Sunday, September 11, 2005

Syracuse University Profs Compare US to Axis Powers

How does the Syracuse Post-Standard commemorate the anniversary of 9/11? They publish an editorial by two Syracuse University law professors who find America to be, at best, equivalent to Imperial Japan and Nazi Germany. At worst, we're worse because we weren't punished for our "war crimes" - up to and including Guantanamo Bay.

The Syracuse Post-Standard shields most of its content from the internet, ostensibly to protect its ever-shrinking circulation. I suspect, however, that the real reason is that they specialize in poorly thought out liberal op-ed pieces that they don't want to see torn apart by bloggers. It's part of the intellectual repression that comes with one-newspaper towns.

SU law professors Donna Arzt and Lucille Rignanese base their argument on the false juxtaposition of three historical facts, bulleted after the lead paragraph:
"*Sixty years ago, American, British and Soviet troops 'discovered' and liberated Nazi concentration camps.

*Sixty years ago, American citizens were released from internment camps here in the United States.

*Sixty years ago, the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan."
Arzt and Rignanese then assume the false equivalence as a fact in evidence in their indictment of America and the West. Let's examine these premises though.

It is true that Japanese Americans were interned in the US during World War II, and that this was a great injustice based on easily identifiable racial characteristics; German and Italian Americans were not interned.

However, Japanese Americans were not used as slave laborers. They were not used for medical experiments. Their women were not systematically raped. They were not forced to dig trenches and line up next to them to be shot. They were not put into the backs of trucks, which then had carbon monoxide exhaust fed in until all were dead. They were not sent into "showers" that pumped out Zyklon B. They were not then stripped of hair and gold teeth and shoved into ovens. Their skin was not made into lampshades.

It is also true that atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. They saved millions of lives, Japanese and American. That fact is simply indisputable.

The "thinking" of Donna Arzt and Lucille Rignanese is lacking in logic and clarity. They have drawn false conclusions from false comparisons.

But, the most reprehensible actions are those of Stephen A. Rogers, Editor and Publisher and Michael J. Connor, Executive Editor of the Syracuse Post-Standard. To publish this slanderous tripe on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is simply inexcusable. Rogers and Connor demonstrate exactly why the Syracuse Post-Standard is a dying newspaper.