Saturday, April 19, 2008

Let he who is without Hitler analogy cast the first stone

By good buddy "Ron" Anders has broken free of his muzzle and is in the news for comparing the Beijing Olympics to the 1936 Berlin Olympics:


Anders, an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, said Thursday that Beijing was the wrong choice to host the Olympics.

"I absolutely 100 per cent think it compares to the Berlin Olympics in 1936," he said in an interview.

"You've got Falun Gong practitioners, which are not allowed to participate in the Olympics. Adolf Hitler had issues with Jews being able to participate in the Olympics in 1936."

Rob Anders saying something controversial is merely a side effect of Rob Anders opening his mouth, and is to be expected. Obviously the analogy stretches credibility and it certainly isn't something a member of the Canadian government should be saying.

Knowing that every time someone says Anders' name, the Liberals gain an extra thousand votes in Ontario, Liberal foreign affairs critic Bob Rae has been quick to pounce, taking Anders to task for his lame analogy:

“Now we have a senior government MP and chair of the Veterans Affairs committee further damaging our already-strained relationship with China by comparing its government to Nazis,” Rae said. “Such a comparison trivializes one of the most horrific regimes mankind has known.”

And, on this point, Rae is spot on. These sort of comparisons trivialize things which should never be trivialized. I mean, comparing the Berlin Olympics to the Beijing Olympics would be as silly as comparing Chamberlain's appeasement of Hitler to Harper signing the softwood lumber deal with Bush.

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23 Comments:

  • That's it!

    The occupation in Tibet cannot be ignored. It goes to the heart of the `American invasion of Iraq. And, our participation in a generation-long civil war in Afghanistan.

    It would be hypocrisy for the neo-cons to condemn China for Tibet, while supporting the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan, and ignoring the military regime in Burma.

    We have to be careful when dealing with China because it is not a democracy. The Beijing government is responsible for China’s Tibet policy. The common people do not have say. Therefore, I would attack the Beijing government, and not the Chinese people.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 1:05 PM  

  • I disagree. The analogy is quite apt, given the state of things in Germany in 1936. Today we have the benefit of hindsight that the world did not have in 1936. Given that, Anders made a fair comparison. Bob Rae is trivializing the plight of the people in Tibet. He is exploiting the deaths and mayhem in Tibet for cheap political points. Shameful.

    By Blogger Keith Richmond, at 1:34 PM  

  • The most irritating thing about Anders is that he has been so right for so long on China. Every time he talks about it, I hate him a little bit less, which makes me hate myself a little bit more.

    Indeed, on this issue, many of the neo-Cons are far ahead of the lefties in protecting human rights. For example, Sam Brownback is one of the biggest supporters of rights in China in the US. I think it comes from an opposition to crackdowns on religious groups in China, but it gets the neo-Cons to the right place.

    And in addition to being a hypocrite, what exactly is Rae trying to say? That China, which has killed some 200 of its own citizens in the last few weeks is not a "horrifying regime"? Is he "trivializing" those deaths?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:56 PM  

  • In a sane world one should be able to take China's human rights violations seriously without taking Rob Anders seriously.

    By Anonymous ace, at 2:01 PM  

  • It's not a crazy analogy. First, the Chinese communists, especially under Mao, killed as many people as the Nazis did. Second, it is indisputable that the current Chinese regime are using these games to legitimize their rule and to gain greater international standing. There is even a similarity in how they are using the torch. The Nazis invented the Olympic torch to promote their propaganda goals. The Chinese are sending the torch around the world to promote their propaganda goals...

    By Anonymous AP, at 2:11 PM  

  • The analogy is spot on. Rae's statement is political speech at its worst, especially as the FA critic.

    The funning thing is how the Liberal members like the Hon Rae (whom I have a lot of respect for) cite the muzzling of Conservative members as a show of how undemocratic the party is, then demand they be muzzled the minute one opens his mouth ? Or perhaps this was a "Raeism" instead and he is telling us how he will (not would I am afraid) manage the party when he is (not could be) (Fearless) Leader ?

