ed note–and there it is again, like the proverbial ‘bad penny’ that always, ALWAYS, manages to ‘pop up’–
Jewish suffering, its place in human history as prioritas primus and how anyone who dares not bend the knee in reverence to it must be destroyed.
NY Daily News
A White House press secretary’s one job is to communicate effectively, to contain more firestorms than he starts.
Sean Spicer’s not any good at it. But to be fair to him, it’s in no small part because the foreign policy instincts of the man he works for are harder to understand than the Theory of General Relativity.
Tuesday, Spicer unfavorably compared Syrian dictator Bashar Assad’s use of poison gas to Hitler, with the ahistorical and outrageous claim that “someone as despicable as Hitler . . . didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons.”
Every schoolchild knows that Hitler actually did use gas (carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide or prussic acid, aka Zyklon-B) to murder millions of Jews in death camps.
Spicer, spinning furiously to contain the damage done by seeming to deny the central crime of the Holocaust, then insisted that while, yes, Hitler did in fact gas people, “he was not using the gas on his own people the same way that Assad is doing.”
Actually, Hitler’s own people, German Jews among them, were his victims, as were all Jews.
The difference, quoth Spicer, is that Hitler “brought them into the Holocaust centers” (presumably meaning places like Auschwitz). “But I’m saying that in the way Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them down to innocent — into the middle of towns.”
This is not Holocaust denial — don’t call it that — but you can only marvel at the ineptitude.
But what’s truly remarkable about the sudden attempt by Trump’s press secretary to paint Assad as a villain worse than Hitler is that if the White House truly believes this, it has a solemn — and immediate — obligation to use every tool to remove him from power.
After all, Assad’s recent gas attack was only his most recent such offense; back in 2013, he killed at least 10 times as many people in the same way.
In the wake of that attack, then-citizen Trump urged then-President Obama not to intervene.
Indeed, just two weeks ago, fully cognizant of Assad’s evil nature, the Trump administration had pronounced itself willing to live with the butcher of Syria for the indefinite future.
Even after Assad’s sarin attack last week, Trump responded — appropriately, we believe — with five dozen Tomahawk missiles aimed at an air base.
It was not all-out war, but modest military action meant as a warning.
Trump is not prepared to send thousands of troops to remove Assad, in part because he believes, defensibly, that ISIS remains America’s chief enemy in the region, in part because backing into such a conflict would basically engage the U.S. on the battlefield against the Russian Army.
Still, now, a Trump administration that two ticks of the clock ago was comfortable letting Assad stay for who knows how long is calling for his removal. And trying to rally the world to the cause.
And saying that in one respect he’s worse than the worst authoritarian dictator in the history of authoritarian dictators.
Yet Tuesday night, Trump asserted on Fox News: “We are not going into Syria.”
The only thing more glaring than Sean Spicer’s ignorance is the policy incoherence it now highlights.
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