Sean Spicer needs to go to a Holocaust center

US Politics
on 51 Comments

White House spokesman Sean Spencer was comparing Assad to Hitler today, unfavorably so:  “You had someone as despicable as Hitler who didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons”, he said.

Oops, that was bad. But it got worse.

Asked by a reporter to clarify, Spicer said:

“I think when you come to sarin gas, there was no … he was not using the gas on his own people in the same way that Assad is doing.”

Oh boy. Is Spicer actually saying that Hitler didn’t gas German Jews, as well as mentally disabled, Roma and others? I mean, the usage of Carbon Monoxide gassing within the Nazi “Euthanasia” program started already in 1939, and continued on with gas vans, then gas chambers.  Did Spicer never learn this? He had to know something about it. Or did he mean that these people were not “Hitler’s people”?

But Spicer went on to clarify – and it got even worse:

“There was not … he brought them into the Holocaust centers, I understand that. But what I’m saying is the way that Assad used them, where he went into towns, dropped them, the use of it — I appreciate the clarification, [denying that Hitler used gas] was not the intent.”

Holocaust centers? So Hitler brought ‘them’ to Holocaust centers? Does Spencer mean concentration camps?

Zack Beauchamp in Vox noted that “the error pales in comparison to the main issue, which is that Spicer said that Assad compared unfavorably to Hitler”.

Holocaust revisionism, as clumsy, ignorant and apparently unwittingly as in Spicer’s case today, is not exclusive to Spicer, and is even shared by Jews such as PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who had framed the Final Solution on a Palestinian leader – the Grand Mufti, back in October 2015. The Germans could hardly believe it themselves. A spokesman for the German chancellor Angela Merkel said then, “All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilisation that was the Holocaust. I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own.”

What will the Israelis make of this? There has been only very cautious mentioning of it in the Israeli press so far. Haaretz has reported Spencer’s blunder factually (Hebrew), while Israel National News almost seems to prefer not to talk about it at all

“Spicer said that even Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons but stressed later that he didn’t mean the Holocaust.”  .

American mainstream is all over it already. And several outlets are providing some informative references to what Spicer just whitewashed and blurred – so maybe there’s a good aspect to this.

But Sean Spicer needs to go to a Holocaust center, and get some education, really.  

About Jonathan Ofir

Israeli musician, conductor and blogger / writer based in Denmark.

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51 Responses

  1. eljay
    April 11, 2017, 6:21 pm

    Mr. Spicer could quickly put everyone at ease by taking a page from the Zionist playbook and declaring “Holocaust centers” to be “currently not necessary”.

    • Mooser
      April 11, 2017, 8:07 pm

      Poor Spicer. It is obvious Spicer is friggin steeped in Holocaust revisionism, and its language, he is going to screw up no matter which way he goes.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        April 12, 2017, 6:56 am

        It looks to me Spicer tried to take an interesting fact, that there was no or little battlefield usage of chemical weapons in WWII, and tried to work that into ‘How Assad is worse than Hitler’ and messed up when taking the readymade cliche of ‘using gas on his own people’. And then made things worse trying to twist himself out of it. That’s what you get when you throw cliches together.

        But from there to Holocaust revisionism, and inadvertently showing what he really thinks? Nope, that’s going too fast for me. I must have overlooked something. Or maybe everyone else is not thinking right. I like the second option.

      • eljay
        April 13, 2017, 7:29 am

        || Tuyzentfloot: It looks to me Spicer tried to take an interesting fact … and tried to work that into ‘How Assad is worse than Hitler’ and messed up when taking the readymade cliche of ‘using gas on his own people’. And then made things worse trying to twist himself out of it. …

        But from there to Holocaust revisionism, and inadvertently showing what he really thinks? Nope, that’s going too fast for me. … ||

        I agree that his comments don’t prove that he’s a Holocaust denier. But it’s odd that he – a W.H. spokesperson, the greasiest of the greasy – was unable to quickly and easily clarify / re-frame his initial comment without slipping from snafu to full-blown clusterf*ck.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        April 13, 2017, 8:53 am

        eljay

        I agree that his comments don’t prove that he’s a Holocaust denier. But it’s odd that he – a W.H. spokesperson, the greasiest of the greasy – was unable to quickly and easily clarify / re-frame his initial comment without slipping from snafu to full-blown clusterf*ck.

        Because by then it had become very difficult to recover. The phrase ‘Holocaust center’ sounds like he has a grasp on what happened, and it underscores the distinction he made with the battlefield , but he’s not using the right words. That makes him an outsider and fair game.

