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Double crossed

Earlier this week, when it was revealed that Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann had escaped Europe and fled to Argentina on a passport issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross, I was shocked and disgusted.

And then, as I thought about it some more, I was dismayed.

At myself.

I should not have been shocked.

The International Committee of the Red Cross, which has won the Nobel Peace Prize three times (and its founder won the first Peace Prize for that feat), has spent years "cruising" on its reputation, while repeatedly doing things that should have caused reasonable people to at least question the organization, if not revile it. Their role in aiding Nazi war criminals to escape justice (along with elements of the Catholic Church) are just part of it.

For years and years, the ICRC allowed its affiliate, the Red Crescent, to block the admission of the Red Star of David (Magen David Adom). The arguments used were that the Star of David was an "offensive" symbol due to its association with the state of Israel. (The fact that many Muslim nations feature a crescent on their flag, and the Red Cross itself is derived from the Swiss flag, was conveniently overlooked.) Thanks to that blocking, the Magen David Adom spent years without the protection of the Society. This meant that terrorists could freely fire on their ambulances, leading to the development of armored amublances and other such innovations. (I strongly suspect that the terrorists would have fired anyway had the ICRC given their protection to the MDA, but it would have at least been a decent symbolic gesture.)

Meanwhile, the Red Crescent has not seen fit to impose any sort of sanction on its own members for their conduct. Conduct such as allowing its ambulances to transport suicide bombs or be used as getaway vehicles for terrorists conducting attacks.

And last summer, in Lebanon during the Israel-Hezbollah conflict, the Red Cross claimed that two of its vehicles had been attacked by Israel. A lot of observers looked at the photos put forth by the Red Cross and had serious doubts about whether the damage could have been caused by any sort of military ordnance. Chief among them was the legendary "Zombie," who put forth a very serious challenge to the accounts. Zombie's analysis was attacked by Human Rights Watch, but that criticism was thoroughly rebutted by Zombie him/herself.

To the best of my knowledge, the ICRC has not adjusted its statements saying that the ambulances were attacked, nor its implication of Israel in the "attack." Nor has it demanded that the Palestinian Red Crescent stop directly aiding terrorist attacks.

Now, the ICRC is not to be confused with the American Red Cross. The ARC is affiliated with the ICRC, but is merely a member and has little sway with the larger organization. The ARC has had a few scandals in its time (mainly involving financial matters and, when AIDS was still developing, some issues regarding blood screening), but by and large has done yeoman's work in humanitarian service. They also long championed Magen David Adom for membership in the ICRC, and offered them their support for years. I am a long-time blood donor to the Red Cross, and have my six-gallon pin kicking around somewhere.

But the International Committee has much to answer for, and needs to remember the ideals and works that earned them those Nobel Peace Prizes -- prizes from the era when that award actually meant something, and was not purely a political football.


Comments (25)

Eichmann, the Red Cross and... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Eichmann, the Red Cross and the Pope, fer Christ sake.

There are not many lists of infamous world figures on which Eichmann would not be highly placed. It would be one thing to aid the odd Nazi here or there, but Eichmann? Good grief. Somebody knew, you can bet your bippy that somebody knew.

Presumably this was part of the WWII stuff the Catholics apologized for not so long ago. But how do you apologize for that? "Oh yeah, we helped another genocidal maniac escape... sorry".


Venona Papers... (Below threshold)
Judith:

Venona Papers

Jews have been slandering t... (Below threshold)
Tom Blair:

Jews have been slandering the Catholic Church for 1400 years - what else is new. Yawnnnnnnn.

I guess Europeans aren't queueing up fast enough to fight those mean ol' Arabs.

Wow. Another ignorant shot... (Below threshold)
Jim in Cleveland:

Wow. Another ignorant shot at the Church by a guy who has proven time and again to have no idea of what he is talking about. I am at the point where I skip the Jay Tea articles altogether. It is not even worth refuting him.

One page overview of Vatica... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

One page overview of Vatican relations with the Jews and Nazis:

http://www.shoahrose.com/vatican.html

Overview of Vatican Crusade against heretics in WWII (with pics of goose-stepping nuns, etc)

http://www.chick.com/reading/books/153/153_03.asp

To "Robert the Original": ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

To "Robert the Original": No, that's not among "the WWII stuff the Catholics apologized for not so long ago" because the Church made an official apology for things it lent encourgement to either directly or indirectly that led to persecution of peoples.

The emphasis is on INTENTIONALLY OR UNINTENTIONALLY ENCOURAGED since many negative assumptions are proliferated and then APPEAR to be 'sanctioned' "officially" when it's just the dreadful politics of crazy people acting out under (false) religious pretense. Moreorless like Hugo Chavez saying he's "a Catholic" and various Democrats, too, in our U.S. Congress who vote to secure abortions on demand yet make the same falsely pious allegations as to their own religious piety and faith label.

