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Iran’s President’s Denial of the Holocaust
Posted: 07 August 2008 07:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I have just posted the text below in my blog and would like to discuss it with the members of this forum:

Iran’s President’s Denial of the Holocaust

  Holocaust denial is disturbing. Besides being an insult to the memory of its victims, it distorts history in a way that can have serious consequences. History allows us to learn from the errors (crimes) of the past, so that we can try not to commit them again. Of course it would be naive to believe that the lessons learned actually prevent us from doing it all again and again. The genocides that took place in Rwanda, Sudan, Yugoslavia, Somalia and Cambodia are sad testimonies to the contrary. However, we cannot say that nothing has changed after the Holocaust. Such an allegation would be far from the truth. As the scale of Nazi atrocities became known, the international law underwent dramatic revisions. In addition to that, a great number of international tribunals and institutions were created to promote human rights and ensure their protection. The achievements of these institutions ever since cannot be underestimated.
  Being history so important, it is imperative to make sure that it is registered as accurately as possible. Although objectivity is something impossible to attain, it does not mean that we cannot be sure about anything. People’s motivations and causal relations are extremely difficult to be determined. Nevertheless, the occurrence of several objective facts is undeniable. The occurrence the Holocaust, in particular, is supported by an overwhelming quantity of evidences, reliable historical records and testimonies. Unfortunately, this does not prevent ill-intentioned people from disputing it. Iran’s president, Mr. Ahmadinejad, is an eminent example of such people. His arguments are biased and fallacious, and, for this reason, frequently easy to refute. However, his power and influence are big enough to cause much harm and persuade many people. That is why I think that it is important to expose such fallacies and misleading arguments.
  I have recently watched an interview with Mr. Ahmadinejad, in which he tried to explain why he affirms that the “Holocaust is a myth” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykd-syzZ4ZY). It was no surprise for me that he could not produce any arguments in favor of his statement. Actually, it would have been a surprise if he had succeeded to do so. His arguments were incredibly fallacious and pathetic. He argued that not only Jews died during World War II and that, because of that, the importance given to the Holocaust was disproportionate. He completely disregarded WHY and HOW millions of Jews were systematically murdered. He kept saying that the Holocaust was used as an excuse to inflict suffering to the Palestinian people. Even if that were true, how is it supposed to prove that the Holocaust is a myth?
  Anyone who is aware of Mr. Ahmadinejad’s frequent bombastic and ridiculous declarations can feel compelled to believe that he is a complete moron or a notorious hypocrite, because he not only exposes himself, his country and his religion to ridicule, but also helps to undermine the seriousness and credibility of the very same causes he claims to support. Nevertheless, we must not forget that he is a politician. It is very likely that he creates all these factoids to divert the public’s attention from his incompetence to solve his country’s serious social problems. This fact, however, does not diminish many of the pernicious repercussions of his negationist propaganda.

http://sciencereason.blogspot.com/

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Posted: 07 August 2008 10:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The History is a political battlefield, sometimes. I’d said it is because we draw guiding fictions(*) from History.

I don’t think,of course, that we couldn’t have any certainty about historical facts, I am not a posmodernist. But the fact that the history is important to the current politics makes the conflict over history, imho, unavoidable.

I live in a country in which it is still a discusion if the war against the indians was a basement for the national progress or it was a genocide. The answer could challenge some of the current institutions, so the answer is not politically neutral.

The solution, as I see it: get rid of those posmodern social writers, take a scientific approach to History and try to separate facts from their interpretations and the agendas behing them. Doing it, if we are lucky, in a couple of billion years we could hope that critical thinking reaches politics.

(*)Guiding fictions is a term used by Nicholas Shumway to define those concepts, true or untrue, that builds a concept of nation, people and unity: the ‘american dream’ and ‘the goverment by the people for people’ in USA, the ‘gaucho’ and the ‘little paris’ here (two contradictory guiding fictions), the tragic heroe (as ‘el cid campeador’) in spanish tradition, and so on.

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Posted: 07 August 2008 12:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Mr. Ahmadinejad is also certain that there are no homosexuals in Iran. The guy is warped - but so is our guy.

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Posted: 07 August 2008 12:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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traveler - 07 August 2008 12:44 PM

Mr. Ahmadinejad is also certain that there are no homosexuals in Iran. The guy is warped - but so is our guy.

Perhaps the Iranian gays are taking care of all of the Iraqi WMDs?

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Posted: 08 August 2008 06:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I find no evidence in the above article or the interview to support the claim that the Iranian president is in fact a holocaust denier.  In fact, as much as I loathe what the islamist reactionaries stand for, he comes across as pretty reasonable. I think it is perfectly right to return to the question of why Palesitinian Arabs should be forced to pay for the long history of crimes by the European fascists and antisemites against the Jews of Europe.

