Mailvox: in adjectives we trust

Papapete assaults the language:

Gregg (and Vox to a certain extent) are technically correct. However, if you ask the proverbial “man-on-the-street” you would get a definition much closer to Chuck’s than Gregg’s. Therefore Gregg and Vox are technically correct in calling Japanese internment camps “concentration camps”. If one uses the popular definition, then the internment camps weren’t “concentration camps”.

Vox, you know what the connotations of “concentration camps” are as well as I do. To use that term in this instance is less than honest.

And if you ask the proverbial “man-on-the-street” he will also tell you that the Founding Fathers established America as a democracy, that the Federal Reserve is a government institution and that the United Nations is an idealistic force for good. This does not make him correct, this simply makes him ignorant. The fact that Chuck, and presumably, Papapete, wish to mutilate the language of a well-defined word simply to whitewash American history does not make me less than honest.

There have been many concentration camps in the 20th century. The 33 camps in which the British imprisoned the Boers from 1899-1902 were, prior to the National Socialist varieties, the most infamous.

From Wikipedia: “Over the course of the twentieth century, the arbitrary internment of civilians by the authority of the state became more common and reached a climax with the practice of genocide in the death camps of the Nazi regime in Germany, and with the Gulag system of forced labor camps of the Soviet Union. As a result of this trend, the term concentration camp carries many of the connotations of extermination camp and is sometimes used synonymously. In technical discussion, however, it is important to understand that a concentration camp is not, by definition, always a Nazi-style death-camp.”

The 1/1/2005 Washington Post report on the federal government’s plan to establish camps in the United States as part of the Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism might seem alarming at first, but fortunately they are described as “detention camps”, so those worried about “internment camps”, “concentration camps” or “death camps” need not lose any sleep over them.

If you can’t put your faith in an adjective, what can you trust?

Mailvox: word games

Cedarford writes:

“Gregg has recently become enamored of the deceitful language of the Left. He knows the word concentration camp is loaded. It is typically used only in context of Nazis these days.”

Yes, that’s why it wasn’t used to describe the, um, non-concentration camps in Bosnia, right? And why it won’t be used again as soon as the French start rounding up Muslims.

The only attempted linguistic manipulation going on here is Cedarford’s. Everyone here knows perfectly well that the Japanese-Americans weren’t put into ovens.

The larger point, which those who wish to whitewash American history are studiously avoiding, is that a government with the power to dispossess you and round you up without trial is a government with the power to pop you into a Zyklon B shower if it so chooses.

The fact that the American government was less ill-intentioned than the National Socialist government is true, but that is damnation by praise so faint it can barely be detected by microscope.

Eyes opened too late

From the UK Telegraph:

“The feared ‘Iron Lady’… played an unfriendly, indeed a dangerous role,” in the debate over reunification, he argues in Helmut Kohl, Memories 1982 to 1990.

The book, Mr Kohl has hinted, is his revenge on Lady Thatcher for her snubbing him in her own memoirs as a “provincial politician”. His fury and puzzlement at his British opposite number fill large chunks of its chapter on reunification, suggesting that he is still smarting at his treatment at her hands.

He recalls her losing her temper at a dinner hosted by the then French president Fran├žois Mitterrand nine days after the Berlin Wall was breached in 1989.

German reunification should go ahead because Nato was in favour of it, Mr Kohl argued. “Over dessert the British prime minister started heavily laying into me… I remained calm… with the thought that even Margaret Thatcher cannot prevent the German people from following their destiny,” he writes.

“Incensed with rage, Thatcher stamped her feet and screamed: ‘That’s how you see it, how you see it!’.”

On another occasion soon afterwards she threatened to veto reunification and implied that Britain had to stand up to Germany as it had during two world wars. “We’ve beaten the Germans twice and now they’re back!” she reportedly said.

The English did not consider European unification to be a good thing under Philip II, Napoleon or Hitler. It is truly a pity that Lady Thatcher did not see the stealthy machinations involved in constructing this latest revival of monstrosity.