Original article by Dr. Federico Fasano Mertens, editor of La República del Uruguay: http://www.diariolarepublica.com/2003/3marzo/especiales/separata_20030330.htm
From Hitler to Bush
Reply from the editor of La República del Uruguay to the US ambassador there, Martin Silverstein, who complained about the comparisons the newspaper had drawn between Hitler and Bush.
A few days ago I received a letter from Martin Silverstein, the US ambassador to Uruguay, accusing La República, a publication which I am honoured to edit, of "totally lacking any sense of journalistic integrity" by comparing George Bush, the president of his country, to Adolf Hitler, the chancellor of the Third Reich.
I have been unable to reply to him any sooner because the act of piracy which his country has committed, attacking a defenceless and close to disarmed country with the most formidable killing machine that the history of the world has ever known, has forced me to devote more than the usual amount of time to publishing special editions on the slaughter. I also found myself taken up by trying to convict US-trained uniformed torturers who had slandered me, a task which I have only recently been able to bring to completion.
Not long ago, when the ambassador visited me in my office, I remember saying to my colleagues that he was the most intelligent, perceptive and witty American ambassador I had ever met. "At last," I said, "a representative from the empire with whom you can exchange ideas, without being poisoned by the same tired, old clichés whenever you attend a meeting."
Unfortunately for the ambassador, however, his wisdom has not spared him the misfortune of having to represent the forty-third president of his nation, George Bush Jr.: a paranoid fanatic intoxicated by messianic passions and dimmer than a slug. A man drunk with power, as he was drunk with alcohol before—and legally condemned for it on 4 September 1976, for driving drunk at full speed. Admonished, too, by none other than the evangelist Billy Graham who told him, "Who are you, to think yourself God?". A militant for the Christian Right, the Texan, Southern Christian right that is. A racist in love with the death sentence, especially when it comes to African-Americans. All in all, the worst US president for over a century, the man who will unleash the greatest tragedies on his own people. The opposite of Homo Sapiens, the incarnation of Homo Demens.
And a misogynist, to boot, like any good racist. No one could forget the public humiliations he has put Laura Bush through. You can well imagine Laura Bush's embarrassment on hearing her husband's reply when asked by the press why she wasn't accompanying him on that day, "it's been raining and she's had to sweep the driveway to our Crawford ranch, we're expecting Jiang Zemin, the president of China, tomorrow".
His compatriot, the aged writer Kurt Vonnegut did not hesitate in calling him "the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-style coup d'état leader imaginable".
But let's get to the heart of the matter. Let's leave the US ambassador with his sad misfortune of having to defend the most delirious resident the White House has ever known, and me with the honour of trying this man armed only with words.
The matter at hand is the comparison between Adolf Hitler and George Bush.
There are obvious differences. The first being that the war criminal, the murderer of the Jewish and Soviet peoples, won a resounding victory in the German elections, while the war criminal and murderer of the Iraqi people reached power fraudulently, in the biggest electoral scandal in US history.
From the theoretical point of view, the comparison between Bush and Hitler is correct. The scientists have described Nazism as a terrorist dictatorship of corporate expansionism. Bush, by putting himself beyond the law and invading a defenceless nation which it had not attacked in order to take over its oil wealth, the second largest on the planet, and then stating that other oil-producing nations will follow, comes close to the definition of a corporate terrorist dictatorship. Even though he may not like to admit it.
George Bush is a Nazi in his genes.
His grandfather, Prescott Bush, was a partner in Brown Brothers Harriman and one of the proprietors of the Banking Corporation Union. Both companies played a key role in financing Hitler on his way to power in Germany. On 20 October 1942, the US government ordered the confiscation of Ranking Corporation Union, owned by Prescott Bush, and in addition seized the Dutch-US Trade Corporation and Seamless Steel Corporation, both administered by the Bush-Hamman Bank. On 17 November of the same year, Franklin Delano Roosevelt confiscated all assets of the Silesian American Corporation, again administered by Prescott Bush, for trading with the enemy. George's great-grandfather, God's warrior, Samuel Bush, father of the Nazi Prescott Bush, was the right hand man of the steel magnate Clarence Dillon and the banker Fritz Thyssen, who wrote a book called I Paid Hitler, joining the German Socialist Workers Party in 1931.
