Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch
cbertsch

No Shame

I just posted an entry to the weblog for my "Documentary Impulse" course with links to stories about the sixtieth anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. One of them, from CNN, is a collage of quotes from survivors and world leaders. The statement from Tony Blair reminds us that atrocities begin small:
We remember above all that the Holocaust did not start with a concentration camp. It started with a brick through the shopwindow of a Jewish business, the desecration of a Synagogue, the shout of racist abuse on the street
Though I have lost a great of respect for Blair since he became George W. Bush's caddy, I applaud his point here.

Newly elected Ukraine President Viktor Yushchenko, "whose father was imprisoned at Auschwitz and survived," makes the commemoration more personal:
My father was a wounded soldier and he was in Auschwitz. He had a tattoo 11367 on his chest. I came here with my children and I hope I will come here with my grandchildren. This is a sacred place for me and my family. There will never again be a Jewish question in my country. The tragedy of the past will never be repeated on the soil of Ukraine.
Even if he's not really capable of making such a guarantee, he gets credit for bringing the event home.

Needless to say, our own President Bush was too busy propagandizing on behalf of the upcoming "elections" -- perhaps meant in the Calvinist sense -- in Iraq to bother attending the ceremony. But he sent Dick Cheney. So what did our Vice President have to say?:
This story of the camp reminds us that evil is real, must be called its name and must be confronted.
That's right, he used his visit to this "sacred place" as one more opportunity to spin his Administration's imperialist actions. Truly, the Bush machine knows no shame. I'm appalled. Those of you who read this probably are too. But what's really appalling is that so many Americans find it easier to be appalled at the prospect of two "male" cartoon characters holding hands than they do at the Bush Administration's murderous dedication to turning the word "freedom" into a plague. Here's a slogan for you: "Freedom makes free."
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