From Steve Clemons’ blog in the USA:
George Soros‘s words often kick up storms. And another storm has hit.
This time it’s about comparing America today and Nazi Germany — and how states deal with their not-so-pleasant pasts.
Soros is worth something around a couple or few tens of billions of dollars and donates through his charities half a billion dollars a year, most of this to help cultivate civil society development in former Soviet bloc countries. …
But the right wing hates George Soros. And the NeoCons (on the right or the left) hate him more.
I just don’t get it though because he has actually helped change societies successfully and is a hero in much of the world.
The neocons too have wanted to change the world — albeit with guns, while Soros did it through education and political and civil institution buildng [sic].
One must surmise then that they are both jealous of his success and have a counterproductive obsession with military-driven social change, something that rarely if ever works. …
Here, I have to disagree with Steve Clemons.
Not on the futility, I might add: hypocrisy, of supposedly bringing democracy with bombs; but on Soros.
Soros supported the NATO war against Yugoslavia in 1999.
Which did not make life better for Serbs, Kosovo Albanians now facing 80% unemployment, or anyone else.
Soros may be a favourite scapegoat of the loony Bushist far Right. Which does not give him automatically any saint or sage or hero status though.
However, George Soros, like anyone else, has the right to make historical comparisons (which as a rule establish relative, not absolute, similarity) without intimidation by hysterical Bush supporters.
So, what exactly did George Soros say.
Here, is is [sic] a recap from the New York Post that adds to an original item written by Floyd Norris’s “Davos Diary” for the New York Times:
After asserting that the United States is recognizing the error it made in Iraq, Soros said, “To what extent it recognizes the mistake will determine its future.”
He went on to say that Turkey and Japan are still hurt by a reluctance to admit to dark parts of their history, and contrasted that reluctance to Germany’s rejection of its Nazi-era past.
“America needs to follow the policies it has introduced in Germany,” Soros said. “We have to go through a certain de-Nazification process.”
Soros spokesman Michael Vachon told Page Six: “There is nothing unpatriotic about demanding accountability from the president.
Those responsible for taking America into this needless war should do us all a favor and retire from public office.”
The International Crisis Group: here.