Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Camp memories: Obama and Reagan

On Memorial Day, Obama announced that his uncle helped to liberate Auschwitz -- and that the experience was so traumatic that the uncle had to spend six months in an attic.

In fact, Auschwitz was liberated by the Red Army. I don't believe the "attic" story either. In 2002, Obama said the following:
My grandfather signed up for a war the day after Pearl Harbor was bombed, fought in Patton’s army. He saw the dead and dying across the fields of Europe; he heard the stories of fellow troops who first entered Auschwitz and Treblinka.
Here he refers to the grandfather, not the uncle, and we have no talk of entering the camps personally. Anyone who spends six months in an attic based on hearsay from other soldiers must be very sensitive. By the way: Treblinka was also liberated by the Soviets. Patton's army liberated Buchenwald and Mauthausen.

Do I consider this gaffe important? Not really, although I'm ticked off by the double-standard. Despite Obi's chronic foot-in-mouth syndrome, the CDS-sufferers still pretend that the Bosnia affair was the single worst lie in the history of mankind. What I find extremely cute is the parallel to Ronald Reagan -- who also claimed to have participated in the liberation of the concentration camps.
It is no coincidence that our first MTV-era president, Ronald Reagan, was fond of telling audiences stories of how he had helped liberate concentration camps at the end of World War II, when his only experience with a Dachau or Treblinka was sitting in a darkened room watching movies of those events. "You believed in it because you wanted to believe it," Reagan once told a reporter who thought he had seen Reagan on the set of a movie which didn't feature him at all. "There's nothing wrong with that. I do it all the time."


gary said...

OK, so by now the Obama campaign has explained that it was his great-uncle and not Auschwitz but one of the Buchenwald camps. Obama guilty of misstating family history that happened before he was born. Hillary guilty of misstating her own personal experience. Reagan guilty of confusing movies with reality.

Joseph Cannon said...

No, Obama is guilty of stating that he barely knew Tony Rezko. That was before we got a different story from the FBI's "inside man" John Thomas.

2Truthy said...
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Anonymous said...

...reminds me of that joke where a Jewish guy and a Chinese guy are drinking at a bar-- all is good until Hymie Goldberg tosses his drink in the face of Mr. Chow. So Chow asks what that was for, to which Mr. G says "Pearl Harbor!" Chow gets mad and says "that was the Japanese!! I'm Chinese!!" but Hymie just says "Chinese... Japanese... there all the same." So a few minutes later Chow tosses his drink in Hymie's face, and says "that's for the Titanic!" to which Hymie says What?? We Jews had nothing to do with the Titanic sinking" But Chow just says "Iceberg... Goldberg... Steinberg... they're all the same"

makes me think of this for some reason... Auschwitz, Buchenwald, Treblinka... they're all the same. Really. They're just used as stand ins for sincerity by pols now (wasn't it Reagan who laid a wreath on some Nazi graves-- as president not as actor/imagineer?)

And speaking about Grandfathers, i guess GWB's grandfatehr is pissed at OBi's Grandfather for wrecking his investmen. Why does Prescots fortune never matter? is that old news now? Do Cheney and W no longer matter (unless they do a last minute Big Wedding II?)

sorry i'm ranting, at least i'm not saying "Rezko never heard of him" = yes, i remember it well ("How strong you were, how young and gay; A prince of love in every way...")

Joseph Cannon said...

I've read just now that the new story is that this supposed great-uncle, Charlie Payne, was with the 89th when it liberated Buchenwald.

Problem 1: Payne was in the Navy.

Problem 2: The 89th did not liberate Buchenwald.