fate. Churchill, who saved the world.

A few days after he assumed office, Churchill received a call from the French leader, “We have been defeated. We are beaten. We have lost the battle. The road to Paris is open. We are defeated.” And they were. How were they to know that French commander in chief Gamelin was incompetent on a historical magnitude? And his replacement, Weygand, such a defeatist he might as well have been in Hitler’s pay? Whereas Churchill, when asked by Reynaud what Britain would do when given the full attention of the Wehrmacht, retorted, “Drown as many as possible on the way over, and then frapper sur la tête anyone who managed to crawl ashore.”

In chambers, Churchill said, “Under no conditions would we contemplate any course except fighting to the finish.” In his diary, Halifax wrote of such comments, “I thought he talked the most frightful rot.... And after bearing it for some time, I said exactly what I thought of them, adding that if that was their view, and if it came to the point, our ways would separate." Such courage.

As Americans we don’t quite understand what the big deal would be, to be conquered. When we conquer, we rebuild. This is a historically unique phenomenon. Churchill recognized something unique in the Nazis. They conquered not merely to exploit along a standard historical colonial model. They conquered the way a sexual sadist rapes. It wasn’t about profit, it was about degradation. Because he saw this, he understood there could be no compromise, no deal, no surrender. He understood that defeat would mean a future as an eternity of a boot smashing a face. The death camps were just practice. That’s what losing to Nazis means.

Were Chamberlain and Halifax, and Pétain, and Joseph Kennedy and his kindred here -- were they morons? Or visionaries? Is it wrong to want peace? The question answers itself. Even appeasement is not wrong, in itself. Few lost causes are truly noble. I suppose it’s a matter of where we draw the line. When it stops being about peace, and becomes peace for me only -- that’s evil. Other people matter. Annunciating such elementary and moralist truisms brings me no shame. We learn by being told, and by comparing, and by suffering.

The world still has slavery, and genocide, and rape and abortion. There are millions of actual slaves in Africa at this very moment. The same can be said of genocide. As for rape and abortion, isn't it odd that they are, somehow, linked? As if the "fetus" should be killed for the crime of the "father"? Mine is a somewhat more old fashioned justice. Kill the rapist. You see? It has to do with where we draw the line -- around whom we inscribe the protective circle. The line I'm talking about is the one that defines humanity. I include unborn babies, and I exclude rapists and racist mass murderers. Call me mad.

As I've said before in these pages, just because there are shades of gray doesn't mean there is no black and white. It depends on the acuity of our moral vision. I mentioned that little conversation I had a few days ago with a young abortionist. Sweet guy. Blind. Not evil. Someday his character will be confirmed. I would hope that by such time he will have opened his eyes. The water is filled with Nazis. We have to help them drown. We know them by what we see them do.


As for that other class of non-human, the American fetus, Obama thinks that because they are suspended upside down in a saline fluid something like English Channel waters, they are to be killed, when convenient, or inconvenient. Embryonic stem cell research is a go! V-1 rockets at the ready. Blast off. They'll shortly be drawing up, uh, ethical guidelines for the research. Hope they don't take too long -- medical miracles are crouching at the door! Let's call it the Mengele Project! Or is my imagery confused. Hard to tell the good guys from the bad anymore. But that's a simplistic worldview, isn't it. Good, bad. The world is gray.


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