A person is known by their fruits. So says the Bible, so says Christ as quoted in the Bible ("you will know them [those who sincerely follow Christ] by their fruits").

If you see a person wearing "I'm a Catholic" or "I'm a Christian" or "I'm a Jew" or "I'm a Muslim" (or Buddhist, or...) on their sleeve for show and prestige yet they engage in actions and support issues that run diametrically opposite what they allege they are affiliated with in religious dogma/beliefs, it's a good indication that what you're seeing is ego on parade and not the faith itself.

Every religious faith is not the same as every other one (there's no "moral relevancy" amomg the world's various religions because the principles of each respectively are unique), but, the one shared characteristic of A SINCERE HEART among HUMAN BEINGS -- who are also home to a divine soul while on this Earth -- is that sincerity does not lie. People engaged in deceit are almost always found out by what they do, defined by their actions.

The Catholic Church is highly maligned by atheists and those who house hate for whatever individual motive they may have. But the service behavior by Catholics of mercy and providing helps to the needy remains consistent among those who are sincere in their Christian faith as Catholics. During wartime, that can take on emergency measures for purposes of attempting to salvage and preserve human life. What life it is is usually not the issue, but life itself.

Thus, I can readily understand how and why some Catholics during WWII (and also other wars of such proportions) would effort to assist people seeking a route away from harms and out of affiliation with bad politics.

It's usually not an issue to ask someone who presents as being in need as to what politics they represent and what they are attempting to gain distance from, but that they are in need of an emergent nature. Thus, a Christian -- most -- will do what they can realistically to help one who is suffering in that regard.

Also, during WWII, the dreadful results of the German Socialist Party was not widely known with any specificity. A man hidden across a border away from an army, asking for helps to boat overseas would not be suspected so much as being a "bad person from Germany/the German Socialist Party" so much as they'd be sympathized with for being a victim of war in need of emergency aid.

Try to put it into perspective, as a person living in various parts of Europe during WWII and having strangers begging for private escorts out of the Continent, and you being a person dedicated to service of your fellow man. You would probably do what you could to help the suffering reach some degree of safety.

Thus, most Christians and certainly MANY CATHOLICS during WWII did these very things for most if not all they met who needed help. That some of those in need were members of the "enemy army" fleeing their own guilty deeds wasn't clearly apparent nor the issue for many at those times, while the need for safety and helps WAS the issue for those suffering.

Many Catholics were killed in WWII helping people of all kinds and affiliations. Many Catholics were killed in work camps along with Jews. The Church was not associated with the German Socialists/the Nazis.

And, the apology that you refer to was as to Jews wrongly concluding that the Catholic Church "blamed the Jews for killing Christ." The Church apologized despite that never being official religious position - mostly, as I understand it, for ALLOWING the wrong assumption to persist and not speaking out demonstratively enough against the suffering associated with that wrong assumption. But it was never an aspect of the THEOLOGY that instructed such an assumption...the Church never directly confronted the wrong assumption and thus, by indirect, unintentional acts, contributed to the wrong assumption (allowed it to remain without confrontation from a point of theology).

History is specific and specific individuals were players in the human suffering and death of Jesus Christ. Some of them were, in fact, Jews. Yet, the RELIGIOUS PRINICPLE IS that it was Man who killed Christ, not any one gender, not any one ethnicity, not any one title or rich man or poor woman but Man. Man as in, Mankind. Our human condition in this world killed Christ. Unfortunately for the Jews as an ETHNICITY, they were represented by God's plan in these profound experiences, and people focused on human terms persist in discussing Christ's suffering and human death as being an "act of the flesh".

If you reject Christ's divinity, that's all He ever was: flesh, a human man, wore sandals and a robe mostly and ate and drank and slept like all the rest of us.

Thus, it's a persistent misunderstanding by those involved in that perspective (that "the Church/Christians blame the Jews for killing Christ" -- most of those who think thus are not IN the Church). For those IN the Church, as to Church beliefs, religiously, Christ is so much more, profoundly, than that. As is, also, human harms inflicted on others due to evil in this world.

Just because someone wears a label does not mean that that person is credibly in relationship with the name on that label. The same thing goes for people who allege religious beliefs and yet act in disparity with those beliefs. "You will know them by their fruit."

Its wonderful to see your c... (Below threshold)
epador:

Its wonderful to see your comments back again -S-
And your last line says it all for all too many commentors quick to quip and slow to cogitate.

The Church's mission, savin... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

The Church's mission, saving souls, would normally preclude them from severing all ties with a group. In fact the analogy would be that you find doctors where the sick people are.

People get confused on this point often. Or deliberately take advantage of it to try to imply solidarity or consent where none exists.