Should the ambassador have any doubts on the spurious alliance between the Bush family and Hitler, I would recommend he reads Victor Thorn's splendid essay. Thorn states: "An important part of the basis for the Bush family fortune was created by the help it offered Adolf Hitler. The current president of the United States, as his father (ex-director of the CIA, vice-president and president), reached the summit of the North-American political hierarchy because his grandfather, great-grandfather and their political family aided and abetted the Nazis". This without going into how the Bush family swindled and embezzled four-and-a-half million dollars from Broward Federal Savings in Sunrise, Florida, or the fraud of millions of savers at the Silverado Savings Bank (Denver, Colorado).
A Nazi great-grandfather, a Nazi grandfather, a father who wasn't able to be a Nazi because Hitler had already killed himself in the ruins of the Chancellery gardens, though he benefited from the ill-gotten gains of his ancestors.
But let us not condemn our homo demens for his evil genes.
Let us judge him only by his works. And let's compare. Just compare.
How does the ambassador believe that the delirious Austrian corporal reached the pinnacle of public power? Hitler reached power in clean elections, but then found that the Constitution of the Weimar Republic placed limits which his omnipotent desires refused to accept. He then plotted the burning of the Reichstag and in a single night was anointed the elector of war or peace.
Doesn't this sound familiar, Mr Ambassador?
The criminal demolition of the Twin Towers brought about the same mire as the burning of the Reichstag. Obviously, I am not about to be so bold as to join those who accuse the Bush warmongers of having orchestrated the massacre or of not stopping it when they learnt of its preparation. There is no conclusive proof for such an outrageous statement, though there are many signs of criminal negligence and huge suspicion which is only encouraged by strict censorship that is without precedent in modern US democracy. Some day, when the American people fully recover their freedom of information and investigate that black Tuesday morning of September 11, today corralled by a Patriot Act, approved with the single vote against of a woman, a symbol of national US dignity, we shall be able to find out why the many tell-tale signs of an impending large-scale assassination left throughout the country were ignored. We shall be able to learn why the Air Force jets took 80 minutes to intercept the hijacked planes, when it was known that the planes were hijacked and heading for Washington as soon as they took off from Boston and the manual lays down the procedure for the intervention of the Air Force within 5 minutes of a hijack.
We will be able to find out why the remains of the presumed plane that hit the Pentagon were hidden. We shall be able to learn why, according to the conservative Wall Street Journal, immediately after meeting in Washington with CIA director George Tenet, the head of the Pakistani secret services arranged for Islamabad to send one hundred thousand dollars to Mohammed Atta in the US, the organiser of the New York Twin Towers suicide attack. The suspension of civil rights by the Patriot Act now prohibits the investigation of this frightening piece of information. We will finally be able to find out why 15 of the 21 commandos came from Saudi Arabia, the chief US ally in the Persian Gulf. There wasn't a single Iraqi onboard those planes. Not even accidentally.
Apart from all the suspicion, there is no doubt that the chaotic forty-third president of the US, anointed by fraudulent elections, in the middle of an impressive recession with no end in view, with the lowest initial approval ratings for a head of state, has moved on to dominate the stage by acquiring powers inconceivable in a democracy and been crowned the avenging Emperor that he may cleanse the affront the barbarians had infringed upon his people.
The American Burning of the Reichstag of September 11 gave George Bush the chance of a lifetime. The worst electoral victory of a US president since 1876 had turned into the best historical opportunity for a warmonger to impose a new US order on the world.
As in Hitler's case, the first thing he did was to surround himself with a clique of con artists such as himself, men obsessed with the intimidating power of force. Like Goering, Goebbels, Himmler, Mengele, or Eichmann, the Texan president searched for the protective shell of an iron guard, often more war-like than himself to impede any temptation to doubt, and men of a common stamp: all oilmen. The vice-president, Dick Cheney, came from Halliburton Oil, the chief of the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, from Occidental, another oil company, the National Security Advisor, the spinster Condoleeza Rice, whose name in Spanish by a twist of fate means "with sweetness", was on Chevron's board of directors and has oil tankers named after her. Then there's the Secretary of the Interior, Gale Norton, who is also linked to the oil industry, as is Bush Sr. with the Carlyle oil group, and the current president, Bush Jr. with Harkins Oil.
This quintet of death around warrior Bush, a true mafiocracy, as with the quintet who joined Hitler, were fed on a very special Bible. In this case the philosophies of Hegel, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, which formed and inflamed the inventor of the Holocaust of the 20th century, were replaced by less cultivated specimens who did not posses such an esteemed intellectual lineage, but who were more useful for the Hitler of the 21st century.
What is the bedtime reading of this gang of warmongers?
