THE ROBERT W. WHITAKER ARCHIVE

archives
articles

DAVID IRVING CASE SHOWS THE NEXT LEFTIST MOVE | 2000-04-29

David Irving is a British historian who has written many books minimizing the Nazi slaughter of Jews. He sued a writer for calling him a "holocaust denier." Naturally he lost, and he lost big. In Britain he could not get a jury, so a judge decided it. Can you imagine the future of any judge who did NOT condemn him utterly?

The defense had spent some $3.1 million fighting Irving, and the court ordered Irving to pay the costs of the defense.

Needless to say, Irving has nothing like that much money. But he had asked for contributions during the trial, and a lot of people sent him money to cover his costs. Now the plaintiffs who won the case are petitioning the court to force THOSE DONORS to pay the rest of the $3.1 million!

Here is where this situation becomes so important to us.

I am about the only political writer on the right who has any memory at all. That is why I am so worried about Buckley selling us out on the Pinochet case. The left started this by luring an outright American Nazi to Denmark, and then having Denmark extradite him to Germany. The charges were, among other things, putting Nazi stuff on the Internet which was illegal in Germany, but NOT illegal in the United States where it was done.

This case established the right of the left to prosecute the right for anything it says anywhere. It also ratified the right of Germany to do this only to extreme rightists, and never to extreme leftists.

The next step occurred when Britain agreed to extradite the rightist, but non-Nazi, Pinochet.

As I pointed out in the last article, the respectable conservative William Buckley earned his "respectable" title once again by agreeing that, while no one would ever prosecute a leftist, the left should have the right to grab any rightist from anywhere and prosecute him.

Does anybody anywhere think this process will end with Nazis and ex-dictators? Or will more and rightists find themselves prosecuted?

I know this sounds alarmist and extreme. I have made this sort of prediction dozens of times over more than forty years. In the end, I don't think I was ever wrong. The nightmares I predicted came true.

I warned about the wild extremes to which the left would take a precedent they had established. Everybody agreed I was being an alarmist. I always ended up being right. The left went as far as I said they would.

The only times I was in error was in cases when I myself thought the left couldn't go much further. They always went farther than anyone at the time would have considered possible.

Now let me ask you this: just how far can the left take a precedent which allows them to sue contributors to rightist causes? How long will it be before the suits against gun makers become suits against contributors to the National Rifle Association?

But the right is going to let this slide because of their desperation to keep liberals from calling them names. Leftists can praise Castro, but no conservative dares to defend the rights of someone who says anything they shouldn't say about Hitler.

Hitler is what the leftists always start with, because they know that the word "racist" will throw every conservative down on his belly, drooling for forgiveness for crimes he never committed.

What I say here strikes everyone else as alarmism, I know. But to me it is just a continuation of over four decades of watching respectable conservatives in action, and watching the whole right sign its own death warrant.