"We had our Hitler, now you have yours."
What follows is a comparison between Hitlers rise to dictatorial power in 1930s Germany and the Bush administrations rise to dictatorial power in America today, focusing on the role religion and patriotism played in both. It is based largely on the psychological study of Hitler commissioned by the United States government during WWII and undertaken by a team of people including psychologist Walter C. Langer in 1942-43. It was published in 1972 as a book titled "The Mind of Adolf Hitler" by Walter C. Langer.
(L.) indicates Langers words, (H.) indicates Hitlers words.
It has been deemed unacceptable, even laughable to talk about or write about G.W. Bushs administration as being like that of Adolf Hitler. But now, with Bushs claims to extraordinary war times powers -- claims which have, alas, gone largely unchallenged by Congress and todays media -- coupled with his description of Irans leader as being like Hitler and the fact that nearly identical measures are being used by this administration [parroted by a still largely stenographic press] to fear-monger America's people into war against Iran that were used to fear-monger the public into supporting war against Iraq, perhaps the public should be given a glimpse of how the good people of Germany allowed Hitler to become, over time, the monster he became.
I include here an excerpt of the writing of just one person who lived under Hitler during the Holocaust:"
So why, now, when I hear GWB's speeches, do I think of Hitler? Why have I drawn a parallel between the Nazis and the present administration? Just one small reason -the phrase 'Never forget'. Never let this happen again. It is better to question our government - because it really can happen here - than to ignore the possibility.
Nevertheless, it is certainly true that George Bush is not Adolf Hitler. He has initiated an illegal war of aggression and, to me, his refusal to disallow torture and his hypocritical policy of extraordinary rendition comes uncomfortably close to the concept of deliberate extermination, but the wars he has initiated have not (yet) been responsible for the deaths of anywhere near the fifty million people who died in World War II world-wide.
I am sure it is not, now, Bushs wish to commit murder in those kinds of numbers. But, he confided to many of his friends that he felt God wanted him to be president. He has also reportedly said both that God speaks to him and God speaks through him. And that God told him to strike Saddam. He, like Hitler, has an absolute belief in what he perceives to be his mission, and nothing, including whatever number of deaths that perceived mission might entail seems likely to deter him from wherever he believes his path leads him. He is resolute. He will not be swayed from the path God has set him upon.
Hitlers strongest point is, perhaps, his firm belief in his mission and, in public, the complete dedication of his life to its fulfillment. (L. 74.)
Hitler, too, believed God was behind him. Hitler believes he has been sent to Germany by Providence and that he has a particular mission to perform He has been chosen to redeem the German people and reshape Europe. (L. p. 35). I carry out the commands that Providence has laid upon me. (H. p. 36). Hitler believed himself to be an Immortal Hitler chosen by God to be the New Deliverer of Germany and the Founder of a new social order for the world. (L. p. 42.) Providence had given him the spark that transformed him overnight. It was now his mission to transform the remainder of the German people by winning them to his view of life and the New Order. (L. p. 219.)
We know the desire of the neocons is absolute control of the Middle East, and the world. We know Iraq was only the first of many wars they believe might need to be fought in order to accomplish that goal. Indeed, in the New Yorker Sy Hersch has just written that Bushs real obsession is not Iraq, but Iran. In fact it is alleged in the recently released book Cobra II that Dick Cheney undermined security plans for Iraq utilizing the 300,000 strong Iraqi Army at least in part because he was intent on invading Iran as well as Syria once we had subdued Iraq. A strong Iraqi security force might have taken exception to yet more upheaval in the Middle East.
Even if it is not Bushs wish that war spread throughout the Middle East, by his illegal invasion of Iraq against the will of the overwhelming majority of the people of the world and against the advice of experts on that region, exacerbated by the incompetence of the occupation of Iraq and even Afghanistan, Bush has fomented such hatred that his imperial goals notwithstanding, the war he initiated under false pretenses may be only the beginning of the violence. He may well have, unwittingly or otherwise, initiated a war destined to be the beginning of multiple wars which will kill massive numbers of people and impoverish millions of others. And, because Bush has not dealt with Kim Jong Il, North Koreas megalomaniac, Kim could conceivably begin a nuclear war as well.
The idea of more or less never ending war is a Fascist idea. As Mussolini himself said, "And above all, Fascism, the more it considers and observes the future and the development of humanity quite apart from political considerations of the moment, believes neither in the possibility nor the utility of perpetual peace. . . . War alone brings up to its highest tension all human energy and puts the stamp of nobility upon the people who have the courage to meet it."
Compare that to what a real Republican war hero, Dwight Eisenhower, said at a press conference in 1954: I dont believe there is such a thing as a preventive war, and I would not seriously listen to anyone who came and talked to me about such a thing.