- Eighty percent of parents believe that neither alcohol nor marijuana is usually available at teen gatherings, but 50 percent of their kids say they attend parties where alcohol, drugs or both are available.* I had to look up the word "palooka", I had never heard it before.
- Ninety-eight percent of parents say they are normally present during parties in their homes, while a third of teens report that parents are rarely around.
- Only 12 percent of parents see illegal substances as their teen's greatest concern. But twice as many teens (27 percent) say drugs are a major worry.
- Thirty-eight percent of teens say they can buy marijuana within a day; 19 percent can complete the transaction in an hour or less.
"Parents are living in a fool's paradise," Califano said. "They've got to take the blinders off and pay attention. If asbestos were in the ceiling, they'd raise hell. But their schools are riddled with drugs. If they'd say, `Get the drugs out' with the same energy, we'd get somewhere. This is a wake-up call."
The annual teen survey, a CASA staple since 1995, interviewed 1,297 12-to-17-year-olds and 562 parents (84 percent of whom were parents of the youth surveyed).
According to the standard Holocaust narrative, the Final Solution was the product of "hate" or racism or, often, both. Anti-Semitism became popular in the 19th century; the Nazis expanded on it, constructing a pseudo-scientific biological racism that saw the Jews as a "cancer" on the body politic and the Holocaust as an attempt to excise the tumor. Herf does not so much debunk this version of history as cut through it.
In "The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda During World War II and the Holocaust," he concedes that hatred and racism were important, but he argues that they don't explain Germany's unique efforts to destroy the Jews. It's not as if no one hated the Jews until the 1930s.
The real answer isn't hate, but fear. Poring through miles of speeches, private comments, journal entries, party memoranda and all 24,000 pages of Goebbel's diaries, Herf concludes that the Nazis really believed that the Jews ran the world and wanted to destroy Germany. They believed that Jews controlled not only the Bolsheviks to the east but the capitalists to the west. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was a mere pawn of his Jewish friends and advisors. The British Parliament, Goebbels wrote in one diary entry, was "in reality a kind of Jewish stock exchange." The "Jewish-plutocratic enemy" was everywhere, benefiting from, and responsible for, every piece of bad news for Germany. In fact, the Nazis were sure that the Jews had declared war on Germany first, giving them no choice but to respond to the Jewish campaign to "exterminate the Germans." This paranoia led the Nazis to believe that rounding up millions of Jews and gassing them was an act of self-defense.
What is so frightening is how similar this is to the sounds from the Middle East today. Ahmadinejad — dismissed by "sophisticated" academics as a blowhard — calls the Holocaust a myth. Indeed, there is no Jewish conspiracy theory too outlandish in the Muslim world. Huge numbers of Muslims — even 45% of British Muslims — believe that the Jews were behind 9/11. Theories that the Mossad is behind every bad headline, from the Indonesian tsunami to bad soccer performances, are common on the Arab street. According to Herf, this is only the second time the world has seen this sort of radical anti-Semitic paranoia. And, again, too many in the unspotless West are saying, "they can't be serious."