    By Blogger Solo compute, at 2:17 PM  

  • ap, it is still a crazy analogy. Mao killed many Chinese, but in the 50's and 60's. Since then China has modernized considerably. Is it a dictatorship? Yeah. Is it a bit oppressive on the margins? Maybe. But it does not practice mass-murder in the present, nor has it for some time. An appropriate analogy would be... Singapore, Russia (although Putin was probably more oppressive in his treatment of Chechnya), or Mexico pre-2000.

    Hosting the Olympics may legitimize China, but it brings attention to China (the ability of Tibetans to cause a ruckus is lost if nobody comes to the Olympics in the first place). It brings millions of outsiders to China. It increases China's economic connections to the outside world. Moreover, do you ACTUALLY want China to be viewed as a rogue state? Do you actually want nuclear-armed-soon-to-pass-the-US-economy China to believe that the international system has no place in it for China?

    Besides, the falun gong is just plain weird.

    jimtan, thanks for the retarded Noam Chomsky argument. I am not a neocon, but way to treat their sentiments fairly. Just because they support spreading democracy by force doesn't mean they also have to be stupid (I mean they are stupid, but not dumb enough to antagonize war with China).

    By Blogger hosertohoosier, at 2:57 PM  

  • I guess it depends on how you define "mass murder". The government of China's own estimates say that about 100 peaceful protesters have been killed by government forces in the streets in the last month (Tibetan government-in-exile numbers are higher).

    How absurd to compare that to Singapore, which doesn't let you spit in the streets, true, but hardly shoots people in public squares.

    Yes, it's stupid to antagonize China, but it's equally stupid to simply pretend that the regime is no longer oppressive (or only "a bit oppressive, on the margins") since they now have KFC.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:08 PM  

  • Meanwhile, decent people stand up and thank other decent people.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwXo4PnTMYA&NR=1

    China was diplomatic with Hong Kong and it fostered prosperity.

    Diplomacy and maturity with with Tibet could smooth the way to the games. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 2:02 AM  

  • stop trying to impose Western morality and philosophy on a Communist state. It doesn't work.

    All power in Communism is with the state and the state controlled military enforce that rule. period... end of story... 200 civil uprisings or more a week happen today in china across their country. In 15 years from now half of todays army will be going back to civilian life... wait for that unrest to hit once all those former soldiers are sitting around waiting on the state to take care of them... more unrest and eventual civil war isn't an unbelievable future there... look at what happened in Russia when the CCCP fell apart...


    ...and pardon the "tin foil hat" but in some ways we're headed there ourselves with democracy... more and more the gov't in the USA is being owned by big business and special interest groups and not the people... it takes all the money you can raise in office to run for office again in 4 years time in the USA.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:27 AM  

  • “Just because they support spreading democracy by force doesn't mean they also have to be stupid (I mean they are stupid, but not dumb enough to antagonize war with China).”

    Dear Hose,

    To the contrary! It is stupid for foreigners to impose democracy by force. The disintegration of Iraq is a clear example.

    As I have said repeatedly, these are people trying to determine the future of a country. But, they don’t speak the language. Don’t understand the history. Don’t care about the context.

    You have commented on the early days of the Communist government without understanding the context.

    Democracy with its compromises and processes can only be created internally. Nepal is an example. They have the same feudal issues as Tibet. The Maoists have been in revolt for many years.

    Without external interference, the Maoists negotiated an agreement with the establishment. The monarchy has been abolished and the Maoists run for election. Lo and Behold! The Maoists will form the next government.

    Finally, you do not understand the neo-con. The neo-cons oppose China because it is a potential rival. Fear is the motivator. The neo-cons advocate democracy and human rights merely because it is the home team’s anthem.

    Look at how the Bush administration lies to the American people. How do they violate human rights and international law in their pursuit of terrorists? This is where the neo-cons part company with the liberals who may have been their fellow travelers.

    Therefore, the issue is not stupidity. The neo-cons advance NATO up to Russia’s borders. It is so provocative that the most stupid neo-con must realize the consequences.

    The name of the game is submit or die. The Russians won’t roll over. Far from it! The Iranians are prepared to fight. Al Queda terrorists are prepared to dead. And, there are Canadians and Europeans willing to help these Americans.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 3:33 AM  

  • Hose,

    BTW, you haven’t answered this.

