the below exchange is self explanatory. a friend voiced a comment on ghandi's remarks that european jews not respond to the german holocaust by force, much in the same tenor as fche's comment to my post. this is my response to her, unedited except as to maintain her privacy.
i have set out my letter to her first, and then her letter to me, following. just exactly backwards, but i think it will make better sense this way, oddly enough.
my letter to her.--
i would not have ever dreamed that you would be a jeff cooper fan as well. how did you come about your association with his writing? i came across him in the gun rags, where his erudition was a refreshing breeze, to say the least. yes, he was a very good writer. his draftsmanship was very exacting, quite impeccable in structure, and he wrote a very informative, very lively, and well reasoned and persuasive prose. plus, he was very entertaining, and very seldom short of a prickly opinion or two, or three.
the reference you found puzzling, was to certain gunny friends of mine who knew him, and were of the opinion that he drank way too damned much, which he may very well have done, as he liked his spirits and a good cigar, always. his face was a hard road map, and indicated he knew the way to the tavern.
i do not drink. but, grant did, churchill did, ... , and many others. i do not regard drinking excessively as a virtue, far from it, ... , but, the fact that a person drank does not detract in my mind from clear logic and exposition. laughing.
a reader at wintersoldier, one of 60 yesterday, laughing, took me to task with regard to ghandi's position on jewish passive resistance to the german effort to eradicate them. i cannot defend ghandi for his error, which was egregious.
he may have simply thought the germans not much to be distinguished from the english, and may not have understood the absolutist ideological drive that would have sustained the nazi's to the completion of their task, had they not been defeated by the allies. or, ghandi may have thought the jews in europe simply without resource to follow any other path, not having the capacity to resist, or not having been prepared to do so, or not having the philosophical ability to do so: many european jews did advocate passive resistance, through many previous pogroms and through the resistance to the holocaust. the jewish community councils, for instance, are well known to have cooperated with the germans in selecting who from a community or ghetto would be shipped out, and this is a subject of some of isaac singer's most powerful and evocative writing. there was not much resistance to the infrastructure set up by the germans to operate the camps, and few uprisings, that in the warsaw ghetto being the largest and the most courageous and the most bitterly resisted. or, ghandi, as many, all too sadly in this world, may have had just a tinge of anti semitic motivation in his statements/position
i do not know.
again, i cannot defend his error in this regard, and condemn him for it.
but, as cooper, i think his quoted remark quite commendable, and very much germane for this day. and, as cooper, i think him absolutely right, in this regard.
again, i do not think ghandi a true pacifist. a quasi-pacifist at best. i think his reliance upon passive resistance a tactical choice, for the most part. and, as i do not think ghandi a mystical figure, or any sort of deity for his holiness, he being a politician at heart, i am not in the least surprised that he was less than perfect, indeed, that he may have been in the particular you describe, quite reprehensible, and quite possibly cynically & antagonistically anti-semitic, in his "martyrdom" remark.
it is that kind of world.
which is why we must all be prepared to defend ourselves, to the last full measure of our devotion to family and friends, and so that as individuals, we may face death with calm equanimity that we have done our best to preserve ourselves and our heritage, and our beliefs and values.
p.s. i did so enjoy your remarks and observations. i hope that i have not left any issues or concerns unaddressed.
letter to me.--