I was totally convinced last Friday that the swedish media would proclaim Trump as the new Hitler after the launch of 59 cruise missiles against Syria. And it would undoubtedly have been the case, had not an Islamist terrorist gone caroming down a walking street of Stockholm with a beer-hauling truck, leaving four humans and a dog deprived of their lives in his wake. The missile strike just disappeared out in nowhere.
But that is almost a week past by now, and new stuff is needed for the government propaganda channel. As a little side note for any non-swedes, the swedish Public Service, mainly the two TV channels SVT1 and SVT2, is financed through a mandatory license fee that everybody having a device, even if not functional, equipped to receive TV-transmissions (i.e. it doesn’t have to be an actual TV) is required to pay by law. The fee is about $US 300 per year, and is on top of whatever else you pay for whatever tv-channels you actually subscribe to. In return we are supposed to get advertisement free, objective and impartial program content from the so called Public Service. Well, it is, generally, at least free from ads.
So, media has just about milked the terrorist angle for all its worth, and they need something new to gloat over. As on a cue, enter Spicer:
You, look… We didn’t use chemical weapons in World War II. You had a… Someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to… to… to use chemical weapons.
Most opportune for the swedish media, as reality has closed “look at what’s happening in sweden last night” as a profitable fount of anti-Trump rhetoric. Well, not only swedes are having a field day:
Spicer has also gotten quite some flak for making his Hitler comparison during Passover.
Well, well …
I seriously wonder, are people so outrageously stupid that they don’t understand what Spicer said, or are they so infernally evil that they bend over backwards to misrepresent him, or are they just so goddamn lazy that they don’t even try to figure out what he actually meant?
Let’s dispense with the Passover flub first so that’s out of the way.
Spicer did not refer to the Holocaust, he referred to Hitler’s (non-)use of chemical weapons. That others associate to the Holocaust is their own responsibility. It is understandable that they do, but it is hardly right to call Spicer on the carpet for it. And seriously the whole thing is part of the fallout from the gas attacks in Syria, what should Spicer do? Request war criminals to schedule their atrocities so his condemnations doesn’t risk interfering with any memorial observances of ethnical cleansing?
So, chemical weapons …
I’m not an expert on WW II, but fairly well educated, and belong to the generation (born 1960) that grew up with WW II as part of my heritage and being naturally interested in that part of history, I do consider myself at least decently knowledgeable in general WW II history, and I have always been under the impression that WW II (as opposed to WW I) was a gas-less war. To my surprise I found that, according to Wikipedia, Nazis did engage in chemical warfare along the Black Sea, though I wonder at what point toxic smoke cease to be toxic smoke and becomes a chemical weapon? The same goes for asphyxiating gas, strictly speaking even carbon dioxide would fit the bill of asphyxiating gas, but I would never call it a “chemical weapon”.
Spicer might thus have been factually wrong when he said that Hitler didn’t sink to using chemical weapons. If really, it was Hitler himself that was responsible for any use of such weapons around the Black Sea. That’s far from certain. He seems to have been loath to deploy chemical weapons, maybe due to the fact that he himself, ironically, fell victim of a British gas attack just about a month before the end of WW I, and was recuperating in a hospital at the time of the German capitulation. I do think however that anyone missing German usage of chemical weapons around the Black Sea might be forgiven.
What really irks me though in this is that it was immediately plainly clear to me that Spicer did not deny the Holocaust, he was thinking of warfare in terms of combat operations or the kind of terror bombings that both Germany and the Allies engaged in against civilian populations.
As far as I’m concerned the operative word here is ”weapon.” I have never ever during my life heard, neither in swedish, nor in English, the gas in the concentration camp gas chambers referred to as “weapons.” Well, sure, the argument can be made that the Nazis used gas as a weapon during the Holocaust, but …
Weapon is, according to my edition of Websters Collage Dictionary, defined as:
1 an instrument or device of any kind designed or used to injure or kill, as in fighting or hunting 2 any organ or part of an organism used for attacking or defending 3 any means of attack or defense
Well, even though it would be more accurate to say the Jews were slaughtered or exterminated than fought or hunted, I guess the gas in the death camps gassing strictly speaking do fit the bill of weapon under definition 1, but so does the extermination camp ovens. Not all who were burned where dead prior to being pushed into the flames. However, at least to me, the use of the word “weapon” does seem somewhat far-fetched, no matter how deadly the gas and ovens where. If an officer pull his gun and shoot a killer maniac dead, he undoubtedly killed the culprit with the use of a weapon, but if the killer maniac instead gets arrested and later sentenced to death in the California gas chamber and later on executed. Would anyone say that he was executed by the use of a weapon? I doubt that.
No-one would dispute that the electric chair and gallows were designed to kill, but who would refer to them as weapons?
Fire can be used to kill.
A flamethrower is undoubtedly a weapon.
But would you use “weapon” as a descriptive term of an ISIS barbeque?
I wouldn’t. That doesn’t mean I condone ISIS’ methods, on the contrary, I consider their barbequing of prisoners even more despicable, by several magnitudes, than the use of flamethrowers in regular combat. Nor would I consider water as a weapon when ISIS drown their prisoners in cages being immersed in water.
I’m just sick and tired of this semantic bullshit when people actively interpret everything to fit their own fucking bigot preconceptions of what someone else mean.
I am far from happy about Trump’s launch of Tomahawk cruise missiles against Syria. That’s just the kind of stuff I hoped we would be free from when Clinton lost. And I think there are some serious questions that need to be asked and answered. Unfortunately this kind of dishonest bullshit just distract from the real matters at hand. And the fucking media in their insane anti-Trump rhetoric has totally lost all credibility, so when or if there’s a valid reason to cry wolf …
Guess all i really want to say is that I’d like to see some fucking honesty in the political intercourse, not just everybody semantically fist-fucking each other in the proverbial arse.
©2017 Anders ”Dolf” Ericsson. All rights reserved