    “Could you explain why us voters ‘like corruption’?”

    By Blogger JimTan, at 2:27 PM  

  • The same Bob "the Boob" Rae who still insists there are no Canadian soldiers serving in combat roles in Iraq ?

    Bob "Still A Stuck-on-Stupid-Socialist" but now a "Red Liberal" Rae.

    One and the same. Richly deserving of the LPC.

    By Blogger Fred, at 6:36 PM  

  • The Conservatives published the warrant on Sunday. And, the EC is after them for ‘intent’.

    Search warrant cites 'false and misleading statements' on Conservative ads

    David Akin
    Canwest News Service

    Sunday, April 20, 2008
    OTTAWA - The agent for the federal Conservative Party in the last general election "made materially false and misleading statements" on its financial returns, Canada's elections commissioner alleges in the court documents that convinced a judge to grant a request for a search warrant of Conservative Party headquarters last week.
    The warrant and nearly 700 pages of supporting documents were obtained late Sunday by Canwest News Service.
    Sunday the Liberals charged that the alleged violations of elections law may have made the difference in the 2006 general election. The Conservatives are accused of exceeding the limit on national advertising by $1-million.

    The warrant says that the elections commissioner believes that the Conservative Party of Canada and its official agent, the Conservative Fund of Canada, violated the Canada Elections Act. The party and the fund are separately accused of exceeding the maximum amount allowed for elections expenses. The Conservative Fund is also accused of filing financial returns "that it knew or ought reasonably to have known contained a materially false or misleading statement."

    Neither Prime Minister Stephen Harper nor any other politician or party official is named in the warrant among those believed to have committed an offence.
    The affidavit supporting the request for the search warrant is signed by Ronald Lamothe, an assistant chief investigator with the non-partisan Office of the Commissioner of Canada Elections.
    "The alleged scheme," Lamothe wrote, "enabled the Conservative Party of Canada to spend more than $1 million over and above the spending limit."

    Court documents obtained Sunday show that the commissioner was looking for:
    . correspondence and e-mails between party officials, local candidates, and advertising companies working for the party;
    . invoices, contracts, and financial information related to advertising during the 2006 general election;
    . scripts and recordings of ads that ran during the campaign.

    By Blogger JimTan, at 12:39 AM  

  • I went to the UofC with Rob Anders and he constantly spouted off in debates, yelling and mischaracterizing anyone who didn't agree with his viewpoint. He has continued to do so (when not muzzled) in his parliamentary career.

    He is an embarrasment to Calgary, the CPC and Parliament.

    When I saw his quote, I turned to my wife and said "I agreed with everything that idiot said" Then I rushed to the window to see if pigs were flying.

    But hell hasn't frozen over (athough I hear that from Calgary it appears that it has) I suspect that this instance of Rob Anders being right is more like a broken clock being right twice a day.

    Beijing 2008 = showcase for a totalitarian state
    Berlin 1936 = showcase for a totalitarian state

    By Anonymous KLR650 in Halifax, at 8:48 AM  

  • calgarygrit (in trawwna) doesn't have anything "Liberal" to blog about ....

    can we get RAE-ANDERS in one room for a debate on CHINA?

    By Blogger art, at 2:20 PM  

  • *sigh* I have to join the disturbing number of people agreeing with Anders. There are indeed too many similarities between Berlin and China. China is a brutal regime, and is no less brutal if you ignore Tibet.

    By Anonymous John, at 3:56 PM  

  • The problem with Anders' analogy in my opinion doesn't lie with its veracity but rather with its effectiveness.

    Chinese people absolutely hate it when foreigners attack their country. Attacking the Communist Party of China doesn't work because its still seen as an attack on China.

    Like it or not, Chinese people see their nation as one huge family. Its one thing for you and your brothers/sisters to criticize your parents. Its another when the kid down the road decides to criticize them. Even if the criticism is valid people instinctively flock to the defence of their family honour.

    Anders' attack and the pro-Tibetan protests only serve to strengthen the CPC's hand and their support from the common people. Most Chinese people will privately criticize the CPC and in recent years have become increasingly disgruntled. These recent events have put opposition back years if not decades.

