In 1942-43 the American government commissioned a psychological study of Adolf Hitler. It was published in a book titled "The Mind of Adolf Hitler" by Walter Langer in 1972. Most of the analysis of Hitler in this article is based on that book.
In the text below, L indicates Langer's Words and H indicates Hitler's words.
This is the second of five parts of "America's Hitler. Part one was posted on May 1st.
British author John LeCarre wrote an article in 2003 titled "The United States of America Has Gone Mad," in which he said "America has entered one of its periods of historical madness, but this is the worst I can remember: worse than McCarthyism, worse than the Bay of Pigs and in the long term potentially more disastrous than the Vietnam War."
The events of 9/11, and the fear those events engendered in the American people who, because of our unquestioned military superiority had for decades felt almost impervious to danger from other countries, made many Americans so afraid, their new feeling of vulnerability to danger made them psychologically open to a bellicose leader promising not only "justice," but also vengeance. Never mind that this same leader was unquestionably negligent in doing nothing to guard against terrorist attacks even after being strongly warned from the beginning of his presidency that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were a real threat and must be taken seriously. We now know that on January 25, 2001, Richard Clarke sent an urgent memo to Condi Rice saying it was imperative that a principals meeting on Al Qaeda and terrorism be held as soon as possible. There were warnings all summer. And then there was the PDB warning on August 6th, "Bin Laden determined to strike inside the U.S."
Following 9/11 many Americans needed a show of American military might to make them feel "in control" and "on top" again. We bombed Afghanistan. And then there was the "shock and awe" of our invasion of Iraq. For awhile all was glorious. But then, unlike we had been promised, the Iraqi people did not just roll over and let us take over their country, and the real resistance began. Now it has been three years of almost unremitting bad news and at least four times as much money as we were told it would cost, with no end in sight. And now some are talking about occupying Iraq for ten or fifteen years of more. The violence and deaths do not end, and the people are tired of hearing "bad news." It seems they want the press to ignore what is actually happening if it is not good news.
Last night I had a conversation with a friend of mine. One of the kindest women I have known in my lifetime. Keep in mind this woman has had to listen to me for more than three years. Like a lot of Americans, she is sick of hearing about Iraq. Last night she said something to the effect of "Why don't we just kill them all!"
She was in a bad mood, and she did not mean it, of course. But because the war is not going well, because the American people are sick of bad news - especially regarding a war that was sold to the American people as something that would be simple, over in a few months -something that would be welcomed by the Iraqi people, would only cost $50 billion dollars most of which cost would be offset by Iraqi oil revenue -- the whole episode leaves a bad "taste" in her mind. And she has projected that bad taste onto the whole concept of Iraq, the war, the coverage of it. Everything that has to do with the Iraqi "adventure."
The frightening thing is a lot of people are thinking like that. A lot of redneck Bush supporters, among others, are actually saying it. My friend is a Republican, but she is neither stupid nor willfully delusional. She voted for Kerry.
Because of their frustration, many Americans are beginning to blame the people of the Mideast, and, let's be honest here, Muslims, for the fact that the rosy picture the people in the administration painted about what the war would entail has turned out to be lies. What is frightening is that is exactly what happened under Hitler. The Jews became the scapegoats. Over a period of years, they became the reason for all bad things that had happened to Germany, anyone who lived in Germany and also in the rest of the world. Hitler fostered those ideas and fanned the resentment and hatred of the masses. And, after Hitler had successfully dehumanized the Jewish people the Germans could be made more willing to rationalize the fact that these people who they had been conditioned to perceive as less than human were being exterminated. After all, as Hitler had reminded them, it was the Jews who had killed Jesus Christ.
Whether they admit it or not, to many Christians, Muslims are not equal to Christians because they don't believe "Jesus saves." To most fundamentalist Christians, that is blasphemy. They would convert Muslims by force if they could. If they cannot be converted, then, many believe, they are destined for "Hell" anyway. How much "conditioning" over how long of a period of time would it take for them to believe that killing Muslims is actually okay? More "conditioning" than Hitler used to convince good Germans it was somehow sort of "okay" to kill Jews?
Militant Christians and militant Muslims are nearly identical in that kind of thinking. Both sects believe (although some do not admit it publicly) that the "enemies" of "Christianity/Islam" the "heathens/infidels" must be eliminated because their false beliefs contaminate the world for the "true believers."
Bush's ability to feed his greed, expand his power trip and satiate his blood lust has been made easier for him because our irresponsible media, particularly the broadcast media, has been very careful not to show us the truth of what Bush, in our name, is doing. They did not question the words and the motivation of the people who occupy the seats of power before the people were misled into war. Almost no voices against the wisdom of war -- and there were many experts who said invading Iraq would be the worst thing we could do if we wanted to cut down on terrorism -- were featured in the run up to war. Additionally, the media has not made us witness the truth of the misery of war for the Iraqi people. We have not seen photos of dogs eating bloated, rotting corpses in Fallujah. We have not seen bits and pieces of our own soldiers scattered over a foreign landscape, nor have we been introduced to the lives of the soldiers who have come home to "live" as vegetables.
In the beginning, the media portrayed the war as a pretty Nintendo light show. "Shock and awe." We saw no video of terrified children screaming in fear at the other end of the missile tracers.
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