Chick tracts, bryanD? You ... (Below threshold)
SAHMmy:

Chick tracts, bryanD? You ACTUALLY provided a link to some Chick tracts as evidence against the Catholic Church?!

ROFL

The main lesson of this is ... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

The main lesson of this is that the rest of the world generally sucks and we shouldn't be looking to them to take our cues or even approval.

I came to this site for Lor... (Below threshold)
mike:

I came to this site for Lorie Byrd, but there's too much Tea. And bitter at that. Lorie, go to Townhall....

-S-, the Catholic Church wa... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

-S-, the Catholic Church was born to politics, not true religion (note the word "true").
As the western empire fell, ownership of the heartland was held by the families of the last Roman elite: basically Franks of the family of Merovech, and other Germanic and Gothic tribes aligned with them. Since the fraudulent Donation of Constantine document bequeathed a land death tax from all to the Church, it was important for the ruling families to control (and thus combine) political AND religious offices, thus keeping effective control of territory. Thats why the important bishoprics were often held by some brother of a king or prince, etc. And the sons of substance would be given the choice: churchman or statesman? (And don't worry about that celibacy bit; you can have all the concubines you can handle!)

The political imperative helps to explain the early Roman church's sloppiness with/alteration of Biblical doctrine, and especially the dis-owning of the Jerusalem-Antioch Jewish-Christian roots of the faith in favor of the Latinized version proclaiming Peter as the first "pope", when it is clear that IF there were a "first pope", it would have been James.
But the Peter-in-Rome meme would buttress the idea that the ad hoc Roman ecclesiastical system was lineally descended from the Early Church. It was not. In fact, unauthorized investigation into church history (like unauthorized reading of the Sacred Texts) was strictly forbidden, to keep the origins buried. The first Catholic Lay Bible (hilariously called the "Jerusalem Bible") came out when? 1962 or something?

A factoid: in the early 14th century, the popes demanded ALL SUSPECTED heretics across Christendom be tortured as a matter of course. (Waterboarding, etc, was invented for the Dominican Order of professional heretic hunters). Failure to comply was cause for excommunication. The good ol' English told the pope to stick it up his ass (The English were inclined to only torture regicides and traitors.)

bryanD, I don't know what C... (Below threshold)
SAHMmy:

bryanD, I don't know what Catholic education you received, but I was always taught that our Catholic roots are Jewish.

I love the Davinci Code flavor of your posts:)

*SAHMmy demurely covers her cilice*

LOL

bryanD, I don't know what C... (Below threshold)
bryanD:

bryanD, I don't know what Catholic education you received, but I was always taught that our Catholic roots are Jewish.-SAHMmy"

Things "evolve".

Since the near miss of the hangman's rope and the revelations of the Vatican Ratline, the Papal Curia has taken the tack of ecumenism. (Mr. Sweetness and Light) No more yellow round patches or tatoos for Jews. The 3rd secret of Fatima shall remain in the pocket and we'll pretend the 2nd one was never issued.

Let us compromise with humanism by allowing that the first man may have been ape-like after all (image of God???), and let us whore after Buddha and pray to Mecca in the former Hagia Sofia.

Let us recrucify and resurrect Christ at every Mass and turn him into a wafer mounted in a monstrance. And Mary is the one who cares most.

Whatever...

What happened to the Cathol... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

What happened to the Catholic church? Today we have the story of a Priest ? making death threats to a business owner and anyone that buys from the business.
There are mental retard everywhere, too bad some end up as Priest when the entire democrat party is reserved for them.

Interesting...I can't tell ... (Below threshold)
SAHMmy:

Interesting...I can't tell if you're just a p*ssed off RadTrad or a garden-variety religion hater.

WhatEVER, indeed.

bryanD'irtbag is what his n... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

bryanD'irtbag is what his name implies plus others too numurous to list.
SAHMmy,bry' comes from the Area 51 region. That explains alot.

Sweet Jeebus...I've ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Sweet Jeebus...
I've joked that Westoboro Bryan was a Jack Chick devotee...
SAHMmy: He's a KJO fundie type that hates all religion but his specific reading of his specific flavor of the bible. To be a RadTrad would imply knowing something about Catholic theology or history. Basing one's arguments on Chick Tracts is an automatic disqualification.

That's funny SCSIwuzzy. It... (Below threshold)
SAHMmy:

That's funny SCSIwuzzy. It's becoming clearer now. Thank you for the explanation.

Poor schmuck.

My apologies for using the ... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

My apologies for using the term "Pope" and to any to which I have given offense from that.

My intention was not to indict the entire Catholic Church, but rather those parts of it, and others, that aided the Nazis both during and after the war. To deny that there were highly placed people in the Church who aided and appeased Hitler, in agreements both formal and informal, is to deny history. Nor was my aim to call out the entire history of the Red Cross.

