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Jews, Christians, Nazis, Swiss, 2001/09/15:14:26

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"Jews and Christians are fighting against Muslims, but it is the Jews who have the most antagonistic policy toward Muslims... The Jews...have a stranglehold over America and Europe too... If anyone goes against them, they create a conspiracy to stop it." -- Sami-ul-Haq, friend and mentor of Osama bin Laden, in today's Globe and Mail

"Wherever I went I began to see Jews, and the more I saw, the more sharply they became distinguished in my eyes from the rest of humanity... Was there any form of filth or profligacy, particularly in cultural life, without at least one Jew involved in it?" -- Adolph Hitler, in Mein Kampf

"I really believe the pagans and the abortionists and the feminists and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, the People for the American Way--all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say: 'You helped this happen.'" -- Jerry Falwell in today's Globe and Mail

"The President does not share those views." -- a White House spokesperson in today's Globe and Mail

The Jews

I think that pathological hatred of the Jews is prima facie evidence of a willingness to commit crimes against humanity. The Jews are a canary in the cultural coal-mine: when people start hating them the air has gone foul and an explosion is sure to come.

The Holocaust is a deep source of guilt in the West. In Canada, while the Nazis were preparing it, we were proclaiming "None is too many" Jewish refugees. After the war we opened our borders, our hearts and our minds, but it was more than a little too late.

I don't think we should let this happen again. We have stood by before while people murdered the Jews. We didn't believe they would do what they said, we didn't believe that they would systematically attempt to exterminate an entire people (and, let it never be forgotten, a roughly equal number of Gypsy's and other "undesirables"--when the canary falls over, the miners are soon to follow.)
This time, we know they mean it. We must not let it happen again.

The Christians

Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson are evil people, whose ideology is more basically aligned with that of Militant Islam than anything else. Like the Islamic militants, they believe that secular culture is evil, and deserves to be expunged by violence. They are, however, less evil than the people who commited, supported or even rejoice in Tuesday's attacks.

But they are still evil.

The Swiss

I think we should make the Swiss pay.

As a Canadian (that is, a Northern American) I enjoy a great deal of privacy in my banking transactions. But if a police constable comes before a judge with probable cause, he or she can get a search warrant that will give pretty much full access to my financial life.

There's a lot of guff about "losing our liberties" going around right now, but the fundamental defense of liberty is due process, and so long as there is an open, comprehensible, reasonable process for giving police access to nominally private information, I don't see that liberty is in the least bit compromised.

And so I don't see how Switzerland, banker to the Nazis, has any excuse for its continuing role as banker to terrorists.

While leaning on Pakistan to cooperate with military operations against terrorist bases in Afghanistan, we should not forget also to lean REALLY HARD on Switzerland to institute due process that will allow a reasonable level of access by law enforcement officers to banking data.

Given what we now know of the consequences of Swiss behavior in WWII, this is not a time when "neutrality" is an acceptable answer.
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