Re: [sixties-l] Ad Nauseam - (Horowitz ad)

From: William M. Mandel (
Date: Sat Mar 10 2001 - 02:27:43 EST

  • Next message: "Re: [sixties-l] Ad Nauseam - (Horowitz ad)"

    The Genocide Convention, to which the U.S. is a signatory, was drawn up in 1948
    primarily by Western lawyers after World War II, because the USSR was then the
    only Communist country involved.
        It reads: "Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means ANY [my
    emphasis throughout - W.M.] of the following acts committed with intent to
    destroy, in whole or IN PART, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group,
    as such:
        (a) Killing MEMBERS of the group;
        (b) Causing serious bodily or MENTAL HARM to MEMBERS of the grou;
        (c) Deliberately inflictig on the group CONDITIONS OF LIFE calculated to
    bring about its physical destruction in whole OR IN PART;
        (d) Imposing measures intended to PREVENT BIRTHS within the group;
        (e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group."
    Article III:
    "The following acts shall be punishable:
        (a) Genocide;
        (b) Conspiracy to commit genocide."
       The drafters found it impossible to draw a line between the anti-Semitic
    screeds published in Streicher's Der Stuermer and the actual performance of the
    acts it called for. That crime is defined in the next point:
        "(c) DIRECT AND PUBLIC INCITEMENT TO COMMIT GENOCIDE", which has just been
    defined (Article II) as not only mass extermination as in death camps, but the
    killing or the doing of serious bodily or mental harm to any member of the
    defined group because of membership in that group. This is why the advocacy of
    Nazism or even denial of the Holocaust is a crime in Denmark, Germany, and a
    number of other countries that experienced the consequences of untrammeled
    racist propaganda.
        (d) Attempt to commit genocide;
        (e) complicity in genocide."
        So world experience in World War II, and a great deal since on every
    continent, is contrary to Maass' argument regarding the Horowitz ad or the other
    instances he mentions. I would add that he has Yugoslavia ass backward. There
    was no genocide in Yugoslavia in Tito's time because he prevented such
    propaganda. That was equally true in the Soviet Union, including Stalin's time.
    In the latter case, the effects continue, with the exception of Chechnya. After
    thirty years of "save the poor Soviet Jews" and, while you're at it, save the
    Crimean Tatars too, the decade of post-Soviet chaos has brought no single case
    of the killing of a Jew or a Tatar because of membership in those nationalities,
    while the level of non-lethal hate crimes is one we might envy.
                                                        William Mandel

    radman wrote:

