QUOTE(Udi John @ 11/28/07 01:15 PM) [snapback]117815[/snapback]
A "respected" professor of Middle East studies was once involved in a radio-broadcasted debate about the history of Jews in Arab countries. (He is a Marxist ideologue and fervent anti-Zionist, and claims that the Jews of Arab countries left either voluntarily or because they were "coaxed" into leaving by the Zionists.)
One of his opponents (a Jewish woman who barely escaped being burned alive when she left Libya for the USA in 1967) claimed that the Iraqi government and political opposition movements, influenced by Nazi anti-Semitic propaganda, enacted anti-Jewish measures and engaged in violence against Iraqi Jews.
The professor replied that there was, "...no evidence that the Iraqi government adopted Nazi racial theories." While it is quite debatable the extent to which the Iraqi government and opposition parties were influenced and motivated by Nazi propaganda, one point is quite clear: The "learned professor" appears to be making the standard mistake of assuming that (1) Any government or political movement that commits violence against minorities MUST be motivated by Nazi-type racism; and, that conversely (2) Any government or political movement that doesn't have a stated ideology of Nazi-type racism CANNOT POSSIBLY have been guilty of systematic violence against minorities.
This thinking is false and dangerous. It does an enormous disservice to the memory of the victims of Nazi Germany, as well as to other victims of violence and genocide. The "need" to equate the Armenian Genocide with the Nazi Holocaust has two results: (1) Proponents of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide--not motivated by racism at least in the Nazi sense--incorrectly equate that Genocide with the Holocaust; and (2) Deniers and apologists for the Armenian Genocide correctly show that there was no Nazi-type motivation for that Genocide (the Ottoman Empire was not a racist state in the Nazi sense) and then FALSELY and ILLOGICALLY claim that, since there is no evidence of Nazi-type racism against Armenians, the Ottomans "could not" have committed genocide against the Armenians.
One contemporary example from Iraq should help clarify my point: The fact that Saddam Hussein never adopted any kind of ideology of Kurds as being "inferior" beings (as the Nazis did toward Jews, Gypsies, etc.) did not stop him from murdering 50,000 to 100,00 (according to international human rights groups) or 182,000 (according to Kurdish organizations) Kurds in the Anfal campaign of 1986-89.
An EXCELLENT POST. Very well written and thought out.