Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, network host Chris Matthews was talking about the Syria conflict when, by way of comparison with Syrian President Bashar Assad, he pointed out that Hitler did not use chemical weapons.
The managing editor of a prominent Jewish news service said assertion was “raising some hackles,” because, well, it’s not 100 percent accurate.
Here’s what Matthews said (emphasis added):
The problem is, I don’t like it, first of all I’m rather dovish, I don’t like what I’m going to say but it’s true. If you basically put down a red line and say don’t use chemical weapons, and it’s been enforced in the Western community, around the world — international community for decades — don’t use chemical weapons. We didn’t use them in World War II, Hitler didn’t use them, we don’t use chemical weapons, that’s no deal. Although we do know that Assad’s father did. And then he goes ahead and does it. It makes you wonder what the mullahs will do if they have a couple of nuclear weapons, just a couple. Are they capable of not using them? And that, of course, you know, I think that everybody talking this morning is projecting toward that, which is if you can’t use deterrents the normal way — mutually-assured destruction — you can’t say, if you do this, we’re blowing you up. If that doesn’t work, what does work? And that’s the problem.
Uriel Heilman of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency wrote: “For the record, the U.S. used nuclear weapons in World War II, which arguably are worse than chemical weapons. And, of course, Hitler used chemical weapons — gassing defenseless Jews in the concentration camps.”
Twitter users chimed in with similar comments:
Watch Matthews make the claim, via MSNBC:
(H/T: Real Clear Politics)