In Eichmann, we're talking one of the highest profile figures in the country for a very long time - all over the newspapers and radio nearly every day for many years.

About the profile, say, of former President Clinton.

So imagine Clinton walking in to the Red Cross Passport Office, with long sideburns and an Elvis rig. In a deep voice he says: "I lost all my papers in the war, baby, and I need a passport. My name is Bernie Piffle."

I leave to your own calculation how well this might work, and submit again that someone knew. Someone had to know.

As to knowledge, the Church knew of Hitler's intentions towards the Jews long before it once claimed to have learned it. In blissful ignorance they were not.

Now there are those who say that Hitler appeasement saved many Catholics and Jews and others who say the Pope ignored pleas from German Bishops and reps from France and Croatia to take a strong stand against this, back at a time when such a stand might have had an effect.

This is a debate for history, but what is no longer in debate is if the Church knew. They knew. Someone had to know.

There really is nothing new... (Below threshold)
Nancy:

There really is nothing new under the sun. When I was a little girl - my Mom told me that she would never give a dime to the Red Cross. During WWII, when her brothers were serving in the war overseas and the folks back home were sending $$ to the Red Cross for the soldiers - my uncles started writing home complaining that they had to pay the Red Cross for Coffee, donuts, even blankets that had been donated by the folks back home for the use of the soldiers. My uncles could never say enough good about the Salvation Army and their help for the military - and they could never say enough bad about the Red Cross. They should be out of business. You should keep that thought in mind when you read that stores won't let the Salvation Army ring their Christmas bells in front of their store. They help now and they have always helped. The Red Cross somehow lost its way. Yours is a great point, but the shot at Catholics seemed cheap to me. We lost a lot of people to the Nazis too.

Robert,Keeping in mi... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Robert,
Keeping in mind that the Catholic Church was, and still is, a huge organization.
To say that the right hand and the left hand aren't aware of what each other are doing is to miscount the number of hands by an exponent or 2.

If your evidence/argument is based on Cornwell, I'd suggest you look around a bit more.

Wuzzy,First you us... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Wuzzy,

First you use a hand-to-hand argument - THAT I DID NOT MAKE - and then criticize it using exponents.

Then you attribute my arguments to a very discredited source - THAT I DID NOT USE - in an attempt to discredit me by association.

Then you suggest I look around. I presume to find some hear-no-evil, see-no-evil source with which you will agree.

Please stop setting up straw men and using these other unethical tactics.

There are lots of sources, here's one. This from Time Magazine and the US State Department (1998):

"U.S. State Department report will address links between the Vatican and gold in the state treasury of the Croatian regime allied with Hitler's Germany. The Holy See has so far refused to make its records on the matter public."

"... refuses to assign any blame to the church as an institution, a notable retreat from recent explicit apologies made by the German and French bishops that acknowledged what the Germans called "the church dimension" of the cataclysm."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,988062,00.html

My statement was that the Church aided and appeased at high levels, to which the above (Cardinals and Bishops) would seem to confirm. I also stated that the Church has recently apologized, equally true. Most see the truth of this; some however cannot abide any criticism of their faith.

John Kerry refuses to release his military records, possibly for the same reason the Vatican has locked up some records for the period in question.

As with pedophile priests, there are those who defend with the argument that: "The Church is so very big, a little problem like this is bound to happen".

No doubt. And if this explanation is good enough for you, then so be it.

Robert, breath, then read, ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

Robert, breath, then read, I never said you said anything.
I pointed out that a group that large will have actors unaware of the actions of other actors.
Then pointed out that IF (powerful meaning in such a small word), IF, your source was Cornwell, you need to look around.

Your Time link is also rather one sided. No mention that such Israeli luminaries as Golda Meir, Tagliacozzo, Herzog and Sharet, as well as Albert Einstein praised him for what he did during and after the Holocaust to aid the jews.

Pope Pius XII saved hundreds of thousands of jews, and spoke out against the Nazis rather than keep silent. Look at the 1940 radio broadcast where the Vatican laid out Hitler's atrocities in Poland for all to hear. His Christmas broadcasts in the 1940s also make it hard to claim there was any silence. Mussolini and Ribbentrop were livid after the 1942 broadcast, and the Nazis believed it signaled the Pope and the Church were not neutral.
You choice in believing this or not does not change that it is true.

Wuzzy,"Pope Pius X... (Below threshold)
Robert the Original:

Wuzzy,

"Pope Pius XII saved hundreds of thousands of jews."


You may think that my sources are one-sided, but at least I provided some.

I know about the 447 in the Vatican, I know about the radio talks (1942 was the first strong one, but it was late, very late) but this is the first time I heard that he single-handedly saved "hundreds of thousands."




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