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The Imprisonment Of David Irving For "denying The Holocaust"

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http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13...2050069,00.html

I couldn't believe my eyes when I watched this case on the news last night. David Irving, a far right historian has been jailed for three years in Austria for the crime of "denying the holocaust". And it's not as if it's a recent occurance either, he made the two speeches in 1989, further more, he changed his mind to conform with the Austrian court but was still imprisoned. Obviously to any rational person the point isn't the validity of his ridiculous beliefs but the abuse of the right to freedom of speech. Ironically almost no one seemed to see this point in their righteous indignation except...

In 2000 Irving was forced into bankruptcy when he unsuccessfully sued Deborah Lipstadt, an American [and Jewish]academic who had called him a Holocaust denier. He was ordered to pay £3 million in legal costs and had to sell his Mayfair home.

She said yesterday: “He should have been met by the sound of one hand clapping. The one thing he deserves, he really deserves, is obscurity.”

Isn't it a slight contradiction to punish fascists by acting like fascists?

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I believe it is an attempt to associate conservatism with criminal activity. People have to be running from the left and joining the right since the hatred is so obvious on the left. Any chance the media gets to associate any nut with conservatism, they do it. CNN International starts any story about Iran with the "the conservative leader ..." Coincidentally, any story about bush start out with "the conservative President".

If they can impress on those fleeing the left that the conservatives are lunatics, they will be less likely to leave the left.

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I believe it is an attempt to associate conservatism with criminal activity. People have to be running from the left and joining the right since the hatred is so obvious on the left. Any chance the media gets to associate any nut with conservatism, they do it. CNN International starts any story about Iran with the "the conservative leader ..." Coincidentally, any story about bush start out with "the conservative President".

If they can impress on those fleeing the left that the conservatives are lunatics, they will be less likely to leave the left.

Conservatives are not necessarily lunatics, but at the same time they are hardly exemplars of reason. For example, Ayn Rand said the Conservative Party of New York, "subordinates reason to faith, and substitutes theocracy for capitalism." (The Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. 1, No. 7, January 3, 1972, "What Can One Do?") Rand also approvingly quoted her friend Isabel Paterson: "If you hear some bad collectivistic notions, chances are that they came from liberals. But if you hear or read something outrageously, god-awfully collectivistic, you may be sure that the author is a conservative." As for the media calling theocratic leaders of Iran "conservative," why not? Clearly it is the conservatives, not the liberals, who are trying to move the U.S. closer to theocracy. As Ayn Rand said, "Sensing their need of a moral base, many 'conservatives' decided to choose religion as their moral justification; they claim that America and capitalism are based on faith in God." (Capitalism the Unknown Ideal, p. 197)

My understanding is that David Irving regards himself as a conservative, and so it would not be misleading for the media to characterize him as such.

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Some Devils advocacy here, but isnt this a law designed to punish those who take a stance which directly puts you against the continuation of democratic/representivie government? If you say you are a Nazi, you are saying "I am a threat to your Democratic Institution" and does that not legitimately allow for the institution to defend itself?

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Some Devils advocacy here, but isnt this a law designed to punish those who take a stance which directly puts you against the continuation of democratic/representive government? If you say you are a Nazi, you are saying "I am a threat to your Democratic Institution" and does that not legitimately allow for the institution to defend itself?

Surely you could say the same about communists, Muslims and any number of other groups throughout the world? If they commit a crime against a democratic government then action should be taken but stating an opinion isn't a crime- and in any free country preventing someone from stating their opinion should be.

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But you also have to recognize the extent of the evils of Naziism, and *why* government would explicitly put laws in place to prevent the uprising of it ever again. Similar laws exist in the US as well.

Although such laws aren't necessarily 100% "clean," neither is the nature of the hatresd that they fight. The laws are NOT anti-conservative at all, they are anti-racism. And not just minor racism either, but the heavy, hard stuff, people who advocate racial war and extermination, and have no qualms using lies to promote their propaganda among the less-educated.

Let's face it folks, an awful lot of people are below-average intelligence, and are eaasily duped. What such laws do is prevent the worst abuses of leading sheep. Sure, lead them into whatever weird church, or strange political philosophy, fine. But if you're leading them into a state of mind that brings them to support and actively campaign for genocide, you have gone too far.

We all have a rational self-interest in preventing extreme forms of racial hatred, because they are both unfounded and liekly to someday be directed against us.

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But you also have to recognize the extent of the evils of Naziism, and *why* government would explicitly put laws in place to prevent the uprising of it ever again. Similar laws exist in the US as well.

Could you provide some examples of laws in the U.S. similar to the Austrian law under discussion? Certainly there are rules on campuses against "hate speech," but that is in the context of a tax-supported institution. There is no state or federal law that I know of that allows for the imprisonment of an individual for making certain historical claims.

Although such laws aren't necessarily 100% "clean," neither is the nature of the hatresd that they fight. The laws are NOT anti-conservative at all, they are anti-racism. And not just minor racism either, but the heavy, hard stuff, people who advocate racial war and extermination, and have no qualms using lies to promote their propaganda among the less-educated.

