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Obama v Hitler: a shocking depiction and a shocking truth

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Mark John Maguire     Permalink
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Obama Hitler Moustache by Wane News

A doctored face of Obama in Indiana has depicted the President with  a Hitler mustache: the implications are clear and it has attracted howls of indignation in the media and amongst many Americans. 

But beyond the emotive intentions and responses, the question remains: is the comparison a fair one? Instinctively, emotively, most people recoil from the idea -- but on closer inspection it may be a fairer comparison than many seem to credit it with.

Obama is a dictator in all but the least essential respects; true he is limited to 8 years in office, but during that period his power has been extraordinary and has enabled him to exceed most democratic and constitutional boundaries and norms with surprisingly few constraints. Recently his much-publicised belief in American "exceptionalism" in pursuit of foreign-policy objectives has come dangerously close to 1930s National Socialist dogma. The waging of aggressive war throughout the Middle East is regarded by many legal authorities as a war crime under international law -- which he disregards with much of the arrogance and casual disdain that Hitler demonstrated throughout the 1930s. The holocaust of the Muslim world (how else will history regard it?) for which the US and its allies is responsible seems to bear many unhappy comparisons with the holocaust of the Jews under Hitler's authority. It is true that it is not overtly seeking the elimination of the Muslim peoples, but the deep prejudices against Islam, as well as the effects of the policies employed to "contain" it, make it a rival of the Jewish holocaust. The full extent of the horrors of the crusade against Islam may not be known for many years yet, but we know enough to understand the thrust and effect of it.

Obama's pursuit of political and conscientious dissent in his own country is startlingly similar to that of Hitler: he appears to be constitutionally unable to accept anything that asserts the rights of the individual over that of the State. That is a clear symptom of authoritarian government. He presides over the world's most notorious concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay, where some men have been held without trial for over a decade; torture, assassination, secret prisons have all become the hallmarks of his presidency; even his drone wars are redolent of Hitler's V-Bomb programme in 1944-45. His representation of a faction in the US, whose aggressive and seemingly insatiable desire for US world dominance in terms of its ideals and fiscal and economic policies by means of military force, must surely rank Obama with Hitler (and possibly even Ghenghis Khan!). At home the increasingly paramilitary-style police forces and use of secret police with secret powers are as ruthless, brutal, and unaccountable to the public they serve as anything Nazi Germany produced -- and the NSA would make Hitler's Secret Police green with envy.

And what of his politics? How could they be characterised other than National Socialist? His blend of military nationalism with statism and the needs of the individual being subordinated to those of the State are the principle characteristics of National Socialist ideology -- in fact of all  fascist id eology -- and that seems to provide a very neat fit with Obama's. The principal jarring element is the anti- Semitic  characteristic of Nazism, but if "anti-Muslim" is substituted in its place, the comparison is astonishingly close. Of course, it could be argued that his tenure of office is limited, Hitler's w as not, and Congress appears to be able to constrain his activities to some extent; also that the sheer scale of death that Hitler caused -- possibly as many as 20 million deaths -- dwarfs Obama's, which is considerably less than a half a million. But these are hardly the things that defined Hitler and there are probably many more similarities than dissimilarities.

A doctored photograph of Hitler in Indiana may be shocking to many Americans, but the real concern should be that such a comparison can be made and that it can stand the test of scrutiny. That said, I'm sure the Indiana poster's intention was somewhat mischievous! 

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I was educated at the University of Manchester, Swansea University and the Polytechnic of Wales, where I studied History, Philosophy and Intellectual and Art History (MA). I have lived and worked in Ireland, Germany and Holland and the UK as a (more...)

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