By S. Rowan Wolf, Ph.D.
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June 18, 2004—It is just one lie after another, one cover-up after another, one egregious tromping of our Constitution after another, and yet almost half the population supports the Bush Regime. Unfortunately, that half is also strongly represented in the legislative branch of our government. This means that while the exposes, and atrocities, and lies continue to dance across the headlines, legislation continues to be put forward and passed that cements the travesty of the current regime's vision.
Andrew Greeley asks in his June 11, article Is U.S. like Germany of the '30s?. He points to the humiliation of the German people and their anger at their leaders as key to the rise to power of Hitler. He argues that Hitler was a strong leader who appealed to the "dark side" of Germans.
Greeley's article does not do justice, in my opinion, to the comparisons to be made. It also doesn't address the scope of the deception being played out in front of our eyes.
There is a pervasive belief in the U.S. that what happened in Nazi Germany could never happen here. The belief goes beyond the Holocaust, to the transformation of a democracy into a fascist state; to the transformation of protection of individual freedoms into a police state with massive surveillance. Yet it is happening, and the people submit. Even as voices rise, most still feel that much of the actions of the last three years were necessary.
There are striking similarities between George W. Bush and Adolph Hitler. They both belong to secret death societies - Hitler to the Thule Society and Bush to the Skull and Bones. (Fact: Prescott Bush made a fortune doing business with the Nazi Regime - links below) Both brought their brotherhood and their vision to their leadership in their respective nations (Bush currently has five "Bonesmen" in his administration). Both were "messianic." Both saw their role as a calling to power to lead their nations to global domination. Both thought no cost was too great in this quest. Both acted on the belief that evil means were justified in the pursuit of the greater vision. Both promoted a good/evil dichotomy to their citizens. But these similarities aside, there are other similarities between Hitler's Germany and Bush's United States.
At a basic level, Greeley is right in that upon the rise to power of these two men, their respective nations were looking for a change. In the US, the tilt for two decades has been towards a corporate government model. (I remember during the early 1980s there was some talk of running Lee Iacocca, CEO of Chrysler, for President of the United States). Certainly, George Bush and his administration have reflected that desire. There was a desire for "morality" after the spectacle of the Clinton sex scandals. George sold himself well in this regard, as well.
However, the fascist transformation of the United States has been long in the making (see Fascism USA, UTJ 5/22/04). We have been moving towards this for over 20 years. GW is just taking us over the cliff, and he is doing it by promoting and enforcing a perverted patriotism, and promulgating a campaign of fear. This, too, is similar to Hitler's rise to power. He didn't just spring full-blown on the German scene.
Now to the present and the undermining of a nation.
There has been an ongoing erosion of the line between various branches of government. Under the auspices of the "war on drugs," there has been an increasing blurring of the line between the military and the police. This legal line is blurring to invisibility in the aftermath of 9/11. In the 6/21/04 Newsweek article Intelligence: The PentagonﾗSpying in America? by Michael Isikioff, we learn that the Senate Intelligence Committee has eliminated the restriction that the Department of Defense no longer has to comply with the Privacy Act (the CIA is also exempt from this restriction). What is frightening here is that both the CIA and the military are only tasked to operate outside the Untied States, that is, until the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act, and the merging of departments and agencies under the Homeland Security Act, and the various intelligence reorganization policies. Now both of the non-domestic tasked agencies can (and do) operate inside the US.
An examination of recent legislation coming out of the Senate Intelligence Committee is instructive. Both domestic intelligence authorizations and Department of Defense authorizations are in the same bills. Joint reports, programs, and transfer of personnel are common. There are provisions in other legislation being proposed that should also raise alarm.
S.1047 - Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Engrossed as Agreed to or Passed by Senate). Section 1037 allows the use of "unmanned aerial vehicles for support of Homeland Security missions. That is the "predator drones being used in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. The bill allows them to operate over population centers inside the US.
S.1050 - National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (Placed on Calendar in Senate). Sections 3131 and 3132 authorize restarting the nuclear weapon development program and underground testing of nuclear weapons.
Public Law 108-177 - Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 from S.1025 Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004. Exempts the Department of Defense from the constraints of the Freedom of Information Act (Section 503, item 5 D).
All of the above is new legislation that erodes the boundaries that protect the population from the overbearing power of our government. They join a slew of other legislation: the U.S.A. P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act and all of its siblings, the Homeland Security Act, numerous anti-privacy and anti-rights infringements. All of these in the name of "security," and argued as "necessary in the war on terrorism." Wasn't it Ben Franklin who said something to the effect, "That he who gives up liberty for security gets neither"?
But it is largely a hidden and misrepresented erosion of democracy that faces us. It is an erosion that largely is not marketed with the face of the dominant race in the United States, and when it is (such as has happened recently) it is the face of the convert to Islam, or the "environmental terrorist," or the political activist. Anti-patriots all, according to the new rhetoric. These are the faces of the "terrorists" in our midst; the unknown element able to hide in "our" neighborhoods and strike us without warning. Interestingly not on the list (given the recent Nichols trial) is that of the White Supremacist, or the armed militia groups. So we add the "TIPS" program to the mix, for average citizens to turn in their neighbors, people on the street, or people acting "strangely" to the FBI for investigation.
Likewise the Germans (or rather those selected as loyal Germans) had their fears quieted by the Hitler propaganda machine. They blindly and unwittingly gave up their democracy to fascism because those "rules and punishments" applied to someone else—the Jew, the Gypsy, the immoral, the homosexual, the anti-Reich resister—not to them. Those extreme government actions were for "their" protection and for a greater Germany. It is more than hauntingly familiar. It is playing out day by day in front of our eyes.
So why does this tactic of framing the leader as a father and protector of the "real" national values work? It works because it plays upon the racism and ethnocentrism embedded in the culture. This is particularly true in the US which styled itself for so long as the true white democracy—reserving rights of citizenship and social participation for "whites." This creates (still) a sense of entitlement and protection. The tactics of fear work within this rubric of entitlement and protection because whites are being protected from "them." Included in them are those "traitors" who challenge the system and who challenge the entitlements (the perpetual enemy within). The dreams of grandeur work because the embeddedness of entitlement, purity, morality and "rightness" embedded in the nationalism it creates leads naturally to a belief in national entitlement and right within the world. The world is rightly "ours" and all that is in it is "ours."
It worked in Germany. It has, and is, working in the United States. We see similar processes at work in the policies of Israel, and in the anti-immigrant movements and far-right shifts in parts of Europe. The US is not unique in any of this. What is unique is that we have the military power to take by force externally, and the perceived justification and technology of controlling by force internally.
Those of us who are alarmed are told "Don't worry. If you have nothing to hide, then the protections of law are not needed." If "they" are a threat, then "take them out." How inconvenient that "our" oil (or other desired resource) is under someone else's land.
Can it happen here? It is happening here.
Secret Society Links
The Bushes and the Nazis
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