July 20th is a holiday of sorts in Germany, a day of remembrance of the plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler. This is not a Fourth of July type of holiday it is more akin to Veterans Day, a day of reflection and atonement. These weren’t George Washington or Thomas Jefferson type heroes but they were patriot’s still.
The plotters were all Nazi party members and quite content with the functions of the Nazi party during the good times. But this was 1944 Stalingrade had turned the tide on the Eastern Front and Rommel was finished in North Africa. Most of Italy was now in allied hands and pushing north and the invasion of Normandy had been a complete allied success.
These plotters were reading the writing on the wall and they understood how Hitler handled military reversals with irrational vitriolic tirades issuing nonsensical orders and firing generals that only led to more death and failure. They feared what Hitler would do next, that he would lead Germany to total annihilation, their plot was to eliminate Hitler and sue for peace with the Allies. It was naive for them to believe the Allies would have ever make terms with them but such are the thoughts of desperate men.
But in there desperation they became patriots and heroes, they turned on their superior officer and plotted to take his life. None of the men involved had any illusions as to their fate if they failed and even if they succeeded the chances of assuming control of the government were slim. The Nazi party had been in power for almost a decade and had placed bureaucrats and loyal party functionaries at all levels of the government.
Like all totalitarian states promotion was based on loyalty to the party ideology not qualifications. Himmler was a chicken farmer, Albert Speer was an architect and one of the few with a college education. Goering was a World War one air ace an outgoing fast talking flim flam man whose gregarious personality earned him the title of uncle Herman to the German people. But as the allied bombing campaign continued despite Goering’s promises he was scarcely ever referred to in such kindly terms again.
The plot failed and the plotters were either executed or committed suicide. They had realized too late their own complicity and forfeited their lives in a failed attempt to save their country. Their patriotism to their people and to their native soil had risen above the ideology that had placed them in positions of authority. They had gone over to the other side, ideology be damned they would sacrifice all to destroy the monster rather than protect it one day more.
After the end of the war as the allies were setting up the democratic government in Bonn the term denazifaction came into being. The allies weren’t concerned so much about persons within the nazi leadership as they were thoroughly discredited. The problem or the fear was the low level and mid level bureaucratic functionaries. The law clerks the middle management of government who had spent their entire careers in service to Nazi’s and owed their careers to them, how would they behave?
America’s invasion of Iraq had included debathification, the exclusion of members of Saddam’s ruling Bathe party. The debathifacation processed worked as follows, if you were in the Bathe party you couldn’t be in the military or the new government. Had allied occupation forces in Germany applied those tactics, Germany would have been unified under a Soviet government by 1950. Thus in one fell swoop Paul Bremmer fired anyone with any knowledge of how things operated in Iraq.
The water and sanitation, the electricity, the military, the oil industry were all fired. To gain any position of authority in Saddam’s Iraq you had to join the party just like in Hitler’s Germany or even in George Bush’s Washington. From then on Bremmer’s decisions might as well have been made by a crazy eightball, "outlook appears in doubt." Imagine firing everyone in the pentagon except the janitors and maintenance people and then asking, now explain to me how this place works?
Bremmer returned to Washington after bungling the largest foreign policy fiasco in US history and is awarded the Medal of Freedom, Just as George Tenant was awarded his for his failure to stop 9-11. Just as Hitler awarded General Von Paulus a Field Marshal’s baton. A sham, a show of party loyalty, win lose or draw the high order of the Soviet. Heap praise on failure commend and promote it and there by limiting the chances that they will ever turn on you. But they will, Scooter couldn’t be given a Medal of Freedom so commutation would have to do for him, but it’s for the same reason to keep him loyal and silent.
So now millions of us hope and pray that this administration is almost finished by either ballot bullet or barrister or even gallows pole. But our problems won’t end there, eight years of mid level officials and bureaucratic cronies hired by the Brownie’s and Chertoff’s and the Scooters of the administration will remain. Our court system or what remains of it is just as infiltrated and just as compromised.
In 2000 the Supreme Court made the worst and most politicized decision since Dredd Scott and it’s been down hill from there. In it’s most recent ruling the court repealed a hundred-year decision that says manufactures and wholesalers can’t dictate retail prices to their dealers. In the name of freedom and in the name of free market Capitalism the court ruled that even though I sold you a product I may now tell you what you must sell it for. You bought it from me but I still control what you may now do with it, so much for free market capitalism.
What will be required is a debushifcation, a purge, and a renunciation of this administration and all that it stands for. The July 20th plotters are remembered as heroes because even at the eleventh hour and despite their own complicity in the crimes they desperately tried to stave off disaster. They didn’t consider any options off the table despite being in the minority. They chose the well being of their nation over their own political party affiliations and if they are to be remembered as hero’s, what does that say about those who wouldn’t try, who wouldn’t stand with them. If the hero’s died that July 20th what would you call those who remained alive?