      • eljay
        April 13, 2017, 9:20 am

        || Tuyzentfloot: Because by then it had become very difficult to recover. … ||

        When he was asked – and I paraphrase – “What did you mean Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons?”, he could very easily have said “I’m referring strictly to battlefield situations” and that would have been that. I don’t understand how he managed to blow it so badly.

      • Tuyzentfloot
        April 13, 2017, 9:57 am

        eljay , so he isn’t very smart. The battlefield context is implicit in chemical weapons.
        If you say ‘Hitler used chemical weapons on the Jews’ it takes some time to process, because people don’t look at it that way. Contrary to using ‘Hitler used Zyklon B..’ or ‘Hitler gassed..’, then you instantly know it’s right. If you did a poll, the distribution of Yes/No answers to the first and the last questions would be very different

      • eljay
        April 13, 2017, 10:18 am

        || Tuyzentfloot: eljay , so he isn’t very smart. … ||

        He may not be (book-)smart, but I figured that he – like all W.H. spokespeople – was at the very least slick. I just find it weird that he wasn’t slick enough to nip in the bud what initially was (or at least seemed to be) just a matter of awkward phrasing.

        Anyway, that’s neither here nor there so, ummm, Ta dah!!! :-)

  2. Annie Robbins
    April 11, 2017, 6:43 pm

    oh my. i somehow missed this news. and after yesterday’s massive screwup saying the US military’s objective was to destabilize syria (paraphrasing). i wonder how long he’ll keep his job. it is somewhat entertaining tho i suppose.

    • Mooser
      April 11, 2017, 8:01 pm

      “i wonder how long he’ll keep his job.”

      Til Jared gets back from Japan, and tells Trump “Listen Don, if you get rid of Spicer I can see that the “Donald Risk” goes with him. And then, who needs Putin? Win-win, Don”

  3. amigo
    April 11, 2017, 7:14 pm

    “Holocaust centers? So Hitler brought ‘them’ to Holocaust centers? Does Spencer mean concentration camps?”

    Look , the use of the term “Concentration Camps” is peddling “Alternative Facts “. It,s “Holocaust Centers”, stupid.

    • eljay
      April 11, 2017, 8:42 pm

      || amigo: … Look , the use of the term “Concentration Camps” is peddling “Alternative Facts “. It,s “Holocaust Centers”, stupid. ||

      Okay, look, I get it: Hitler helped Jews commute by train to their Holocaust Centers. Fair enough, that’s pretty bad. But Assad, he drops chemical weapons! From planes!! Onto beautiful babies!!!

  4. Kay24
    April 11, 2017, 10:07 pm

    The Trump administration is continuously making blunder after blunder, and this within their 100 days of taking over. The Trump administration has not given the American people the feeling of security, and reassurance, that they know what they are doing. They are way over their head, amateurs floundering and stumbling, and it is scary to think that they have the nation’s safety in their small hands. Investigations, law suits, nepotism, and whole works, and it feels like we are living in a dictatorship, where Trump does what he likes, says what he likes, lies about everything, and no one can do anything about it. Spicer is a little lying sock puppet, who spends most of his hours lying and covering up for his boss’s dishonesty. What a disastrous White House.

  5. Keith
    April 11, 2017, 10:44 pm

    I am much less concerned that Jews were upset over Sean Spicer’s remarks than I am over what his remarks imply concerning imperial warmongering. His outrageous statements indicate that the Trump administration is going to pursue the imperial destabilization strategy which will result in increased death and destruction to Syria, and increased probability of direct military conflict with Russia. The only explanation for pursuing this neocon insanity is that our rulers are, in fact, insane.

    To provide a realistic sense of the seriousness of this latest imperial warmongering, I link to a short video of Professor Stephen Cohen trying to talk sense to the propagandists at CNN: http://thesaker.is/professor-stephen-cohen-the-last-voice-of-reason-in-a-world-gone-mad/

    To provide some idea of the mindset of the warmongering neocons, I provide a quote attributed to either Michael Ledeen or Richard Perle. “If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don’t try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war… our children will sing great songs about us years from now” That is the neocon philosophy in a nut shell, forget diplomacy, just wage total war. This is what America has come to. Or perhaps always was but not so blatantly.

    • Annie Robbins
      April 12, 2017, 6:09 am

      i agree on all points keith. and prof cohen’s words should be taken very very seriously. thanks for the link.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      April 12, 2017, 7:51 am

      His outrageous statements indicate that the Trump administration is going to pursue the imperial destabilization strategy which will result in increased death and destruction to Syria, and increased probability of direct military conflict with Russia.

      Right. When interpreting events like this one should ask ‘what do the players prefer the facts to be like’.