Communist regimes are responsible for the deaths of many millions more than Hitler killed. Would you then favor banning the sale of books by Marx, Lenin and Trotsky?

Let's face it folks, an awful lot of people are below-average intelligence, and are eaasily duped. What such laws do is prevent the worst abuses of leading sheep. Sure, lead them into whatever weird church, or strange political philosophy, fine. But if you're leading them into a state of mind that brings them to support and actively campaign for genocide, you have gone too far.

Since the protective laws you defend are put in place by elected leaders, isn't there a danger in giving the "below-average intelligence" "sheep" you speak of the right to vote?

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Let's face it folks, an awful lot of people are below-average intelligence, and are eaasily duped. What such laws do is prevent the worst abuses of leading sheep. Sure, lead them into whatever weird church, or strange political philosophy, fine. But if you're leading them into a state of mind that brings them to support and actively campaign for genocide, you have gone too far.

If people aren't rational enough to evaluate the truth or falsehood of a given ideology, they are also not rational enough to survive, because that is what human survival requires. Life doesn't come with training wheels. Rights don't either.

Austria still hasn't learned its lesson from the Holocaust.

I think they learned the wrong one too well.

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Could you provide some examples of laws in the U.S. similar to the Austrian law under discussion? Certainly there are rules on campuses against "hate speech," but that is in the context of a tax-supported institution. There is no state or federal law that I know of that allows for the imprisonment of an individual for making certain historical claims.
Aren't there anti-KKK laws?

I think it's more of an "incitement to hatred" thing. Say there's a big Mexican neighborhood right next door to a big Chinese neighborhood. And say you start printing up flyers that say three Mexican men have been seen around the Chinese neighborhood, and four women were gang raped by them.

And at the same time, you put up flyers in the Mexican neighborhood saying the Chinese have bought up several apartment buildings and are skimping on the services, and one building had a gas leak and 2 children died and a third is in critical condition.

You keep printing flyers and fanning the flames, and pretty soon you have a Mexican gang and a Chinese gang shooting and stabbing each other on the streets. Are you guilty of anything?

After all, you merely "revised history" and misstated the truth in order to incite people not intelligent enough to see through your facade into killing each other.

THAT'S what Irving is doing.

Communist regimes are responsible for the deaths of many millions more than Hitler killed. Would you then favor banning the sale of books by Marx, Lenin and Trotsky?

Hmm, I guess it depends on the incitement level. If it's a communist book that says "kill all the capitalists", sure, that's tantamount to a direct threat, and threatening murder is illegal. If it says "reform the government through peaceful means", that is not threatening any person nor inciting violence towards those people.

Since the protective laws you defend are put in place by elected leaders, isn't there a danger in giving the "below-average intelligence" "sheep" you speak of the right to vote?

MOST people are not stupid enough to believe idiots like Irving, so the vote is a non-issue. What is an issue is when someone can recruit a cadre of sheep that will commit violent crimes such as murder. That is the goal of Holocaust-deniers and the like, to incite hatred by the uneducated against a group they dislike. It's incitement to violence.

Should we require an intelligence test for the vote, require some minimum level? If most people could still vote, I don't see why not, but politically such a thing is impossible.

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Let's face it folks, an awful lot of people are below-average intelligence,

50% of them in fact, assuming that intelligence is normally distributed.

Anyway, the argument that 'most people are dumb' is generally used to justifiy all form of statism. Why is this any different from (eg) saying that pension saving should be compulsory because people 'too dumb' to be trusted to save for themselves? Or that drugs should be illegal because people 'arent capable' of deciding for themselves what is and isnt dangerous?

Edited by Hal
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It's free speech under attack, plain and simple.
What I failed to accurately write was that their motive appears to be that they are trying to tag the conservatives as nuts. I do not see any difference between their actions and the actions of a person trying to restrict the freedom of speech. What puzzles me is why a person in the media would knowingly destroy his livelihood. They must have some lie that they are telling themselves so that they are able to dismiss their actions of destroying the freedom of speech for some other gain.

I was thinking about what they are trying to gain not what they are trying to destroy.

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My understanding is that David Irving regards himself as a conservative, and so it would not be misleading for the media to characterize him as such.
My intention was not to argue about facts, but I was questioning why the media seems more able to grasp this fact over other facts. How is it that the media was able to grasp an association between the ruler of Iran and Bush? There are so many other things they could have associated the leader of Iran with, but they chose conservatism which associated him with Bush. Why not nationalist, isolationists, et cetera?
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My intention was not to argue about facts, but I was questioning why the media seems more able to grasp this fact over other facts.

What other facts might be more significant? His ethnic background? His hair color? That he is a conservative may make him less suspect as a historian than if, say, he were a neo-Nazi.

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What other facts might be more significant? His ethnic background? His hair color? That he is a conservative may make him less suspect as a historian than if, say, he were a neo-Nazi.
The facts are that he has made speeches about pushing the Israelis into the Mediterranean, stating that the Holocaust didn't happen and organized a cartoon contest about the Holocaust. The association with Hitler is far more accurate than to conservatism.

