Friday, December 2, 2011

Paul Pillar on the Nazi analogy approach to foreign policy

There also is other, broader and longer term damage from the loose, profligate playing of the Nazi card. Repeatedly playing the card represents a failure to discriminate among different levels of threat. That undermines the tailoring of policy responses to make them appropriate for each threat. More specifically, it diminishes appreciation for the enormous magnitude of what the real Nazis did. If even problems that do not come anywhere close to what they did are rhetorically equated with Nazism, then the currency of discourse about human evil is debased. The rhetorical equation undermines understanding of the gigantic scale of the evil that the Nazis perpetrated, including the Holocaust.

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