Yet another example of the continuing necessity of the Bipartisan Anti-Inflammatory Pledge of 2005.
Ignorance of history destroys our judgment. Consider Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill), who just compared the Guantanamo Bay detention center to Stalin's gulag and to the death camps of Hitler and Pol Pot - an astonishing, obscene piece of ignorance. Between 15 million and 30 million people died from 1918 through 1956 in the prisons and labor camps of the Soviet gulag. Historian Robert Conquest gives some facts. A prisoner at the Kholodnaya Gora prison had to stuff his ears with bread before sleeping on account of the shrieks of women being interrogated. At the Kolyma in Siberia, inmates labored through 12-hour days in cheap canvas shoes, on almost no food, in temperatures that could go to minus-58. At one camp, 1,300 of 3,000 inmates died in one year.
"Gulag" must not go the way of "Nazi" and become virtually meaningless. Europeans love calling Israelis "Nazis" - a transparent attempt to slough off their guilt like rattlesnakes shedding skin. ("See, the Jews are as bad as we were!") I'd like to ban the word "Nazi" except when applied to...Nazis. Lawbreakers would be ordered to learn what Nazi actually means.
Friday, June 17, 2005
Today's Must-Read: Ignorance of History Behind Gitmo Hysteria
That's the message of this opinion piece by David Gelernter in the LA Times. In a passage that will seem quite familiar to regular readers of this blog, he says the following: