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Don'T Know Much About History

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Don't Know Much About History


The first reaction from the right to Bush and Nazi symmetries is always one of outrage along with issuing the usual, visceral imagery of concentration camps, Jews, etc. One of the purposes of knowing history, however, is to avert disasters before they erupt. Even so, the full-blown camps were a later stage in Hitler's dictatorship, occurring only after he finagled his legalistic rise to power, from which followed the maelstrom of horrors.

Not surprisingly, the first victims of Germany's camps were members of the political left. But it's not all just about camps and Jews-- it's about how Hitler wormed his way into a position of "unitary" power. It's about all the behaviors that contributed to the horrors--the repetition of lies as truth, propaganda, decrees (executive orders), purging, new laws eliminating established rights, Orwellian language, the elimination of other parties, surveillance, fear tactics, smears, scapegoating, maintaining the impression of a popular mandate, other parties making the mistake of believing Hitler's promises while many people didn't want to believe he was a tyrant, and Hitler, yes, claimed he was on a special mission guided by God. There are many valid comparisons between the Bush regime and Hitler's, at least to the point where we are today.

Bush's final totalitarian power grab is touted as "unitary executive" by his enablers--let's call it what it is, not king, not monarch, but dictator. Bush's aspirations for a dictatorship are close to absolute control, and his pick for the Supreme Court cements the judiciary in his favor, his private little protection racket. It remains uncertain what ultimate form this latest upsurge of fascism will take in the bushification of America

Interestingly, the Bush cabal demonized Hussein as a Hitler, and yet many Iraqis today claim they are no better off under the heels of U.S. forces and the chaos engendered by the invasion and occupation--rape, torture, murder and disappearances of innocent civilians are all common features of the post-invasion landscape. Of course Bush doesn't intentionally murder and torture children, women, boys and men--they just happen to get in the way. They even have names for such callous disregard for life: collateral damage and liberation. Muslims are the new Jews, and you may be next if you're a liberal, a socialist, a gay, a Quaker, an anti-war protester, an intellectual, a professor, a spiritualist, a unionist, a constitutional conservative, etc., the domestic "enemies" within. (Is it not strange that the so-called president so diligently champions torture?) Not to understand this or the concept of "gleichschaltung", the consolidation of power within one party, is to be very obtuse indeed.

 

Michael Arvey is a freelance writer and commentator. He resides in Colorado.

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