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November 10, 2009


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Steven Lubet

You make a good point about Kristallnacht, but your comment about Brooks is very unfair. Plans for Kristallnacht (or something like it) were at the heart of Nazi ideology, and the killing of Vom Rath was an excuse for something that would eventually have happened one way or the other.

Brooks doesn't argue for anything of the sort.

Eric Muller

Steven, I criticize Brooks for asserting that a "morally or politically serious nation" would not work against quick attributions of state-endangering motive in the name of avoiding backlash against innocents. I think something like the opposite is true: I think it's a sign of maturity that a nation would put the breaks on a mode of public theorizing that would endanger vulnerable innocents.

Clearly I do not suggesting that Brooks is arguing for lynch mobs.

What he does argue is that if we were serious about our security, we would play up rather than play down the theory that Hasan is a jihadi. He strongly implies that we as a country could handle such a strategy without risking serious harm to innocents. I am not so optimistic.

David Bernstein

Well, this works both ways: if we want to protect innocents, we must also acknowledge that 13 innocents were murdered, and it seems that this occurred in part that people didn't follow up on concerns about Hasan because they didn't want to be "insensitive" to issues of "diversity." Plus, people aren't stupid. People have enough reasons to mistrust the government without having the government "play down" events.

Steven Lubet

Dear Eric: In your comment you say, "Clearly I do not suggesting [sic] that Brooks is arguing for lynch mobs."

But your OP said, "On this seventy-first anniversary of the Kristallnacht pogroms, I beg to disagree [with Brooks]."

It certainly appeared to me that you were criticizing Brooks for encouraging violence against minorities. If not, then what precisely were you suggesting by cautioning Brooks about Kristallnacht?

jordans 3

I wish to live without hate, whim, jealousy, envy, fear.

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