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The Nazification Of America Or: We Are All Good Germans Now

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I was looking at Sunday morning TV the other day and watching that George Stephanopoulos bit where they show a list of our soldiers who’ve died in Iraq the past seven days.

Like I do every week, I looked at their ages – 20, 21, 22, 23 – and I had tears in my eyes as I thought of young lives snuffed out for some mad-as-a-hatter con by two oil men in the White House that’s causing all these deaths while enriching Halliburton, the company formerly run by one of these men.

And then I thought: do I shed tears for the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths caused by our war? Do I have the same empathy for the four million Iraqis displaced by the war?

No, I realized, I have no feeling whatsoever for them. It’s not that I don’t give a damn. I just have no feeling about them one way or another. The media haven’t figured out a way to dramatize Iraqi suffering for me, nor will they ever even try, because such programming won’t sell fast food or dog food or beer or whatever else TV is there to do.

So I was trying to think of an analogy for this – good analogies often being the very stuff of thought – and up in my mind popped the most over-used and odious analogy of our time: those damn Nazis.

And here’s what I thought: we in America have become like the good Germans who did nothing even when they knew something.

I know we march and complain about the war, and that the Democrats have been making anti-war noises ever since they figured it could help them win elections, but few of us are actually taking time out to do something about the fact that most of our tax dollars are being used to kill Arabs who never bothered us about anything except they had the bad luck to be born with a lot of oil under them.

This is what is happening in Iraq: Iraqis are killing each other, we are killing Iraqis, and Iraqis are killing us, and all because a bunch of neo-cons convinced George Bush to invade and occupy Iraq for reasons nobody cops to.

Let us for once be clear about those reasons: if Iraq didn’t have oil, we wouldn’t have invaded them. If their main export was strawberries, we wouldn’t be there. So whatever else anyone might say – WMD, 9/11, terrorists, Al Qaeda, Israeli lobby, Saddam was a bad guy – the basic subterranean reason for us being in Iraq is this: there’s a lot of unexploited oil under that desert sand, and there are US companies who are very good at getting that oil out, and there’s an oil law in front of the Iraqi parliament now that gives these companies the right to get that oil out, and the President and the Vice-President of the US are oil men.

Enough said.

You can tell me till you’re blue in the face about bad Saddam and bad WMD and good spreading of freedom and dire necessity of us having permanent military bases in the Middle East, and you may be right, but to me the most obvious dots to connect spell O-I-L.

Anyway: to get back to the odious Nazi analogy. Let’s see where it takes us.

Hitler had the Germans behind him because they were real sore at having lost WWI and all those reparations they had to pay. Plus he told them they’d been stabbed in the back by the Jews.

Now isn’t it a fact that a good part of the US is still sore at having lost the war in Vietnam? You know those Americans. You’re probably one of them: we would’ve won the war in Vietnam, but we were stabbed in the back by war-protesting hippies and the liberal media who made us pull out when we were winning.

We didn’t cause our humiliation: no, it’s the fault of those draft-dodging hippies. They’re the ones who made America lose to a bunch of peasants in black pajamas.

Why do we make all these excuses? Here’s why: our pride suffered. We’re America, the great America, users of 25% of the world’s resources, supremo oil-guzzlers of the planet, and we’re entitled to our lifestyle, it’s our oil, dammit, and we don’t take kindly to having our pride hurt, because we’re entitled to our pride, because God is on our side and we’re the best country that ever was bar none in the history of the world.

And hey, we got our pride back when we kicked ass and bombed Afghanistan (forget for a moment that the Taliban now controls a good part of that country).

That’s when we’re at our best, and our proudest, when we’re bombing the hell out of people with strange accents.

And boy, we could really push our chests out when our President stood on the deck of that ship with the big banner behind him that said “Mission Accomplished.”

Well, now we know in our bones that this is one mission we will never accomplish. In fact, it will be aborted, most probably with helicopters leaving rooftops or in some other humiliating pride-suffering way.

But meanwhile, we go along with the war.

In Vietnam we kept going till we killed somewhere between a million and a half and two million Asians, and we have no memory about those deaths, and built no monuments for them.

In Iraq our war has caused the deaths of over half a million Iraqis and displaced four million of them, with two million having fled to Syria and Jordan and Lebanon, plus we’ve destroyed their infrastructure, and some of us even call it a war crime.

But most of go on with our lives totally untouched. We drive our SUVs and go shopping at the mall. It’s not our war. Most of us aren’t the parents of kids who had few options besides the Army and are now dead or horribly wounded. None of us give a thought to all the dead and displaced Iraqis.

