A bit late with this, sorry. Let’s take a quick look at Sean Spicer’s infamous blunder. He said something like “even Hitler didn’t sink to using chemical weapons” . Well, who hasn’t stopped themselves just before saying something stupid?
Out it came. Too late. Instead of retracting it immediately he dug himself deeper into the pit by adding “against his own people.”
At first the media decided to focus on the lowest-hanging howler: “Hitler didn’t use chemical weapons”. Somehow or other, clutching wildly for a superlative to convey the extent of the Syrian leader’s malevolence Hitler’s extermination of six million Jews, mostly by gas, had slipped Sean Spicer’s mind.
He was only trying to articulate his disdain for Assad, or “Ashad” as he blurted out in a desperate lurch from brain to voice. After all, it was nothing but an impromptu attempt to find a colourful comparison that would best communicate the extent of the Syrian leader’s malevolence.
Do bear in mind the difficulties the poor chap has with expressing himself. And he’s got to live this down.
‘Against his own people’ carries the implication that Germany’s Jews were not considered Germany’s ‘own’, which, in itself, is an unforced racist slur. Perhaps the media weren’t too sure about that themselves.
Every rationalisation made matters worse, an all too familiar behaviour pattern. The curse of inappropriately invoking Hitler. At least Sean Spicer apologised. Unlike the other practitioner of Godwin’s law, Sean Spicer did it by mistake.
Of course there was the panicky reference to the “Holocaust centres”, perhaps momentarily confusing them with tourist attractions with cafes and souvenirs. Well, he was flustered. Make allowances. Just as he blurted out “Ashad” instead of Assad, he temporarily forgot the phrase ‘concentration camps’. Brain fade. It could happen to anyone.
It does seem quite unusual to hire a press secretary whose whose mental agility deserts them when faced with the press. At first it seems like the opposite of logic. But then, people with speech impediments frequently speak on the radio, people with ‘radio faces’ are always on T.V. and reporters accidentally misreport stories or leave out whole chunks of them. There must be some hidden benefit to it.
I heard someone called Martin Wroe on Thought for the Day comparing Saffiyah Khan with Tank Man. I did that myself recently, but I was being sarcastic and he wasn’t. Yes, she’s the cute Muslim girl whose ‘smiling stand-off’ picture ‘went viral’ .The snapshot was meaningless and misleading therefore the analogy was false. She is no Tank Man.
Let’s look at the image. The girl, much taller than the ‘EDL thug’ is smiling down at him, and he is ‘facing up’ to her with an aggressive look.
That’s all it is. A snapshot; a meaningful moment, encapsulating smile-power - all you need is love.
But she’s not in any danger. There is no tank. The police are there to escort her off safe and sound, smiling insouciantly all the while. It is alleged that she did not go there to pay her respects to the victims of terrorism. Martin Wroe got that wrong. The reality is quite different. The girl is a Muslim, yes, but a ‘punk’ version. No hijab, just piercings and a denim jacket. A ‘moderate’ perhaps? Someone who embraces tolerance and goodwill? Or not. She’s part of the “Free Palestine” movement. A student, maybe and a provocateur. Next day she’s interviewed on the Victoria Derbyshire programme to represent ‘smiling and love’.
However, she’s wearing her Free Gaza / Free Palestine T-shirt. Did the BBC know she’d be wearing propaganda?
What does “Free Palestine” even mean? Free, as in ‘free from?’ Free from Israel? Free from Jews?
Does it mean “Our aim is a ‘Palestine’, (a region, not a state) free from Jews ‘from the river to the sea?” Is that it?
Free Gaza? Gaza is already ‘free from’ Jews. Perhaps ‘Free Gaza’ means ‘Release Gazans’. Let them do as Hamas (and Fatah) would wish. Overrun Israel; drive the Jews out and create a totally Muslim Middle East. A caliphate. “An ideal world”
Sorry, but Saffiyah Khan is not a symbol of love, and her smile does not say to me ‘Love Trumps Hate’. The exact opposite.