World Views: Bush and Hitler
By Wayne Madsen
Adolf Hitler would be proud that an American President is emulating him in so many ways. Hitler, it will be remembered, routinely ignored his military, other world leaders, and the clergy. Bush seems to think that this policy, which ultimately failed for Hitler, will work for him.
First, we should consider what Christian leaders are saying about Bush.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in America, Frank T Griswold III, says “I’d like to be able to go somewhere in the world and not have to apologize for being from the United States” and blasts George W Bush for his saber rattling. Apparently, poppy Bush, an Episcopalian, believes that the head of his church is wrong and his wayward son is right.
From the Vatican, Pope John Paul II fires a shot over the bow of the Bush administration by declaring, “war cannot be decided upon, even when it is a matter of ensuring the common good, except as the very last option and in accordance with very strict conditions.”
In a television ad, the chief ecumenical officer of the United Methodist Church, Bishop Melvin Talbert, says that his fellow Methodist’s rush to war “violates God’s law and the teachings of Jesus Christ.”‘
The Anglican House of Bishops has warned, “without compelling new evidence to confirm that Iraq was stockpiling chemical or biological weapons, war could not be morally justified.”
Bush, who, during one of the presidential debates, said his favourite philosopher was Jesus Christ, has apparently decided to ignore his teachings.
Maybe Bush has decided to turn away from Jesus Christ and instead seek Providence from a tequila bottle, as his State of the Union address with numerous examples of slurred speech would seem to indicate.
Bush, a so-called compassionate conservative and born-again Christian, can only find religious support from the same group of hackneyed pseudo-Christians, hate mongers, and religious cult leaders like Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Franklin Graham, and Sun Myung Moon. Bush opts for this band of zealots and ignores South African Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu who asked, “When does compassion, when does morality, when does caring come in?” His words fall on deaf ears in the Oval Office.
Content with ignoring the church, Bush has also decided to play with dynamite by ignoring some of America’s top military minds.
One of them is retired General Norman Schwarzkopf, the military commander of Desert Storm. He told The Washington Post that he has yet to be fully convinced that war with Iraq is necessary. Schwarzkopf’s comments mirror those of other retired top generals, including Anthony Zinni, Wesley Clark, John Shalikashvili, Brent Scowcroft, Joseph Hoar, and Merrill McPeak. Pentagon sources report that the obviously mentally ill Donald Rumsfeld threatened to fire some members of his Joint Chiefs of Staff for not supporting the war against Iraq. These included former Marine Corps Commandant and now NATO commander General James Jones and Army Chief of Staff General Erik Shinseki. Another recipient of Rumsfeld’s wrath is the commander of the US Special Operations Command General Charles Holland who Rumsfeld accused of having a “case of the slows” in carrying out Bush’s war plans.
Pentagon sources report that morale among senior military commanders is at an all time low. Rumsfeld rubbed salt into open wounds when he ordered his “CINCs” (Commander-in-Chief) to drop that title, declaring that there is only one “commander-in-chief” and that is Bush. Neither did it help when Rumsfeld said military draftees never added any value to the service.
Pentagon sources report that some officers are digging out old message traffic that emanated from the Nixon White House in 1974 during the height of the Watergate crisis. One particular order from then Chief of Staff Al Haig stated that military commanders were to ignore any orders from Nixon unless they were authorized and co-signed by Haig. The fear then was that Nixon might have ordered a military move on the Congress during the impeachment hearings and cite national security as the reason for suspending the congressional proceedings against him.
In the end, however, Nixon understood the gravity of his constitutional responsibilities. He resigned. Bush, on the other hand, has done more to shred the Constitution than any of his predecessors.
Of course, there was once another fanatic war-possessed leader who tore up his constitution and routinely berated his generals and ignored their advice. On July 20, 1944, Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg strode into a conference room in Hitler’s Wolf’s Lair compound with a briefcase bomb. Although the plot to rid the world of Hitler once and for all failed, it confirmed that a number of Germany’s top generals, including its most famous, Erwin von Rommel, were strongly opposed to Hitler’s fanaticism.