In general it is good to be skeptical of assertions made by the ruling class and its mouthpieces regarding the views of the ‘official enemy’.

One can only hope that the Iranians are ready to defend themselves from the real crazies and criminals in Tel Aviv and Washington who are contemplating a nuclear holocaust - this time against Iran.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 07:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Balak - 08 August 2008 06:41 AM

I find no evidence in the above article or the interview to support the claim that the Iranian president is in fact a holocaust denier.  In fact, as much as I loathe what the islamist reactionaries stand for, he comes across as pretty reasonable. I think it is perfectly right to return to the question of why Palesitinian Arabs should be forced to pay for the long history of crimes by the European fascists and antisemites against the Jews of Europe.

In general it is good to be skeptical of assertions made by the ruling class and its mouthpieces regarding the views of the ‘official enemy’.

One can only hope that the Iranians are ready to defend themselves from the real crazies and criminals in Tel Aviv and Washington who are contemplating a nuclear holocaust - this time against Iran.

The suffering of the Palestinian people is another problem. It does not make the Holocaust a myth.
Concerning the denial, he did not call the Holocaust a myth during this interview.
Regards,
Alexandre

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 07:13 AM by acandrad ]
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Posted: 08 August 2008 07:38 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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acandrad - 08 August 2008 07:05 AM

 
The suffering of the Palestinian people is another problem. It does not make the Holocaust a myth.
Concerning the denial, he did not call the Holocaust a myth during this interview.

Thanks for the clarification, Acandrad. In that case, perhaps you could provide other evidence for your claim that Ahmadinejad denies the nazi holocaust. Otherwise you open yourself to the charge of simply regurgitating official propaganda.

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 07:51 AM by Balak ]
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Posted: 08 August 2008 07:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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In any case, I would strongly recommend the writings of Norman Finkelstein, particularly his book “The Holocaust Industry” on the abuse of the Nazi holocaust for political purposes.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 07:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Balak - 08 August 2008 07:38 AM
acandrad - 08 August 2008 07:05 AM

 
The suffering of the Palestinian people is another problem. It does not make the Holocaust a myth.
Concerning the denial, he did not call the Holocaust a myth during this interview.

Thanks for the clarification, Acandrad. In that case, perhaps you could provide other evidence for your claim. Otherwise you open yourself to the charge of simply regurgitating official propaganda.

I am not very sure that I understood what you indended to say. To what claim must I provide evidence?  Are you refering to the fact that I wrote that Mr. Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth? The press has published his statement all over the world! It was debated for weeks. Not even he denies that he has said that.
Besides, I did not write my text to say that Mr. Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth. That is no news at all. I just intended to show that his arguments are fallacious. It is not a matter of oppinion. It is a matter of logic. His premisses do not justify his conclusions.

Regards,

Alexandre

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Posted: 08 August 2008 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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acandrad - 08 August 2008 07:58 AM

I am not very sure that I understood what you indended to say. To what claim must I provide evidence?  Are you refering to the fact that I wrote that Mr. Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth? The press has published his statement all over the world! It was debated for weeks. Not even he denies that he has said that.
Besides, I did not write my text to say that Mr. Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth. That is no news at all. I just intended to show that his arguments are fallacious. It is not a matter of oppinion. It is a matter of logic. His premisses do not justify his conclusions.

Apologies for the lack of clarity, which I corrected in an edit above, but too late.

To your main point: the press also published the news of Saddam’s WMD’s all over the world… they simply turned out to be lies.

What you need to do here is provide a direct quotation from Ahmadinejad denying the Nazi holocaust. I am not doubting the possibility, as Ahmadinejad is in my opiion a thorough reactionary; but it is a poor method to start from the expectation that the reader will accept this serious charge as fact on the say-so of politically-invested third parties.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Balak - 08 August 2008 07:56 AM

In any case, I would strongly recommend the writings of Norman Finkelstein, particularly his book “The Holocaust Industry” on the abuse of the Nazi holocaust for political purposes.

I am not supporting Israel’s policies concerning the Palestinian people, as well as I do not support Palestinian terrorism. I do not deny the lamentable suffering inflicted to the Palestinian people. I never said that there aren’t abuses. I am just stating that the Holocaust is not a myth, and that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s arguments are fallacious. We are losing the focus of the discussion here.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Another example of this phenomenon the Iranian president’s supposed call to ‘wipe Israel off the map’...  Like the ‘Holocaust denier’ charge, this is repeated over and over by the press without evidence. But when you look into it, there is quite a bit of dispute as to what he actually said.

