Empty Days

Friday, February 06, 2004

Oh really

Clicked on the blogdex link and found this headline from Washington Post atop of most everything - apparently people are being tremendously impressed with it. It's called Auschwitz Under Our Nose and it attempts to reflect on why nobody's willing to do anything about North Korea (allegations of gas chambers) by comparing the situation with what happened in WWII when people were aware of the final solution but nobody did anything to prevent it. Here's the conclusion it reaches:
Later -- in 10 years, or in 60 -- it will surely turn out that quite a lot was known in 2004 about the camps of North Korea. It will turn out that information collected by various human rights groups, South Korean churches, oddball journalists and spies added up to a damning and largely accurate picture of an evil regime. It will also turn out that there were things that could have been done, approaches the South Korean government might have made, diplomatic channels the U.S. government might have opened, pressure the Chinese might have applied.

Historians in Asia, Europe and here will finger various institutions, just as we do now, and demand they justify their past actions. And no one will be able to understand how it was possible that we knew of the existence of the gas chambers but failed to act.
There is something that irks me about this article and I wonder what it is. I think I know what it is - it's the idiotic idea that Holocaust is supposed to teach us valuable moral lessons and make us better people. It's that "never again" slogan. And it enrages me that this empty slogan continues to hang in the air after something like Rwanda.

The wide-eyed mentality behind this is beyond words.

And maybe the reason it enrages me so very much is because I myself am permeated with this sort of ideas, whether I like it or not. But just like I was once suspicious and contemptuous of homosexuals yet later changed my views, and just like I was once quite a bit more of an unthinking racist than I am now, so perhaps I will in the end overcome this other stupidity - that's what thinking is for, I humbly hope.

Not that it matters very much. I am not even sure I will stick around long enough to see that happen.





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