Was his response secretly encrypted in the post somewhere? Was it articulated in a secret language that requires some sort of decoder ring I have to send in for?
Here is his comment:
Are you deliberately ignoring my response to your questions about Obama? Are you deliberately ignoring my explanation of the ways in which BUCHANAN DENIES THAT THE HOLOCAUST HAPPENED? Are you deliberately obfuscating about Demjanjuk and the many other Nazi war criminals Buchanan has defended (even when they admit their own guilt)? Are you unable to understand that the charges Demjanjuk faces now are different than those he faced in Israel? Are you not aware that Germany has tried quite a few of its own war criminals, and that trying one's own criminals is generally regarded as a good thing?Gee. It almost seems like Rosenau is ... upset.
He makes no response to my argument about Obama's ties to anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli individuals and then accuses me of falsely saying he made no response.
But then about a day later, he apparently realized he hadn't responded and then came back with a post that actually addressed my question--sort of. But, as yet, no retraction of his charge that I "deliverately ignored" his response.
I'm not holding my breath.
I made the argument that there was little more evidence that Buchanan is anti-Semitic than that Obama is anti-Semitic. If you accept the former, you are to some extent obligated to accept the latter. Now I don’t happen to believe that either Obama or Buchanan is anti-Semitic, although I think both of them are prone to poor judgment on occasion, the difference being that Buchanan has appeared briefly on radio shows by groups with questionable views, while Obama has actual processional and social relations with them.
I wonder what Rosenau would have said if Buchanan had been endorsed and had actually worked on projects with a man who called Judaism a "gutter religion" and Jews themselves "bloodsuckers." And I wonder what he would say if Buchanan had attended a church for over 20 years where the priest was a supporter of this man and who had a penchant for anti-Israeli rhetoric from the pulpit.
Josh Rosenau, meet Barack Obama.
Now despite all this, I don't really think Obama is anti-Semitic. I think, as in Buchanan's case, it involved poor judgment. But poor judgment and anti-Semitism are two different things. Rosenau has yet to admit that Obama's associations were even the result of poor judgment.
Rosenau is almost entirely unhampered by caution in these matters. The rhetoric on his blog is characteristic of much of the rhetoric of the political left: any disagreement is automatically attributed to the evil that lurks in the hearts of conservatives and the disingenuous motives that are the only possible reason anyone would disagree with them.
When people lose their real religion, they invest their other enthusiasms with religious meaning and purpose. Therefore, everyone who dissents from their views on anything is some sort of heretic, to be burned at the rhetorical stake. No one can be admitted to disagree with them out of legitimate motive. Their opponents are evil, pure and simple.
In this particular case, the Devil words used against the dissenters are “anti-Semite” and “Holocaust denier.”
And we apply them upon the least provocation, as when Rosenau went after Buchanan on the basis of his comment in his recent column on John Demjanjuk in which he compares the so far false charges against John Demjanjuk with the quintessential case of an innocent man being punished for crimes he didn't commit (Christ's crucifixion). I found the remark rather off-putting, but he was obviously writing the article on Good Friday and wanted to make some connection with the commemoration.
Rosanau, however, who is in a perpetual state of firing at will, accused him of of invoking the "Blood libel" (the belief that the Jews are uniquely responsible for Christ's death).
Yeah. Right. There is no room in Rosenau's world for anything but malign intent.
In fact, it is a startling irony that the fundamentalists they rail against would envy their black and white vision of the world: a place where there are no moral shades of gray--a dwelling place for the Children of Light and the Children of Darkness--and no one else.
If Buchanan had associated himself in any way with Louis Farakhan, does anyone really believe Rosenau would have left it out of his laundry list of anti-Semitic charges against him? Of course not. Buchanan is a conservative, and therefore inherently evil. But the association simply doesn't count against Obama, since Obama is one of the Chosen, which is why Rosenau dismisses it without remark.
In the case of Demjanjuk, I don’t know whether the man is a war criminal or not. But what is clear is that the charges that he has been tried on so far have been shown to have been entirely false. He was not Ivan the Terrible, as the OSI--and everyone else who jumped on the anti-Demjanjuk bandwagon--swore up and down he was. The trials in Israel proved that. If he’s guilty for some other war crime and it is proven (a step in the process that Rosenau seems to have little patience for), I hope they fry him.
In fact, I’m for the death penalty for war criminals who are responsible for the deaths of others. Is Rosenau?