      The only explanation for pursuing this neocon insanity is that our rulers are, in fact, insane.

      Big words. It’s to be expected that the US will want to recover its lost influence with additional display of military might, because that’s what they excel at. The role of the president is overestimated. Obama managed to apply some restraint, Trump not yet.

      I also think Cohen’s words should be taken very seriously.

    • Boomer
      April 12, 2017, 10:19 am

      Thanks to Keith for the link and to Annie for the embedded video. The MSM is so subject to distraction and misdirection. There is huge uproar over Spicer’s disturbing comment (and the disturbing United Airlines incident) while leaving largely untouched more substantive issues such as war.

      Of course, the pols don’t help. I did hear Sen. Paul express concern about the President attacking without consultation with Congress. It wasn’t to prevent an imminent attack on the U.S. or an ally, or even in Syria, so there was time for consultation. Apart from him, how many other national political figures have expressed concern?

      We live in a more dangerous world when Trump has that power. In this case, I suspect he was motivated more by a desire to distract from investigations of his possible Russian connection, (which his son said was proven bogus by the attack), than by pictures of beautiful children. (Admittedly, with Trump, one never knows what’s going on in his head.)

      Many years ago, in a poli sci class, I heard the U.S. described as “an elective kingship,”in form, with the king’s power controlled by various checks and balances. It seems that those checks and balances don’t always work very well these days.

      PS: meanwhile, hasbara never sleeps. Univision, the Spanish language network, has a team in Israel this week for the pre-Easter observations among the Christian community there. Lots of opportunities to extol the wonders of Israel’s technology and contributions to Western civilization. I haven’t seen any references to Palestinians as yet, but I haven’t watched all the coverage.

    • punterweger
      April 12, 2017, 11:47 am

      Stephen Cohen is one of the most well-informed and sensible commentators on Russia. Unfortunately the video linked several times in this thread is no longer available. Wonder why?

    • RoHa
      April 12, 2017, 8:03 pm

      “The only explanation for pursuing this neocon insanity is that our rulers are, in fact, insane. ”

      Well, yes. I thought you knew that.

      • Keith
        April 13, 2017, 10:34 am

        ROHA- “Well, yes. I thought you knew that.”

        Yes, but it bears repeating. Insatiable power-lust is a form of insanity. It is extremely difficult for most to acknowledge to themselves that they are in far more danger from the actions of the 1% than from the actions of outside forces. Hegemony or death best describes current imperial policy. Power is much too concentrated in our society, democracy a joke. This is the reality that dares not speak its name.

      • Mooser
        April 13, 2017, 5:19 pm

        Trump is putting all that military-decision making back where it belongs, in the hands of the US military!
        All C-in-C Trump has to do is sit back and watch, take credit when they win, and criticize the military when they screw up.
        And no more problems with intelligence leaks from the White House that way.

    • Sibiriak
      April 12, 2017, 8:59 pm

      RT News:

      On Tuesday, the White House released a declassified intelligence brief accusing Syrian President Bashar Assad of ordering and organizing the attack, in which Syrian planes allegedly dropped chemical ordnance on civilians in the rebel-held town.

      The report “contains absolutely no evidence that this attack was the result of a munition being dropped from an aircraft,” wrote Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Professor Theodore Postol, who reviewed it and put together a 14-page assessment, which he provided to RT on Wednesday.

      “I believe it can be shown, without doubt, that the document does not provide any evidence whatsoever that the US government has concrete knowledge that the government of Syria was the source of the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun,” wrote Postol.

      * * *

      […]Earlier in the day, White House spokesman Sean Spicer also said that doubting the evidence would be “doubting the entire international reporting crew documenting this.” [LOL-Sibiriak]

      The report offered by the White House, however, “a wide body of open-source material” and “social media accounts” from the rebel-held area, including footage provided by the White Helmets rescue group documented to have ties with jihadist rebels, Western and Gulf Arab governments. [emphasis added]

      https://www.rt.com/usa/384520-postol-report-sarin-syria/

    • Sibiriak
      April 12, 2017, 9:11 pm

      http://dailycaller.com/2017/04/11/professor-zero-evidence-to-tie-assad-to-that-gas-attack-video/#ixzz4e5UV9Hlu

      [Cohen:] “there is zero evidence to tie Assad to that gas attack. Zero.”

      Berman responded, “well let’s leave that aside. The United Nations says there is. The people in the area say there are.”

      “No,” Cohen challenged. “The United Nations did not say that.”

      “Well Turkey has said it, Professor,” Harlow added. “The United States has said it.”