Bush is associated to Hitler frequently, but the leader of Iran who is a dead ringer for a neo-Nazi is associated to Bush. Why is the historian that you refer to not hesitant to associate Bush to Hitler but he is hesitant to associate a neo-Nazi to Hitler?

Even in the case cited in the opening post, there was no fear of putting a man in prison for denying the Holocaust. Why would there be a fear of addressing another person that denies the holocaust?

We know the guy put in jail was a conservative that denied the Holocaust, and the leader of Iran that wants to drowned Jews is also a conservative. Bush is a conservative. What do you think the left is predicting about Bush's behavior?

It all amounts to nothing since we are discussing a person's motives that are based on contradictions - they have no relation to reality except by chance. But, their actions of restricting speech is why they should be imprisoned.

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The facts are that he has made speeches about pushing the Israelis into the Mediterranean, stating that the Holocaust didn't happen and organized a cartoon contest about the Holocaust. The association with Hitler is far more accurate than to conservatism.

We know about the holocaust denial. Why not provide some evidence for your other claims.

Bush is associated to Hitler frequently, but the leader of Iran who is a dead ringer for a neo-Nazi is associated to Bush. Why is the historian that you refer to not hesitant to associate Bush to Hitler but he is hesitant to associate a neo-Nazi to Hitler?

Please be specific. Who is doing this Bush-Hitler associating? Where can we read it?

Even in the case cited in the opening post, there was no fear of putting a man in prison for denying the Holocaust. Why would there be a fear of addressing another person that denies the holocaust?

We know the guy put in jail was a conservative that denied the Holocaust, and the leader of Iran that wants to drowned Jews is also a conservative. Bush is a conservative. What do you think the left is predicting about Bush's behavior?

It all amounts to nothing since we are discussing a person's motives that are based on contradictions - they have no relation to reality except by chance. But, their actions of restricting speech is why they should be imprisoned.

I have a sense that there is a linguistic barrier that is preventing me from understanding you.

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We know about the holocaust denial. Why not provide some evidence for your other claims.

"He also sparked widespread international condemnation in October when he called for Israel to be 'wiped off the map.'" http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/12/16/iran.israel/

This is referring to the cartoon challenge.

http://www.israelnewsagency.com/iranholoca...tseo480213.html

My connection is bad tonight. I am not going to look post any more of the other 411,000 hits for "iran holocaust" - 0.02 sec.

Please be specific. Who is doing this Bush-Hitler associating? Where can we read it?
All you have to do is watch a news clip of a left wing protest. I searched "Bush Hitler" and took the second hit. If I remember correctly, Move On is related to one of the Clinton's. You can verify this site from Move On's response to the claim on the Moveon website.

http://www.thememoryhole.org/pol/bush-hitler-ads.htm

From another link:

This must be how the Germans felt

Watching Hitler rise to power.

Hopelessness, frustration, depression, anger

Increasing steadily by the hour.

[...]

When comparing Bush with Hitler,

Surprise! There's lots of overlapping.

Both are fascist right-wing conservatives

Who sadly caught their countries napping.

[...]

So dig in deep for four more years

Of the hand fear and ignorance have dealt

And, remember, as things get worse and worse,

This is how Germans must have felt.

I have a sense that there is a linguistic barrier that is preventing me from understanding you.
What do you percieve your problem to be? "Please be specific" :) If I am making a mistake somewhere or made to many assumptions from one thought to the next, I would appreciate being corrected. Edited by slave
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"He also sparked widespread international condemnation in October when he called for Israel to be 'wiped off the map.'" http://edition.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/meast/12/16/iran.israel/

This is referring to the cartoon challenge.

http://www.israelnewsagency.com/iranholoca...tseo480213.html

Again, I think we have a serious language barrier. What does the fact that certain Iranians promulgated anti-Israeli opinions have to do with whether or not David Irving is a conservative?

All you have to do is watch a news clip of a left wing protest. I searched "Bush Hitler" and took the second hit. If I remember correctly, Move On is related to one of the Clinton's. You can verify this site from Move On's response to the claim on the Moveon website.

http://www.thememoryhole.org/pol/bush-hitler-ads.htm

Fine. A web search revealed that some people have compared Bush to Hitler. I fail to see how that relates to the topic of this thread.

What do you percieve your problem to be? "Please be specific" :) If I am making a mistake somewhere or made to many assumptions from one thought to the next, I would appreciate being corrected.

Let's review.

I wrote: "My understanding is that David Irving regards himself as a conservative, and so it would not be misleading for the media to characterize him as such. "

You wrote: "My intention was not to argue about facts, but I was questioning why the media seems more able to grasp this fact over other facts."

I wrote: "What other facts might be more significant? His ethnic background? His hair color? That he is a conservative may make him less suspect as a historian than if, say, he were a neo-Nazi."

You wrote: "The facts are that he has made speeches about pushing the Israelis into the Mediterranean, stating that the Holocaust didn't happen and organized a cartoon contest about the Holocaust."

When I asked for evidence of this, you listed some anti-Israeli statements not from Irving but from Iran. Clearly we are not having a coherent conversation with one another.

Edited by Daedalus
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