Again, it is appropriate to show some skepticism before repeating the inflammatory claims of others as fact.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 08:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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acandrad - 08 August 2008 08:15 AM

 
I am not supporting Israel’s policies concerning the Palestinian people, as well as I do not support Palestinian terrorism. I do not deny the lamentable suffering inflicted to the Palestinian people. I never said that there aren’t abuses. I am just stating that the Holocaust is not a myth, and that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s arguments are fallacious. We are losing the focus of the discussion here.

What, exactly, is fallacious about putting the suffering of the European Jews in the context of the 50-odd million other non-combatants who were killed? Why is it wrong to question the argument that the extermination of the European Jews is an event that is so unique as to be somehow outside and apart from all the other crimes which make up human history? Is this your position? I would certainly argue that this approach to the Nazi holocaust is very much an anti-historical ‘myth’.

As Finkelstein points out, this presentation of ‘the Holocaust’ is eminently political… and has been used directly to justify, excuse and rationalize the crimes of Israel against the Palestinians.

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Posted: 08 August 2008 08:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Balak - 08 August 2008 08:14 AM
acandrad - 08 August 2008 07:58 AM

I am not very sure that I understood what you indended to say. To what claim must I provide evidence?  Are you refering to the fact that I wrote that Mr. Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth? The press has published his statement all over the world! It was debated for weeks. Not even he denies that he has said that.
Besides, I did not write my text to say that Mr. Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth. That is no news at all. I just intended to show that his arguments are fallacious. It is not a matter of oppinion. It is a matter of logic. His premisses do not justify his conclusions.

Apologies for the lack of clarity, which I corrected in an edit above, but too late.

To your main point: the press also published the news of Saddam’s WMD’s all over the world… they simply turned out to be lies.

What you need to do here is provide a direct quotation from Ahmadinejad denying the Nazi holocaust. I am not doubting the possibility, as Ahmadinejad is in my opiion a thorough reactionary; but it is a poor method to start from the expectation that the reader will accept this serious charge as fact on the say-so of politically-invested third parties.

From Al Jazeera and Iran Daily:

http://english.aljazeera.net/archive/2005/12/200849154418141136.html
http://iran-daily.com/1385/2592/html/national.htm

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Posted: 08 August 2008 08:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Balak - 08 August 2008 08:34 AM
acandrad - 08 August 2008 08:15 AM

 
I am not supporting Israel’s policies concerning the Palestinian people, as well as I do not support Palestinian terrorism. I do not deny the lamentable suffering inflicted to the Palestinian people. I never said that there aren’t abuses. I am just stating that the Holocaust is not a myth, and that Mr. Ahmadinejad’s arguments are fallacious. We are losing the focus of the discussion here.

What, exactly, is fallacious about putting the suffering of the European Jews in the context of the 50-odd million other non-combatants who were killed? Why is it wrong to question the argument that the extermination of the European Jews is an event that is so unique as to be somehow outside and apart from all the other crimes which make up human history? Is this your position? I would certainly argue that this approach to the Nazi holocaust is very much an anti-historical ‘myth’.

As Finkelstein points out, this presentation of ‘the Holocaust’ is eminently political… and has been used directly to justify, excuse and rationalize the crimes of Israel against the Palestinians.

I am sorry for not being clear enough. I thought it would not be necessary to explain what a fallacy is. The fallacy, in this case, is a logic error. For example:
“The Holocaust is used as an excuse to inflict suffering to the Palestinian people. Thus it is a myth” is a fallacy because there is no causal relation between the two statements.
Concerning the number of deaths, did you really read what I wrote?
Regards,

Alexandre

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 01:54 PM by acandrad ]
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Posted: 08 August 2008 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Balak - 08 August 2008 08:14 AM
acandrad - 08 August 2008 07:58 AM

I am not very sure that I understood what you indended to say. To what claim must I provide evidence?  Are you refering to the fact that I wrote that Mr. Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth? The press has published his statement all over the world! It was debated for weeks. Not even he denies that he has said that.
Besides, I did not write my text to say that Mr. Ahmadinejad called the Holocaust a myth. That is no news at all. I just intended to show that his arguments are fallacious. It is not a matter of oppinion. It is a matter of logic. His premisses do not justify his conclusions.

Apologies for the lack of clarity, which I corrected in an edit above, but too late.

To your main point: the press also published the news of Saddam’s WMD’s all over the world… they simply turned out to be lies.

What you need to do here is provide a direct quotation from Ahmadinejad denying the Nazi holocaust. I am not doubting the possibility, as Ahmadinejad is in my opiion a thorough reactionary; but it is a poor method to start from the expectation that the reader will accept this serious charge as fact on the say-so of politically-invested third parties.

How do you know that there were no WMD? Did you go to Irak and check it? No, you know it from the press! The same press you say cannot be trusted.

[ Edited: 08 August 2008 09:16 AM by acandrad ]
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