Exploiting Holocaust Remembrance Day

Stephen Lendman

Prisoners of the "little camp" in Buchenwald

What other genocides and mass atrocities are remembered and acknowledged in this way?

Yom HaShoah/Holocaust Remembrance Day is commemorated annually. It runs from sundown April 7 to sunset April 8. This year's theme is "Defiance and Rebellion during the Holocaust: 70 years Since the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising."

Sunday night Warsaw and Jerusalem ceremonies included government officials, dignitaries and holocaust survivors.

At 10AM Monday morning, a two-minute siren echoed across Israel. It marked the beginning of other ceremonies that followed.

Yad Vashem is Israel's official holocaust memorial. It's located on Mount Herzl's western slope on the Mount of Remembrance in Jerusalem. Its complex includes the Holocaust History Museum. It's second only to the Western Wall as Israel's most visited site.

A wreath-laying ceremony was held there. Holocaust victim names were publicly recited all day. Much more takes place annually. Never forget. Never again. Hollow words. Other holocausts go unmentioned. More on that below.

Thatcher’s legacy

Julie Hyland & Chris Marsden

Margaret Thatcher with mass murderer Augusto Pinochet

Margaret Thatcher, the friend of Chile’s fascist dictator General Augusto Pinochet and supporter of the apartheid system of racial discrimination in South Africa, has died of a stroke at the age of 87.

Neither the media’s eulogies to Thatcher as a great stateswoman, nor the staging of a day of national mourning complete with military honours, can conceal the fact that she died arguably the most hated figure in British politics.

[Ordinary people] will have greeted the announcement of her demise with cold indifference, contempt, and, in some cases, celebration. Impromptu street parties were underway in several cities within hours of her death.

Comparisons have been made repeatedly between Thatcher and Winston Churchill. They are inappropriate. A right-wing defender of British imperialism, not even Churchill’s opponents would deny his obvious political stature. At a time of acute crisis, he was able to invoke history and make an appeal to social layers far beyond his natural constituency in the ruling elite. In contrast there is not a single intelligent remark that can be cited as coming from Thatcher, only inane sound-bites tailored to a supportive press such as “The lady’s not for turning.”

Margaret Hilda Roberts embodied everything that is narrow-minded and philistine in the English middle class. She was preoccupied solely with self-advancement and enrichment, owing much of her success to having secured a rich husband. Her political talents, such as they were, consisted of the nasty cunning and ruthlessness of the social climber.

The Treason of Intellectuals

Chris Hedges

It is only the outcasts and the rebels who keep truth and intellectual inquiry alive.

The rewriting of history by the power elite was painfully evident as the nation marked the 10th anniversary of the start of the Iraq War. Some claimed they had opposed the war when they had not. Others among “Bush’s useful idiots” argued that they had merely acted in good faith on the information available; if they had known then what they know now, they assured us, they would have acted differently. This, of course, is false.

The war boosters, especially the “liberal hawks”—who included Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer, Al Franken and John Kerry, along with academics, writers and journalists such as Bill Keller, Michael Ignatieff, Nicholas Kristof, David Remnick, Fareed Zakaria, Michael Walzer, Paul Berman, Thomas Friedman, George Packer, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Kanan Makiya and the late Christopher Hitchens—did what they always have done: engage in acts of self-preservation. To oppose the war would have been a career killer. And they knew it.

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