    By Blogger SouthernOntarioan, at 6:53 PM  

  • Only the Chinese people can change China. Try as we might, change in China will happen when the people demand it. Maybe we can accelerate change a little bit, or maybe we delay change. But change will happen or not happen regardless of our protests.

    I doubt that many care what Canadians or westerners say. Of those that care, some will be emboldened by international support and others will have their hackles raised by the international attacks.

    But facts are facts, and the truth is the truth. China is a big country with big problems. Perhaps out of necessity, it has a totalitarian government with no rule of law or civil rights that we would recognize.

    It is because China is big and important, that we cannot ignore it or its problems. Even Rob Anders agrees!

    By Anonymous klr650 in halifax, at 7:24 PM  

  • “China is a brutal regime, and is no less brutal if you ignore Tibet.”

    IMO, a comparison between Berlin and Tibet is a mistake. Consider the context.

    The European empires had fought each other over three hundred years. WW2 was merely the final European war. The Nazis represented a hideous mutation of German nationalism.

    Fortunately, the Allies won. The important postscript was that there would be no further European wars.

    In 1949, the Communists won their civil war. They abolished prostitution and invested in universal education. They redistributed land. The peasants did very well in the early days, before Mao launched his fanatical campaigns.

    The CCP also liquidated the class enemies, i.e. large landlords cum moneylenders. Million did die. I would argue that this was normal in the context of Chinese history.

    In the century before 1949, the weakness of the Manchu dynasty resulted in much unrest. The Taiping rebellion resulted in 20-30 million lives. That @10% of the population in 14 years.

    The CCP reestablished the mandate of heaven. Peace was established and the borders secured. Mao acted like an emperor, instead of an agent of the Chinese people.

    Today, the Communists are no more. IMO, the ruling party is conservative and acts as the keeper of the sacred trust. Their job is to secure China internally and externally, and the current program is to promote economic growth and prosperity.

    I hope that China will eventually be an Asian democracy like Japan. The government would be largely an agent of the people.

    What about Tibet? The Communists invaded Tibet in the early days of their rule. They were going to sweep away feudalism and free the peasants. However, they were never strong or committed enough to change Tibet.

    The uneasy relationship festered. The Beijing government may have hoped that the economic development of Tibet would accelerate its social development. However, Tibet exploded.

    What does it tell us about good intentions and western interference in Iraq and Afghanistan?

    We cannot compare Berlin with Beijing. Therefore, confrontation with the Chinese nation would be counter-productive. Still, it has been very effective to embarrass the Chinese government.

    What is the obvious solution that would work for everyone?

    By Blogger JimTan, at 8:03 PM  

  • Speaking of anti-Hitler moves. .

    ** ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistan expects to be readmitted to the Commonwealth at a meeting of the 53-nation group next month, the country's foreign minister said on Monday. **

    Seems like good news for a change. Guess nobody likes Osama, Taliban or al Qaeda anymore. = TG

    By Blogger TonyGuitar, at 9:18 PM  

  • I don't see how controversial this statement from the ever lovable Rob Anders is, compared to his rant about Nelson Mandela being a terrorist.

    The Nazis were a brutal regime who imprisoned and killed its own civilians for opposing their rule. Um...that seems kinda similar with China today. And I respect the hell out of Rae for adopting a diplomatic stance on the response to Anders' comments, but really human rights should not be put on the backburner for economic prosperity.

    I think if we engaged in constructive dialogue with the Chinese some changes could be made.

    By Blogger Alan, at 12:51 PM  

  • Mao didn;t kill as many people as Hitler did. He killed unbelievably more - as did Stalin!

    This doesn't make Hitler any less evil, it just highlights how evil communism is. All socilaism, whether it be international (Mao & Stalin) or ational (Hitler) is inherently evil and genocidal.

    But you are supporters of a socialist party with a revered former leader who worshipped hitler as a youth and then Mao and Fidel as PM. You all are accomplices to war crimes. And yet Anders is an idiot for condemning the Chinese? HA!

    I do love that because Falun Gong are "weird" it's fine to kill them and imprison them. They just want to do their Tai Chi like stuff but the Chinese wing of the Liberal party tortures and kills them.

    By Blogger Hey, at 8:03 PM  

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