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godwin’s law

Catch-up time

09.14.06

Believe it or not, other newsworthy things happened in the world yesterday and today. You’d never know it from watching the local news, of course, which has been covering Dawson nonstop since yesterday afternoon. But here are a few things that happened in the world outside our little corner:

Okay, I think that about does it for the ten-second catch-up. Or, as the BUZZ puts it, some “temporary relief from ignorance”.

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Update on the stories below:

Stephen Harper backed Jason Kenney on his comparison of Hezbollah to the Nazis, claiming it was “fair”:

“Like all comparisons, it’s true in some ways, and not in others,” he said, “but as near as I can tell, both Hezbollah and the Nazi party stand for the elimination of the Jewish nation. So I think that’s pretty fundamental and, in that sense, I don’t think it’s unfair.”

Though Kenney and Harper both have a point, they ought to realize that Nazi comparisons, even when justifiable, tend to obscure the original argument.

Meanwhile, one of the three MPs who originally called for Hezbollah’s legitimization, Liberal Borys Wrzesnewskyj, has resigned as foreign affairs critic (hat tip: Puck):

All 10 leadership hopefuls condemned the remarks. Scott Brison and Carolyn Bennett said Wrzesnewskyj should no longer retain his post as a foreign affairs spokesman.

The Liberal party has been floundering lately, with no clear voices emerging in this conflict. Wrzesnewskyj’s resignation, and the condemnation of his remarks by the leadership candidates, is the first hopeful sign in a while that perhaps the Liberals might find their moral compass that has been missing now for quite some time.

It seems to me that the problem is one of perception, and of which historical comparison is the most apt. Some, like Kenney and Harper, see Hezbollah as the new Nazi party, and view appeasement as dangerous and ultimately more destructive. Others, like Boris Wrzesnewskyj, Peggy Nash and Maria Mourani, see Hezbollah as the new IRA:

“You want to encourage the politicians of this military organization, you want to encourage the political wing, so that the centre of gravity shifts to them.”

Wrzesnewskyj compared the situation in Lebanon to the decades of sectarian violence by the Irish Republican Army.

“If there wasn’t a possibility for London to negotiate with Sinn Fein [the IRA’s political party], we’d still have bombings in Northern Ireland,” he said.

Certainly, Hezbollah (and Hamas, and other groups that employ a political/social/terrorist combination strategy) would like to encourage the IRA comparisons. But there’s one key difference, that the Canadian MPs on their “fact-finding mission” seem to have missed: The IRA had, as its goal, the establishment of an independent Irish state. Say what you will about their methods – and I will condemn terrorism unequivocally – they did have a goal that could be pursued politically, and that would be legitimate if pursued politically. Hezbollah has no such goal. They aren’t vying for statehood or independence of freedom. Their goal is the destruction of Israel. And no matter what means they choose to pursue this goal, it cannot be legitimatized.

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No reasoning with Hezbollah

08.22.2006

This editorial appeared in today’s Gazette in response to the 3 Canadian MPs who called for the removal of Hezbollah from the list of terror organizations: They appear to be typical of an alarming number of Canadians who think that compromise, which works so nicely in Canada, can work as well everywhere. But in Canada […]

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The new Godwin’s Law

06.03.2005

This has been circling the net like wildfire, coining a new catchphrase: “In the future, everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes”. (Hat tip: Damian Penny).

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Maybe he should look in the mirror

08.23.2004

This headline seems better suited to The Onion than to real news: North Korea likens Bush to Hitler: North Korea has described US President George W Bush as an “imbecile” and a “tyrant that puts Hitler in the shade”. A Foreign Ministry spokesman was responding to comments President Bush made last week in which he […]

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Gratuitous Nazism comparison

01.05.2004

A Brazilian judge compared the new US fingerprinting program to the “worst horrors of the Nazis”: The United States began fingerprinting and photographing visitors from most countries on Monday in a controversial program to try to prevent potential terrorists from slipping in through the borders. [ . . . ] But the Brazilian fingerprint program […]

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