      ——————-

      Classic!

    • Sibiriak
      April 13, 2017, 12:14 am

      Stephen Cohen with CNN anchors Poppy Harlow and John Berman.

      CNN Transcript:

      http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1704/11/cnr.01.html

      Aired April 11, 2017 – 09:00 ET

      Let’s talk about all of these different foreign policy issues facing this administration. Our military analyst and retired Colonel Cedric Leighton is here, and Steven Cohen. He’s a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and at Princeton.

      ETC.

      • Keith
        April 13, 2017, 11:06 am

        SIBIRIAK- “Our military analyst and retired Colonel Cedric Leighton is here, and Steven Cohen.”

        Several comments are in order. First, Colonel Leighton is CNN’s paid military propagandist. This isn’t really a discussion, this is a gang-up on Cohen. Lucky he did as well as he did. Second, focusing exclusively on this one alleged gas attack ignores the long history of US interventionism causing massive death and destruction. Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Libya, etc. It isn’t the place of a serial mass-murderer to make moral judgements on others. Period. Also, how does poison gas compare to other weapons? Are napalm, white phosphorus, and flechettes really more moral? How about nuclear weapons which the US insists are an option which is “on the table?” The reality is that poison gas was outlawed because it was a very poor battlefield weapon. Its only value lies in attacking civilians, which is why the terrorists in Syria continue to manufacture crude poison gas weapons. Where did Assad get the aircraft deliverable poison gas weapons? Weren’t his stockpiles of gas weapons eliminated 3 years ago? Even this is giving too much ground. The US has such a long history of fabrications used as pretexts for military actions that the only reasonable response is for the US to shut down its foreign military bases and bring the stormtroopers home.

    • Tuyzentfloot
      April 13, 2017, 2:19 pm

      Another interview with Stephen Cohen, this time with Tucker Carlson.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TcrcKpNz60Y

      Tucker Carlson is confusing to watch. Too much parody.

    • eljay
      April 12, 2017, 7:41 am

      || … https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/apr/11/sean-spicers-hitler-holocaust-speak-volumes ||

      … Trivialization is a step towards denial, and denial is the landmark of repetition. To recall Hitler as the cartoon supervillain of momentary convenience is to prevent serious consideration of the kinds of politics and policies that made mass killing possible. They begin when authorities invite us to exclude neighbors from the community by associating them with a global threat.

      . . .

      Leaders speaking of [the] past have a duty that goes beyond getting the facts right. They also have a duty to mend and heal by acknowledging the victims in terms that the victims, not the killers, would have understood.

      . . .

      … when Nazis spoke of “the people” they always meant “some people.” … Some people, our “own people,” are more worthy of life than others.

      … The politics of Nazi killing has two steps: creating the other within, and then killing the other without. …

      That article describes the Zionist “Jewish State” project very well.

  6. WH
    April 12, 2017, 6:14 am

    He might as well have said that even the US didn’t stoop to dropping nuclear weapons… not to mention chemical weapons like napalm, agent orange or depleted uranium. But I guess it only counts if it’s ‘one’s own people’.

    • Talkback
      April 12, 2017, 12:38 pm

      Nah, there are no red lines for Israel either. And I have never seen any US ambassador to the UN showing pictures with dead Gazan children.

  7. Citizen
    April 12, 2017, 7:17 am

    US used white phosphorus in Iraq, Israel used it against the Palestinians. Apparently, it’s not among the officially banned CW under international law.

    Seeking to demonize Assad (to justify Trump’s Tomahawk gambit), Spencer trivialized Hitler. No revisionist claims the Nazis did not use carbon monoxide gas vans to kill “other people” or lesser people [including Aryan handicapped under earlier Euthanasia program), en masse, on top of simple mass shootings (after the untermenschen dug their own graves).

    • oldgeezer
      April 12, 2017, 11:33 am

      @Citizen
      “Apparently, it’s not among the officially banned CW under international law. – See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/2017/04/spicer-holocaust-center/#comment-176462

      I’ve seen this many times and it’s a deflection from the truth. While the OCPW does list a few specific formulations it’s drafters knew that it was faced with a situation similar to that we see with modern designer drugs. Tweak a molecule here or there and you have a new chemical compound. It would be impossible to ever create a comprehensive and effective list.