In other words, we’re behaving like good Germans who didn’t smell the smoke of burning Jews. They knew the Jews had been carted off somewhere, but they didn’t complain.

We know the Iraqis are dying over there, but we don’t really complain about them. We’re more sore about losing than about all the deaths we’ve caused. We want out because our guys are dying and the war doesn’t seem to get us anywhere. The deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis – that’s not the reason we want out. We don’t think of them, just like those good Germans, who didn’t think of the Jews.

In fact, most of us bought wholesale into Bush’s swaggering Texas cowboy act when he launched the Iraq War, exactly like the Germans bought into the swaggering corporal act of Herr Schickelgruber when he invaded Poland.

Bush was giving us back the pride we lost in Vietnam, like Hitler was giving the Germans back the pride they lost in WW1.

What happened to all the good Germans after Hitler’s dream turned to ashes? Well, they changed. They became the Germans of today, who won’t start another war.

What will happen to us now that Bush’s Iraq dream is turning to ashes?

Hmm. Here, I fear, the odious German analogy breaks down. Mark my words: the myth will be spread that we lost the war in Iraq because we were stabbed in the back by the liberal media and MoveOn.org.

Instead of becoming civilized, like the Germans did, we will revert to the usual US default status of swaggering barbarians, who argue about how we should put murderers to death – is the two-drug potion before the electric chair humane? – instead of arguing about the morality of capital punishment itself.

We will revert to our barbarian selves because this is the terrible fact about us: there is nothing meaner than a fundamentalist, free-market, blue-collar, red-state, Christian Republican. They hate queers, blacks, feminists, liberals, socialists, illegal immigrants, and towel-heads. That’s what fuels them. They voted for Bush because he’s a jumped-up swaggerer like them, or at least acts the part. They like guns, bombs, and killing ducks and deer and foreigners.

These Republican barbarians are our full-on Nazi-proud kick-ass bad Germans, and they will sure as hell get us into another war as soon as we’re half-asleep again. Which won’t be long. They need their pride to be fed on death. A cause will be found to stoke their hate and pride, whether it’s Communism or terrorism or oil. And then the rest of us, the half-assed Americans, will go along.

Just like the good Germans we Americans have become. Heil, everybody.

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About Adam Ash

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    You underestimate the strawberry, O scary-headed jewel case.

  • STM

    Adam would likely know a fair about nazism, or as close as you could get to it in apartheid South Africa.

    He should also know from his experiences there that America is a long way from being a nazi state, or indeed anything approaching it.

    Shame on you Adam. We all know America’s a long way from being perfect, and today may not be as “free” compared to other countries as it likes to think with the surreptitious erosion of too many rights, but the truth is it’s the democracy that is still America that lets you get away with writing this kind of bollocks.

    Try something similar in, let’s say, Burma, for instance, and see what happens.

  • Lumpy

    I think adam is on target when comparing himself to the ‘good germans’ he’s just got the context wrong. it’s not the Iraq war he’s complacently accepting but the theft of our rights by the globalist elites he worships.

    as for his callousness towrds the iraqis who he thinks are just subhumans deserving of no compassion, that’s typical of the bean counting internatuonals. i’m glad that the US cares about people and trying to protect them.

    but I guess this is all par for the course from someone who still believes the no wmds lie.

  • DEE

    Nice writing… I agree, I see similarities to Germany during that time and the US currently… wait until the value of the currency drops further and we approach another similarity… I for one, when thinking of all the Americans dieing IN IRAQ for what? I can’t figure out, I also have always thought about what we have done to the Iraqis and all of them who have died because of our actions… I remember Iraq did not attack us on September 11th… A death is a death whether its an American death or Iraqi death… It is terrible no matter what nation the person belongs to… I agree we are like the Germans not doing enough to stop the course we are on, but we have to realize that our political system needs to change in order to change our foreign policy decisions… unfortunately unless we are willing to sacrafice and force this change, it will not happen, the politicians stand to lose if that change happens and they will push back and fight that change with all their might, just like the German ruling class fought against changing the Monarchial system… at that time they banked on the liberals not fighting when it came down to it, and they were right, and I don’t see enough of the American liberals willing to stand and fight either… get ready for destruction kiddies

  • zingzing

    there ARE thousands of people dying because of the actions we have taken.

    before: iraq is no nice place to live, with an evil dictator and a keep-your-mouth-shut-or-we-kill-you kind of nastiness to it.

    now: iraq is a complete warzone.

    when we leave (and we will, come january 09,) it’s going to be worse. those who have no way to leave will pay the price. sectarian genocide will occur. we’ve made the place worse. whatever intentions we had, the place is a mass grave just waiting to happen, and it is our fault. hussein wasn’t good by any means, but at least he isn’t religious warfare. so there.

    i don’t think adam is saying we are as bad as the nazi germans. i think he is saying we are just as self-deluding as the nazi germans. we (as individuals) don’t think all that much about what our country does.

    even as i am writing this, am i formulating some plan to help? no. i’m just sitting back, letting things unfold. there’s no way for me to stop it, and that’s the way it is. or so the nazi said. i.e.–me.

    see? many people will die today because of what my govt does. what will i do? go to sleep. get up. go to work. go out. drink. come home. go to sleep. life goes on.