The problem is that the credibility of his accusers is, if not completely destroyed, at least damaged to such an extent that the case now has the tone of a witch hunt. And now, since they can’t get him convicted in Israel, a place where, if anywhere, you would think people charged with anti-Jewish war crimes would get their just due, they are extraditing him to Germany, a country that has a vested interest in making others look responsible for what Germany itself played the chief role in doing.
Gen. George Patton, upon liberating the prisoners of Auschwitz, marched every citizen of the nearby town through the camp to see what they had let happen in their very own back yard. It’s a pity that wasn’t done with more Germans.
Now watch Rosenau accuse me of being anti-Teutonic.
An anti-Semite is not a person you disagree with about whether someone is a war criminal—or even whether someone else hates Jews. An anti-Semite is a person who himself hates Jews—as Jews. And since that requires divining someone's inner feelings about the matter, the charge is best left to those cases in which it is crystal clear.
But in Rosenau's black and white world, where those who disagree with you constitute an evil force simply because they disagree with you, this distinction is lost, and you can use the term as a club to beat others over the head with, apparently insensible to the fact that you are divesting the word of its true and legitimate use and, in the process, diluting its moral force, and thereby place those who are really guilty of it on the same plane as those who are not.
He invokes William F. Buckley, Jr., who accused Buchanan of anti-Semitism. I remember when Buchanan was excommunicated by Buckley. I also remember when the same procedure was conducted earlier with Joseph Sobran—in both National Review Magazine and First Things. It was unfair and politically reckless (and I was far from the only one of their readers who thought so)—as politically reckless, quite frankly, as some of Buchanan’s and Sobran’s own rhetoric (Political recklessness not being equivalent to anti-Semitism, a distinction we shouldn't have to point out, but do here because Rosenau doesn't seem to recognize it).
But here is Rosenau, closing in on the smoking gun in the Buchanan case:
He [Buckley] found that, while individual comments by Buchanan might be individually defensible from the charge of anti-Semitism, but that the entire gestalt is inescapable. [sic] [Emphasis mine]The “gestalt”? Is this the evidential bar Rosenau observes in his moral crusade against the Forces of Political Evil? Gestalt? Why don't we just throw Buchanan in the water and see if he floats?
'Gestalt' is a weasel word designed to cover up the insufficiency of the actual evidence, and his application of it results in absurdities that are simply laughable. It's too bad the word 'gestalt' wasn't in Joseph McCarthy's vocabulary. He could have used it to prove there really were all those communists in the State Department.
Rosenau seems singularly impressed with Buckley's condemnation, finding it significant because nobody could say that the two weren't allied politically:
I find Buckley's condemnation significant because his political interests would have been best served by defending an ally against such charges.Huh? No one who is even vaguely familiar with the infighting that goes in the conservative movement could say that about Buckley (a neoconservative) and Buchanan (a paleoconservative). It's also interesting that Rosenau would quote a man as a source who once called for branding AIDS sufferers on the rear end as a means of quelling the epidemic.
If I used Rosenau's standards of evidence myself, I could accuse him of wanting to brand AIDS victims, now couldn't I?
Given the low standard of evidence Rosenau seems enthusiastic in applying, it is no wonder he sees anti-Semitism around every political corner (except the one occupied by Obama). It also accounts for his belief that someone can be a Holocaust denier even if the person does not actually deny the Holocaust.
If they don’t actually deny the Holocaust, we can analyze their "gestalt" and divine it there.
Here's Rosenau, in high dudgeon, asserting once again something refuted in his own earlier posts:
Are you deliberately ignoring my explanation of the ways in which BUCHANAN DENIES THAT THE HOLOCAUST HAPPENED?No. I'm just making the observation that the ways in which he has pointed out that Buchanan is a Holocaust denier do not happen to include ACTUALLY DENYING THE HOLOCAUST.
Rosenau's entire case against Buchanan being a Holocaust denier is based on the fact that there are a few people who charge him with being one. It doesn't matter that Buchanan has never denied the Holocaust. Others have said he did, so it doesn't matter.
But we have learned, haven't we, that, with Rosenau, the fact that someone is charged with something is tantamount to proof of guilt? We've seen that in his treatment of the Denjanjuk case. The fact that Buchanan himself has never denied the Holocaust, and in fact has referred to it has having happened numerous times (at least one example of which appears on Rosenau's own blog), is apparently considered non-material to his case.