    > Ad Nauseam
    > <>
    > by Peter Maass
    > 03.07.01
    > The Daily Californian is doing it again, bless its soul.
    > The newspaper at the University of California at Berkeley has always had a
    > Madonna-like ability to reinvent itself, remaining relevant and
    > controversial long after its presumed zenith. The Daily Cal found itself in
    > the middle of a new controversy last week after it published a full-page
    > advertisement against reparations for slavery. The ad, written by
    > leftist-turned-right-wing-agitator David Horowitz, was titled, "Ten Reasons
    > Why Reparations for Slavery Is a Bad Idea, and Racist Too."
    > It didn't go over well. Protesters representing minority groups showed up
    > at the Daily Cal's offices and demanded an apology; they also confiscated
    > whatever copies of the offending issue they could find. The incident was so
    > heated that the police showed up. The next day the paper published a
    > front-page apology and a lengthy explanation from its editor, who said the
    > ad should not have run.
    > But this political seppuku only sparked another round of objections, this
    > time from people who said the paper shouldn't have apologized, because the
    > ad was an expression of free speech (albeit paid for, at a cost of $1,200).
    > The controversy has revived the familiar debate:
    > Should speech, whether free or paid for, be limited at a college paper
    > because it might be inflammatory, or racist, or repulsive?
    > All of this takes me back to 1983, when I was on the paper's Senior
    > Editorial Board and we had to decide whether to run a recruiting ad from
    > the Central Intelligence Agency. The paper had refused such ads for many
    > years, but the political climate was changing, and the paper was in dire
    > financial straits. We needed the money.
    > After much debate along familiar lines, somebody suggested a brilliant
    > compromise, we should run the ad with a prominent disclaimer, of the sort
    > that appears on packs of cigarettes. It would say something like, "The
    > Central Intelligence Agency is an organization that has been involved in
    > the assassination of foreign leaders, the overturning of
    > democratically-elected governments, and the training of right-wing death
    > squads in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras." This way, the CIA would
    > get its ad, we could take their money with clear consciences, and the
    > language majors would find out that the agency was looking for a few good
    > spies to perform work of a potentially unsavory nature.
    > In the end, we refused the ad, for what I remember were unfortunate
    > doctrinaire reasons. I may have been responsible for some of those reasons,
    > since, as co-editor of the editorial page, I was the enforcer of the faith,
    > whatever it happened to be. We did, however, accept ads from the National
    > Security Agency, I suppose because we thought they hadn't actually killed
    > anyone. Consistency clearly wasn't our strong point. If you wanted
    > ponderous thinking from no-nonsense strivers, you would have done better to
    > swallow a No-Doz and consult the pages of the Stanford Daily or Harvard
    > Crimson.
    > The CIA fuss wasn't the only controversy at the time; in fact, it was a
    > trifle compared to the Dos Equis uproar. The beer company had paid for
    > color inserts that featured Hooters-ish females in tight shorts and tighter
    > shirts, hardly the picture of womanhood that many of our highly-educated
    > readers wished to see. A petition that ended up being several feet long was
    > gathered on Sproul Plaza and then presented to the paper's editors; some of
    > the petition-bearers were carrying copies of the offending insert, aflame.
    > We issued the sort of abject apology that today's Daily Cal editors issued
    > for the slavery ad. I would not equate the two ads, though. A tasteless
    > beer insert is planets apart, in its free speech implications, from an
    > inflammatory political statement. You can check out the ad at Horowitz's
    > website <> and decide for
    > yourself whether it should have run; you can read the apology from the
    > paper's editor, too. <>
    > It's easy to understand why many people view the ad as racist, it's
    > certainly provocative, as it was intended to be. It is also intellectually
    > sloppy, to an extent that discredits its author. Some of what Horowitz
    > writes makes sense, some is utter nonsense, all of which argues in favor of
    > running his screed.
    > One of the lessons I learned after I graduated from Berkeley is that
    > unaired prejudices tend to fester and can, one day, burst in ugly ways. The
    > war in Bosnia, which I covered, is a case in point. Much of the nationalist
    > fury in the Balkans, especially on the Serb side, stemmed from the
    > manipulation of grudges that were not allowed to surface during Tito's long
    > rule. Just as truths were suppressed, the truths about which ethnic groups
    > were and were not victims in World War II and before, so too were lies
    > suppressed. Nothing was proved or disproved, and as a result, terrifying
    > wars were fought on the basis of myths.
    > Enforced silence is an inadequate defense against prejudice and discord. A
    > better strategy is to let everyone say what they think in a civil way. To
    > be sure, Horowitz's ad wasn't especially civil, and the paper might have
    > requested that he tone down his incendiary language. But by letting people
    > air controversial views you at least discover who and what you're up
    > against, and can begin to figure out a way to bring the truth to those who
    > need it.
    > All of which makes the ongoing controversy around the Daily Cal a positive
    > event. The ad, the protests, the apology, the protests against the apology,
    > and who knows what will come next, it amounts to a valuable debate on
    > issues that deserve a public hearing. I learned from the controversies
    > during my days at the Daily Cal, and enjoyed them; I hope the same holds
    > true for the current group of besieged editors.
    > Just beware of the beer ads.
    > ------------
    > PETER MAASS is the author of Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War. His
    > magazine articles, and extracts of his book, are archived at


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