  • Clavos

    “when we leave (and we will, come january 09,)”

    Don’t be so sure of that, zingzing. In tonight’s Democratic debate, not one of the major contenders, when asked a direct question by Tim Russert, would confirm that they would have all the troops back by the end of their first term, in 2013.

    Not one.

  • dee

    Clovis obviously did not watch the debate… I will give you one.. Bill Richardson said he would, f*ck it, I will give you two, Dennis Kucinich said so also… go back and watch the tape… stop spreading lies

  • Lumpy

    Bush hinted very clearly recently that once the next president got briefed by the CIA all claims they would pull out would be over no matter what they said in the campaign and I find it very believable.

  • Clavos

    “Bill Richardson said he would, f*ck it, I will give you two, Dennis Kucinich said so also… go back and watch the tape… stop spreading lies”

    You don’t read very well, deedum.

    I said: “…not one of the major contenders…”

    Neither Richardson nor Kucinich is a major contender.

    You can stop calling me a liar now.

  • STM

    I can’t believe any American would even compare the US system to the Nazi state, or Americans to the Germans who simply allowed Hitler to happen. It’s drawing a very long bow indeed. Actually, it’s just bollocks.

    You are not heading in that direction. Last time I looked, you still had rule of law.

    Most Germans were happy about Hitler, too. Can’t say most Americans are happy with Bush, can you?

    Also, he’s not likely to ban elections any time soon.

    Get over it, and get real.

  • http://www.elitebloggers.com Dave Nalle

    Dang, was there ANOTHER democratic debate? I seem to have missed it. Where was it broadcast this time, on public access in New Mexico or something?

    dave

  • Clavos

    MSNBC. From Dartmouth.

  • troll

    …another bitch fest

    Adam – once again I agree with most all of the sentiment expressed in your work (excluding your claimed lack of empathy) but am left unsatisfied… where’s the positive end of the critique – ?

    is there really nothing to be done in the face of Mammon – ?

    in any case your analogy does point to an often neglected bit of German history – here’s Wiki’s gateway to the subject of anti-nazi resistance at ‘home’

  • lumpy

    don’t worry. if hillary takes power we’ll see a resistence movement arise here in the US.

  • troll

    red neck noise dude – with all due respect for my brother red necks

  • moonraven

    Clavos is now deciding who is a Major contender and who is a MINOR contender in a party that he doesn’t belong to.

    The fucking redneck nerve!

    Adam,

    Good piece. The connections with Nazi Germany have been made many times–especially since the Reichstag Fire–er, 9/11.

    The Bush Gang and its apologists on this and other reactionary websites have taken as their motto the Goebbels Rule: Tell a lie a hundred times and it becomes true.

    You made one grave error in your piece–well, two, but one is factual: 1.2 million Iraquis dead and counting.

    The second one is that you have adopted the typical Ugly American commitment to not learning about other cultures. Spend some time in the Middle East like I do and you WILL begin to feel for those Iraquis. The brightest graduate students I had at NYIT Jordan were Iraquis–and their families had been destroyed.

  • http://handyfilm.blogspot.com handyguy

    Adam, the article is well written, but I have to agree with you that the Nazi comparison is odious…to the point where you should not have used it.

    But it is a valid point that relatively few in the US shed any tears for the dead Vietnamese or the dead Iraqis. We have caused a truly wretched amount of useless destruction and suffering.

    If a Dem president leaves troops in Iraq very far into 2009, they had better be moved out of direct combat – “redeployed” – or there will be some very ugly demonstrations reminiscent of the LBJ/Nixon era. And I’ll be right there.

  • moonraven

    You damn well better be there!

    I would be willing to bet that more than 90% of the folks posting here are obese–because they never get off their ass and do ANYTHING!

  • Clavos

    “If a Dem president leaves troops in Iraq very far into 2009″

    ALL the Dem frontrunners in the debate at Dartmouth said they would leave troops there until at least 2013.

