General Flynn And Captain Dreyfus

Saturday, May 23, 2020

The current ongoing saga of the trials of General Flynn calls to mind a similar situation that occurred in France at the turn of the 20th century. This was the so-called Dreyfus Affair.

Capt. Albert Dreyfus, an officer in the French army, was accused of being a spy for Germany bypassing them secret weapons documents. He was tried and convicted, publicly cashiered from the Army, and sentenced to life in prison on Devil's Island.

Subsequently, the actual spy proved to be a French Army major. The major was tried and exonerated. He was allowed to leave France and spend the rest of his life in England. Captain Dreyfus was retried and re-convicted. The sentence was overturned only after several newspaper writers, principally a journalist named Emil Zola, publicly accused the Army of demonizing Dreyfus.

The fact that Alfred Dreyfus was Jewish was the primary reason for his selection and conviction as a spy. The issue became the Army and Church versus a more liberal population.

The affair is neatly summarized in the Wikipedia article about Dreyfus. Eventually Dreyfus was exonerated. He served in the French army through the First World War and died in 1935.

The rift in the French population has apparently never healed. Echoes continue until the present day. The wholesale betrayal of the French Jewish population to the Nazis is felt to be a result of the Dreyfus affair.

While the liberals may have won the Dreyfus battle the war is never over. The general acquiescence of the French population to ongoing attacks on French Jews by immigrant extremists from the Middle East is probably related to the same forces.

There is a lesson here for us in the trials of General Flynn. He may ultimately be absolved but the hard feelings and general prejudices will continue. Instead of hatred toward the Jews, the prejudice this time will be against the current president and what has come to be known as the Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Theodore A. Feintuch, M.D.

Chattanooga


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