      For that specific reason the generic definition of a chemical weapon was

      (a) Toxic chemicals and their precursors, except where intended for purposes not prohibited under this Convention, as long as the types and quantities are consistent with such purposes;

      (b) Munitions and devices, specifically designed to cause death or other harm through the toxic properties of those toxic chemicals specified in subparagraph (a), which would be released as a result of the employment of such munitions and devices;

      The definition is given here https://www.opcw.org/chemical-weapons-convention/articles/article-ii-definitions-and-criteria/

      Using wp to provide a smokescreen would not be a violation of the ocpw. Using it against personnel would indeed be a use of a chemical weapon not only due to it’s burning effect on people but also because the gas produced in that process is also toxic and potentially lethal to humans.

      I’m neither a lawyer nor chemist but the use of wp against civilians as we saw in both Iraq and Palestine is a defacto use of chemical weapons. Air burst shells which were seen are not use to create a smokescreen. The laughing US officer referring to the tactic as shake and bake also makes quite clear why the chemical was being used.

    • oldgeezer
      April 12, 2017, 11:50 am

      @Citizen

      Sorry to reply twice but the use of wp in civilian areas is also a violation of the 1980 Treaty on the use of certain conventional weapons. Primarily Article III which dealt with Incendiary weapons.

      http://disarmament.un.org/treaties/t/ccwc

  8. Citizen
    April 12, 2017, 7:34 am

    I agree with this take on what Spencer said: SeanSpicer Steps in a Hitler Mess http://bit.ly/2p3f5Wg

  9. adpucci
    April 12, 2017, 8:36 am

    he could also look up “NAPALM” and find out about other barstuds who used chemical weapons in the not too distant past. ahem.

  10. punterweger
    April 12, 2017, 11:43 am

    Interesting that we have heard nothing from the Zionist lobby on this. I checked the sites of AIPAC, ZOA, ADL, and J Street. None of them mentioned this huge blunder, and ignorance of the most heinous mass murder of the 20th century. Usually the reactions are swift, and when they can be associated with some significant event in Jewish life or history, such as, in this instance Passover, the charges of “anti-Semitism” follow in rapid order.

  11. Edward Q
    April 12, 2017, 11:56 am

    Normally, the U.S. government can be counted on to call any leader they dislike “Hitler”. Given the inflation in U.S. rhetoric, I suppose this day was inevitable. Now, not only are they “Hitler” but they are “worse then Hitler”. What will be the next rhetorical escalation?

  12. jon s
    April 12, 2017, 12:28 pm

    As far as I know, the IDF discontinued the use of white phosphorus after Cast Lead (2009).

    • Talkback
      April 12, 2017, 12:36 pm

      They continued their horror weapon tests on humans with DIME bombs.

    • oldgeezer
      April 12, 2017, 12:47 pm

      @jon s

      What’s relevant is that they used it.

    • talknic
      April 12, 2017, 7:09 pm

      @ jon s April 12, 2017, 12:28 pm

      ” As far as I know, the IDF discontinued the use of white phosphorus after Cast Lead (2009)”

      Why if it was used legally?

      • Talkback
        April 13, 2017, 8:24 am

        Because of the terrible effect it had on … Brand Israel.

    • oldgeezer
      April 12, 2017, 8:05 pm

      @jon s

      Just curious jon s

      Do you hate the supposed double standards used to demonize Israel as much as the double standards used to protect Israel from it’s evil acts?

      In the live news conference today it was amusing to see tillerson demonizing assad for using cluster bombs. Not just because of Israel but because of it’s own actions.

      Israel is every bit as immoral as a ME dictatorship considered beyond the pale. It is evil and immoral. It’s nuclear weapons protect it from punishment but there is not one single thing to be proud of in such a vile criminal state.

      Israel … No worse than a criminal dictatorship.

      That should be your nations motto. I suggest you work on that change once you come to grips with living on the the graves of those slaughtered to enable your presence in that house you claim you own.

      My apologies to Syrians as Israelis get to choose their evil regimes.

  13. Maghlawatan
    April 12, 2017, 12:55 pm

    Israel has used fléchettes, depleted uranium and white phosphorous against kids in Gaza. Passover is meaningless in ha eretz.

  14. Ossinev
    April 12, 2017, 3:42 pm

    @Amigo
    “Holocaust centers? So Hitler brought ‘them’ to Holocaust centers? Does Spencer mean concentration camps?”

    Could have been a lot worse – he could have said “zones” or “facilities”.

  15. Rashers2
    April 12, 2017, 8:15 pm

    Very annoying that the Cohen YT video has been “disappeared”. Now, I REALLY, REALLY want to WATCH it! P*sses me off when Google, CNN or some other owner of copyright or information distribution channels decides that something which WAS public domain material should no longer be – smacks of “real-time revisionism” – if it never existed, how can its alleged content be valid? Any MW-er providing an alternative route to Prof. Cohen’s interview will earn my gratitude.

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