Rosenau's slipshod and disingenuous way of dealing with this issue is illustrated in his accusation that Buchanan blames the Holocaust on Churchill. At best this is a flagrant overstatement of what Buchanan actually said. At worst, it is just false. What Buchanan argued is that Chamberlain (not Churchill), started a historic chain of events which gave Germany the motive and opportunity to expand his campaign of killing Jews by making an alliance with Poland that it could not follow through on, and consequently caused Hitler to move west rather than east against Russia. Now you may disagree with this judgment (as I do), but to say it is the same thing as Holocaust denial is simply ludicrous.
When Wolf Blitzer asked Buchanan whether Churchill was responsible for this, Buchanan said, "Churchill was not." Not only that, but in the same interview, Buchanan said the following:
Look, there's no doubt Hitler was anti-Semitic from the time even before he wrote [Mein Kampf]. What we're talking about, when you mention the Holocaust, for heaven sakes, is genocide. You're not talking about anti-Semitism. It was anti-Semitism in Poland in those years. There's no doubt that Nuremburg laws were in 1935. They were dreadful. As a consequence, half the Jews had left Germany before November 1938. Another half fled after that. They were outside Germany with the curtain fell.Talk about taking a remark out of context. The leap in logic Rosenau takes is that if someone has a different theory of the chain of causes that led up to something, the person therefore doesn't believe in the thing at all.
What Hitler did was a monstrous crime, Wolf. It was a war crime. Had there been no war, there would have been no holocaust in my judgment.
If I think that global warming is caused by sun activity, then I must therefore deny global warming altogether. If I think that headaches are caused by muscle tension the spine receiving too much input from muscles of the head, I must therefore deny headaches.
There are people who think that the reason people in trailer parks experience more tornado damage is because tornadoes are attracted to trailer parks. The theory may be wrong. It may even be stupid. But it doesn't mean they deny that trailers are ever hit by tornadoes.
Not only that, but, using Rosenauian logic, we can also conclude that Pat Buchanan is a liberal, since he appeared on Wolf Blitzer's program. And since Buchanan made these remarks in an argument against American involvement in the Iraq war, and since Rosenau also opposes the Iraq War, that Rosenau is also himself a Holocaust denier.
Such is the Rosenauian logic.
The best argument Rosenau has is that Buchanan questioned whether it was diesel fumes that had killed prisoners at Treblinka. Of course, Rosenau then employs his patented skill in logic leaping to say that this means that Buchanan denies most of the deaths that make up the Holocaust--despite THE FACT THAT HE DOESN'T.
All the bad logic notwithstanding, Rosenau has yet to produce a single statement in which Buchanan denies the Holocaust.
The examples of faulty logic, flawed interpretation, and questionable facts are almost too many to list. He argues that if you appear on a radio program, you must therefore agree with the host. I don't know how you justify this inference, but it would be fun to apply it to Obama's appearance on Fox's O'Reilly Factor.
He argues that Buchanan could only have gotten his information on the reliability of Holocaust testimony at the Yad Vashem Archives from a white supremacist source despite the fact that it was from a Jerusalem Post story that was widely available on the Internet without the accompanying denial from the director of Yad Vashem.
He questions whether there is an Israeli lobby in Washington.
At some point, this kind of things just gets tiresome.
And then there is Rosenau's final leap in logic (Well, maybe not final: he seems to have a great facility for it). He has repeatedly accused me of "defending Holocaust denial and anti-Semitism." Now I could simply point out that I don't defend these things, but when has the truth ever gotten in the way of a Rosenauism?
Rosenau's logic (and I use that term loosely) is that if you believe someone is an anti-Semite, and you find someone who disagrees with you about whether that person is an anti-Semite, then the person who disagrees with you must ipso facto be an anti-Semite too.
If you believe that Roosevelt goaded the Japenese into attacking Pearl Harbor, then someone who disagrees with you about it is not only wrong, but thinks that Japan should have been goaded into attacking Pearl Harbor. If you believe that O. J. Simpson really killed his wife, then someone who doesn't believe it is not only wrong about Simpson, but believes that O. J. should have killed his wife.
Is the distinction between legitimately believing someone else is not an anti-Semite and being one yourself so fine that it is beyond the capability of a science graduate student? Apparently so.
This is the kind paranoia--the kind that sees anti-Semites under every bed--that results from a dogmatic political ideology that can't allow for legitimate disagreement.
How do I know Rosenau is paranoid? The entire gestalt is inescapable.