War making and saber rattling is not the only similarity of Bush to Hitler. The German leader, along with Joseph Goebbels, was also a master of propaganda. The Bush administration, obviously putting its propaganda arm, the White house Office of Global Communications, into full gear, convinced nine European leaders to take out an ad, billed as an ‘article,” in several European newspapers supporting the Bush administration. Some of the usual suspects signed on to the article, including Tony Blair, who, in addition to Barney and Spot, is Bush’s favorite lap dog. But it is interesting to point out some of the other leaders who backed Bush. They include the Prime Ministers of Poland and Hungary and President Vaclav Havel of the Czech Republic. These countries, which joined NATO a few years ago with the provision that they buy billions of dollars of American warplanes, tanks, and other hardware, are virtual subsidiaries of America’s military-industrial complex.
Denmark’s Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is only in power because of the support he receives from a rabidly anti-immigrant party that mirrors John Ashcroft’s brand of conservatism. Italy’s Silvio Berlusconi heads a party that has maintained strong links to Italy’s neo-fascist movement whose founding father was Benito Mussolini. Likewise, the parties of Spain’s Jose Maria Aznar and Portugal’s Jose Barroso have historical links to the fascist movements of Francisco Franco and Antonio Salazar, respectively.
Bush’s borrowing liberally from Hitler’s play book was not lost on Germany’s former Justice Minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, who last September said Bush wanted a war with Iraq to divert attention from domestic problems. She added, “That’s a popular method. Even Hitler did that.”
Bush, who is content to win the support of Pentagon stooges in Eastern Europe and neo-fascists elsewhere, has chosen to ignore people like former South African President Nelson Mandela who made no secret of his disgust for Bush when he declared at a women’s forum, “One power with a president who has no foresight — who cannot think properly — is now wanting to plunge the world into a holocaust.”
Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, who did more to bring peace to the world in a couple of years than either of the Bush’s have done in two presidential terms, said last year that George W. Bush is a threat to world peace and that his plans to attack Iraq will destroy the international coalition in the war on terrorism. Former President Jimmy Carter and Nobel Peace Prize laureate warned that a pre-emptive US attack on Iraq would have catastrophic consequences.
Bush’s disparaging of the United Nations, world opinion, and international statesmen is reminiscent of an April 28, 1939 speech by Hitler before the Reichstag:
“Members of the German Reichstag: The President of the United States of America has addressed a telegram to me, with the curious contents of which you are already familiar ... The President of the United States believes that in conference rooms as in courts it is necessary that both sides enter in good faith, assuming that substantial justice will accrue to both. German representatives will never again enter a conference that is for them a tribunal ... Mr Roosevelt asks that assurances be given him that the German armed forces will not attack, and above all, not invade, the territory or possessions of the following independent nations. He then names as those to which he refers: Finland, Lithuania, Latvia,’ Estonia, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Great Britain , Ireland, France, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Hungary, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Russia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Iraq, the Arabias, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and Iran. I have first taken the trouble to ascertain from the states mentioned, firstly, whether they feel themselves threatened, and, what is most important, secondly, whether this inquiry by the American President was addressed to us at their suggestion or at least with their consent. The reply was in all cases negative, in some instances strongly so ... I have reunited the territories that have been German throughout a thousand years of history-and, Mr Roosevelt, I have endeavored to attain all this without bloodshed and without bringing to my people and so to others, the misery of war ... For my world, Mr President, is the one to which Providence has assigned me and for which it is my duty to work. Its area is much smaller. It comprises my people alone. But I believe I can thus best serve that which is in the hearts of all of us a*” justice, well-being, progress and peace for the whole community of mankind.”
As Congress cheerfully applauded Bush’s State of the Union address, the Reichstag gave Hitler a thunderous reception. Although Hitler’s oratory skills were light years beyond Bush’s, the two speeches had something extremely fundamental in common— they were packed with lies. —Counter Punch