  • The Obnoxious American

    Echoing the comments of handyman and STM, you are way off base making such a comparison. Yes, tens, make that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis have died, and it is unfortunate, and in general American’s don’t think about this terrible fact.

    But to compare that to the attempted genocide of non-aryans by Hitler is beyond the pale and you should be ashamed.

    I’d advise you to visit the holocaust museum, and read up on the details of the concentration camps and the tactics employed. Take a gander at some of the piles of shoes and eyeglasses and then tell me if there is some relativism between the US and Nazi Germany.

    For shame!

  • Dan

    Obnoxious, Don’t buy in to that phony 100’s of thousands dead bullshit.

    Take Adams figure of “over half a million Iraqi’s”.

    Do the math: 500,000/4.5 years = 111,111. 111,111/52 weeks = 2,137. 2,137/7 days a week = 305 per day.

    Even when Alquida blows up 50 or 60 innocents with a car bomb, it’s a big story that seems to happen maybe once every couple of weeks at most.

    Liberals can’t do simple math. I guess they think we can’t either.

    Of course if they’re counting terrorists, then the figure does trend upward. We’re doing well in that area. [Personal attack deleted by Comments Editor]

  • alessandro

    To people who read about history but fail to understand it, drawing analogies to the past to explain a contemporary issue is easy. It makes perfect sense.

    Critical they are to the intellectual process, context and perspective are elusive.

    Think of it this way. Ever been on a highway and hit black ice? That’s how easy you can lose control of history.

  • Baronius

    Scratch a liberal, and you’ll often find a racist underneath. This article doesn’t make much of an effort to distinguish between Germans and Nazis, does it?

  • JustOneMan

    Based upon the left wing view of jewish lead neocons and israels control of congress maybe adam should have used this title for his post..

    “The Israelification Of America Or: We Are All Good Jews Now”

    JOM

  • Baronius

    JOM, does every article seem to be about Jews and Israel? What about cereal boxes? When you read the ingredients in breakfast cereal, does it make you think about the Jews?

    Do Jew sometimes in the middle of Jew? Or sentences that are Jew for Jew suddenly?

  • moonraven

    Right 500,000 Iraquis dead–or 700,000 Iraquis dead: that’s NOTHING at all.

    So let’s not even consider the big fat nothing that 1.2 million dead Iraquis represent.

    [Gratuitous vulgarity deleted by Comments Editor]

  • Cindy D

    It was very clever how you used the Nazi analogy (and also how you limited it).

    OA, if anyone should be shamed by this article, it’s you.

    The fact that the point is missed by most is what makes the sting of the analogy valid.

    And #5…what zingzing said. Apparently, some get it.

    That’s my two cents.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    What a poor article…An uneducated Liberal making an analogy about something that he cannot
    comprehend.

    You wanna make a difference? Obviously, neo-hippies have proven that bitching & whining doesn’t fix anything. The democrats are more interested in their favorite Baseball team than any kind of resolution. So, why not sign-up, pick up a f*cking gun and join the many that have re-enlisted because they feel that the good fight is always harder than turning your back on the world!! I don’t see your beloved U.N. solving anything…

  • moonraven

    Brian: Tell us the number on your dogtags, war mongerer.

  • Brian aka Guppusmaximus

    GARREPY
    B.E. B POS
    USMC M
    NO RELIGIOUS PR

    And no, jackass, I won’t give you my SSN…

  • Ninja

    Brian:

    “the good fight is always harder than turning your back on the world”

    The “good fight” for Americans is fighting to keep its jackass politicians adhering to the Constitution they have sworn to uphold.

    When politicians fail to uphold the Constitution, they turn their backs on their own country.

  • Zedd

    The analogy works in that:

    – Iraqis have done us no harm to us. We have extrapolated the idea of their badness from propaganda about Arabs in general.

    – Multitudes are dying and we don’t even bother to speak of them. We know its happening…

    -) We are consumed with the war and our boys and not what the war is.

    – We are consumed with Islam but not concerned with how WE got to hate it so much.

    – We see ourselves as great, even special, in the midst of all of this.

    The Nazi’s of WWII represent something. What do we learn from it? Alessandro it is pointless to have experienced something if we can not learn from it. Every experience is an education.

    Not giving oneself the gift of self examination because you fear seeing what you don’t like is costly. We will indeed repeat the sins of the past because we don’t want to learn from the past. We would rather nit pick about inconsequential details and miss the bigger message. We must all remember that in the present evil is hardly noticeable. Whether it is Nazi Germany, South Africa, American slavery/racism, or Iraq, our impact on the planet, we don’t see ourselves as bad. The future will judge us more accurately.