Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The "Hitler Comparison"

The "Hitler comparison" should be shouted from the rooftops, as should the Goebbels comparison, the Himmler comparison, the Mengele, Stalin, Torquemada, Beelzebub comparisons and all the rest. If it struts like a Nazi, talks like Nazi, tortures like a Nazi and wages aggressive and illegal war like a Nazi... it's not a duck.
Eighteen months or so ago I wrote a post comparing Bush, Cheney and the boys from PNAC to Hitler, to the Nazi hierarchy and to the wonderful folks who gave the world kristallnacht, the terror bombings of Guernica, of London and conducted history's magnum opus of human carnage, the holocaust, the destruction of two thirds of the Jews in Europe and millions of other "undesirables."

I took a moderate amount of heat for what one local (Dayton) commenter called my "classlessness," and received a few surly EMails from people who are probably, to this day, driving around with "Bush/Cheney" bumper stickers on their Cadillac and Lexus SUVs but since I want so badly to be loved and admired, (or at least not ignored) I resolved to try to avoid using the "Hitler Comparison" after that.

I saw it used by others on the blogs and, guardedly, in the MSM, witnessed their reception of similar treatment and I realized that a taboo (see Godwin's law) had been created. "Disrespectful to the office of the President," some cried, "diminishes the horror of the holocaust and the brutality unleashed on Europe's Jews by the real Hitler," cried others, "the ultimate ad hominem attack," wrote one academic seeking to show that such comparisons were childish , demeaning to those who offered them and "kills dead," scholarly internet discussions.

As the months dragged on and the war escalated, the deaths, the casualties, the carnage mounted, the attacks on dissent increased, civil liberties began to erode and disappear, as the regulatory bureaucracy and the judiciary were stripped of independent professionals and replaced with ideological partisans, as tens of billions of dollars of American taxpayers cash simply disappeared into the black hole of "privatization" and reason itself came under constant attack, I couldn't help myself, I began to use the "Hitler Comparison" more often in my various rants.

I don't pretend to scholarship, or journalism, I'm an old carpenter, not an academic, I'm content to be a pamphleteer. As long as the feedback tells me that people are reading my electronic leaflets, not ripping them from under their wiper blades and kicking them to the curb, if I sense that they are following the links, I find a small measure of hope, not a lot, just enough to make me look forward to coffee and another batch of leafleting in the morning.

The war..s continue, and as the fervor grows for another, in Iran and more evidence of official "misdeeds," of lies, of outright criminality, of incompetence, rampant cronyism and fraud continue to seep out from under the closed doors of what has developed into the most secretive, insular, antidemocratic administration in the history of the Republic, the "Hitler comparison" has grown in my mind and, I believe, much of the public's to the point that we need to repeal the "Godwin law" and popularize the idea in the hopes that by holding up the mirror to the tyrant we may drive him from our shores. I'm serious, we need "Hitler Comparison" T shirts, by the millions.

Sunday night I watched Naomi Wolf on PBS as she was interviewed about her recent book by "guest interviewer" Viet Dinh, a former Assistant Attorney General, and principle author of the Patriot Act, greatly admired by none other than Rupert Murdoch, in other words, as Adol George W is wont to say, no cream puff. Ms Wolf more than held her own, after all, she knows her book and the research on which its based and defended it well against a wholly predictable neo-con cross examination.

Her book may represent, albeit in a much more scholarly and reasoned way, the ultimate in "Comparisons," (I confess I haven't yet read it) She says that she charts the closing of various previously open societies, from Hitler to Stalin to Pinochet and on to our current rapidly closing system, and finds the comparisons striking, the trends frightening, ant the peril, imminent enough to cause her to run around the country like a latter day Paul Revere shouting that the redcoats brown shirts are coming, while making astute "comparisons" between current and past events, motives and personalities.

It is, of course, a book tour and yes, the object is to sell the book but there is much more here, I hear a clarion call in her voice and feel truth in her message.

Would that several million people, Germans perhaps, in 1933, 34 or 35 had been possessed of the poor taste and "classlessness," had been willing to succumb to the gaucherie of loudly and publicly comparing Adolph Hitler to... well ..what the hell, lets go for it.. Adolph Hitler, I wonder what result might have ensued. Or, back in the USSR, had Russians stood up and said "hey this Stalin guy is becoming a real Hitler or maybe even a Stalin," how many of the fifty million Russian dead might have been spared, the cold war, arms race avoided, at least greatly reduced.

There is a responsibility of those who govern to speak truth to the governed, but, when they fail in that responsibility, there is a greater responsibility on the part of the governed to speak truth to power, to spit in its eye and to dethrone it as necessary to insure the continuity of the rights, freedoms and welfare of the public, for that is what finally matters, not the government, nor the corrupt interests of the criminal oligarchs that it represents.

I listened to the GOP candidates a bit the other night, a little goes a long way with these birds, and heard the words "personal responsibility" several times, a phrase which is nothing more, on Republican lips, than a code word for racism, sexism and a continuation of the war they have waged against the "lesser classes' for all of modern history.

I agree with them in this sense, it is time for a large percentage of the population to take personal responsibility for themselves, for their country, to unite in the name of freedom, in the name of economic, political and spiritual liberty, to rise up and seize control of the whole package, the big damn shebang, to wrest control from the five percent who have kept them enslaved, who have enforced ignorance and poverty and to throw aside the twenty percent who guard the prison.

It may be "classless" and a violation of "Godwin's law to "Compare" George Walker Bush, the arrogant young scion of eastern establishment wealth and power, grandson of Senators and son of Presidents, cowboy of windshields and owner of chainsaws, to the beer swilling gutter scum of the beer halls of Munich and Berlin but I'm afraid it is unavoidable, it is inescapable, obvious, and it is historically necessary.

Terrorism? 9/11? The attack on the World Trade Center was their Reichstag fire, the invasion of Iraq, comparable to the blitzkrieg into eastern Europe. They share the same motives and ideology, the same vision, they exhibit the same compassion, and wield power with the same ruthless disregard for the lives, for the welfare and dignity of common humanity.

Make no mistake, these people, the architects of the last six years of international turmoil, of domestic division, of war and death, of crushing despair and hopelessness, are Nazis, perhaps not yet in the full bloom of adulthood, not yet grown to the evil proportions of their twentieth century predecessors, but they have emerged from their larval stage and are prepared for full flight, They have all the weapons, they lack nothing, nothing, but to complete their rewriting of our laws and of course, they need those handsome uniforms.

The only thing that can prevent them from fulfilling their wretched and terrible goals of oligarchy, universal slavery and domination of the world is your voice, your derision, your hand, raised in resistance, your lips mouthing a simple no.

Hurry, I think the uniforms have been ordered.

Bob Higgins

Worldwide Sawdust