Zmirak lauds and defends Buchanan for 1,800 words, then agrees with Buchanan’s critics
On the subject of Patrick Buchanan’s book, Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War, John Zmirak at Taki’s Magazine lets loose with one of silliest sentences ever written:
[Buchanan’s] books are clearly written and remarkably persuasive—which explains the hysteria they have occasioned.Oh I get it! The reason Buchanan has triggered attacks is not that he said that Britain and America should have let Hitler conquer half the world and control it in perpetuity. The reason Buchanan has triggered attacks is that he writes well.
However, as is so often is the case with Zmirak, he is unable to hold to the mindless orthodox paleocon stand with which he starts out. Throughout most of this 2,400 word article, he agrees with Buchanan on many secondary arguments in his book. But, 1,800 words into the article, when Zmirak comes to the real heart of Buchanan’s book (you know, the stuff that occasioned so much “hysteria”), he regretfully departs from his hero. He says flat out that Buchanan is wrong. He says that the British and the French needed to fight Nazi Germany, and that the U.S. needed to fight Nazi Germany. And here’s his reason:
The distopia promised by the Nazis … really was possible. A dominant race really could have enslaved and exploited weaker peoples on a vast scale, just as Hitler had promised. Whole nations could have been exterminated, as Europe’s Jews and the Roma nearly were. Entire peoples could have been consigned to slavery for centuries.Given Zmirak’s (correct) opinion that a Nazi regime enjoying unchallenged dominance over Europe would very likely have exterminated whole nations and consigned entire peoples to slavery for centuries, why does Zmirak complain about Buchanan’s critics, who have attacked Buchanan for retrospectively supporting that same unchallenged Nazi dominance over Europe which Zmirak himself says had to be prevented? Zmirak has just canceled out his own article. Torn between his heart, which makes him an extravagant sycophant to leading paleocon figures, and his head, which often tells him that paleocons are wrong, he tries to have it both ways, and so ends up, over and over, incapable of coherent writing.
Lydia McGrew writes:
I noticed your post that just went up on Zmirak and Buchanan. Since I infer that you’re not tired of the subject, I thought I’d mention what you probably already know: Buchanan claims, without qualification, that there was no Holocaust prior to January of 1942, a striking statement that requires a nastily tendentious and highly misleading redefinition of the term ‘Holocaust’. I have a post on this subject here. This aspect of Buchanan’s thought is enough to occasion a bit of what Zmirak apparently calls “hysteria” all on its own.LA replies:
No, I did not know that. So, according to Buchanan, the systematic mass executions of Jews in Russia and Poland that began immediately after the invasion of Russia on June 22, 1941 were not part of the Holocaust. And this is the person whom Zmirak defends for 1,800 words as a great man unfairly maligned by neocon bullies, until Zmirak turns around and agrees with the neocon bullies’ fundamental point.Alan Levine writes:
Just saw Lydia McGrew’s comment. She is quite right, though in my opinion the standard dating of the destruction of the European Jews as starting with the operations of the Einsatzgruppen in the USSR is too late. Given conditions already established in the Polish ghettos in 1939, all of the Polish Jews would have starved or died of disease in several years, so it can be argued that the destruction of the European Jews was coeval with the start of the war.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 27, 2008 04:41 PM | Send