Dennis Prager
This past Saturday, the New York Times published an article, "Behind Flurry of Killing, Potency of Hate," on the roots of monstrous evil. The article largely concerned a former paramilitary member of the Irish Republican Army, and as such was informative.

But when it ventured into a larger discussion of evil, the moral confusion and contempt for America that characterize leftism were on display.

The article contains a breathtaking paragraph that exemplifies both qualities. After noting that atrocities against groups of people are often the result of the dehumanization of the victimized group, the writer gives four such examples:

"The Hutus in Rwanda called the Tutsis cockroaches, the Nazis depicted the Jews as rats. Japanese invaders referred to their Chinese victims during the Nanjing massacre as 'chancorro,' or 'subhuman.' American soldiers fought barbarian 'Huns' in World War I and godless 'gooks' in Vietnam."

This paragraph is noteworthy for its use of false moral equivalence to justify its anti-Americanism.

Let's begin with the moral equivalence -- equating how the Hutus viewed and treated the Tutsis, how the Nazis viewed and treated the Jews, and how the Japanese viewed and treated the Chinese with the Americans' views and treatment of the Germans in World War I and Vietnamese during the Vietnam War.

In 1994, over the course of about 100 days, Hutus slaughtered between half a million and a million Tutsis. This was not a war between armies, but against a civilian population marked for extinction.

The Nazis murdered about six million Jews, all of whom were civilians. Indeed more than a million were children. The Nazis had targeted the Jews for extinction.

The Japanese likewise slaughtered Chinese civilians en masse and regarded the Chinese as so subhuman as to be worthy of being systematically experimented upon in ghoulish medical experiments that paralleled those of the Nazis.

What do any of those examples have to do with Americans fighting in World War I or in Vietnam?

Nothing. Absolutely nothing about these other three examples applied to America in World War I or in Vietnam.

Nicknames -- even derogatory ones -- for enemies have probably been used in every war by every nation's soldiers. That is not at all the same as a serious view of another racial or national group as unworthy of life, as subhuman.

Unlike any of the other examples, Americans did not have a term that -- by definition -- meant that Germans or Vietnamese were not members of the human race, as are "cockroaches," "rats" and "subhumans."


Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”


 
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