The Bostonian Henry Cabot Lodge asserting that "in the 19th century, no other people equalled our conquests, our colonisation or our expansion, nobody will stop us now". Marse Henry Watterson stated that the US "is a great imperial republic destined to exercise a determining influence on mankind and mould the world's future as no other nation has ever done before, not even the Roman Empire". Or Charles Krauthammer who not long ago, in 1999, declared in the Washington Post: "the US rides over the world like a colossus. Since the time that Rome destroyed Carthage, no other great power has reached the heights we have attained. The US has won the Cold War, Poland and the Czech Republic are in its pocket, and then it pulverises Serbia and Afghanistan. And, on the way, it has proved the non-existence of Europe". Or Robert Kaplan pointing out that "the US victory in the Second World War, as with Rome's victory in the Second Punic War, made it a universal power". Or the well-known historian, Paul Kennedy, explaining that "neither Pax Britanica, nor Napoleonic France, nor the Spain of Felipe II, nor Charlemagne's Empire, or even the Roman Empire could compare to the current US dominion. Never before has there been such a wide disparity in power on the world stage".
Or the director of the Olin Strategic Studies Centre of Harvard University, Professor Stephen Peter Rosen, stating that "our objective is not to fight a rival, as he doesn't exist, but to preserve our imperial position and keep imperial order".
Or the ineffable Zbigniew Brzezinski declaring that "the objective of the US should be to maintain our vassal states in a state of dependency, to guarantee the docility and protection of our subjects and to prevent the barbarians from uniting".
Or president Wilson declaring in the Union Congress that "I would teach the South American republics how to elect good representatives".
Or the famous Billy Sunday who defined a Latin American left-winger as "someone with a porcupine's snout and breath that would scare a skunk away", adding that if he could, "he would pile them all into prisons until their feet stuck out the windows".
Now listen to the current US vice-president, Dick Cheney, and the Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, who with Sweetness Rice form the belligerent triangle, more fearsome than the Bermuda Triangle.
Faced with this holy war, Cheney declared: "the US need not blush for being a great power. It has the duty to use force in order to create a world in the image of the US". The chief of the Pentagon put it more clearly, in case we failed to understand. Rumsfeld dixit, quoting Al Capone's favourite line: "You get more with a nice word and a gun, than with only a nice word."
This language which oozes from Bush's pores and brain is a dense, authoritarian, intimidating use of language which inevitably leads to morally perverting the ends to justify the means. The essential nature of the language used by the Bush gang, as with the language of the Nazis, is its simplification, reductionism and intimidation. This predatory group's language is a schematic, emotional language loaded with prejudices which inflame the people's noblest sentiments. I have no doubt that Bush feeds off the same source as Nazi language.
Like Hitler, Bush does not believe in the Rule of Law. This is not a State which possesses Laws, but a State which yields, of its own accord, to the rule of law and in no circumstances can it break the law, even less for reasons of State. Abominable crimes have been committed in the name of reasons of State, or the Homeland, or national security.
What differences can there be between the intellectual edifices created by Bush and Hitler when it comes to reasons of state? Not many I believe. Except for differences of style, age and magnitude of might and power.
The Bush clique's discourse is a discourse between master and slave. It is no different from the Hitler clique's discourse. One is friendlier than the other. Though history is showing us that the less friendly one was less lethal.
Civilisation, savagery, pacifying the barbarians, the chosen people and from there to the chosen race in a single step. In short, does this remind us of the psychopath with the moustache?
And talking of moustaches, the account given by an influential Washington security advisor to the Argentinean magazine Noticias is instructive: "For better or worse, George Bush Jr. is the most appropriate person for this war. He was born for it. He shakes with the power coming from within. When you're with him in his office he seems like he's about to eat up whoever is in front of him. He sits on the edge of his chair, almost without resting on it and moves his arms as if he doesn't know what to do with them. He needs action".
Now there's a good imitation of the gesticulating Nazi dictator. Though the phlegm of a Texan cowboy, with pistol in holster, is not the same as a semi-epileptic Teuton choking with rage and spitting out his words as he wildly gesticulates. Bush doesn't spit when he speaks. It's his soul that spits, hate and violence, generating terror. He couldn't care less. He must have learnt Caligula's "oderint dum metuant" ("Let them hate us, it's enough that they fear us").
Bush's emotional incontinence is already a classic and, like Adolf, he won't take NO for an answer. His wife, Laura Bush, once told the press that the first time she said she didn't like one of his speeches, he crashed his car against the garage wall in rage.
He comes across as a Nazi deity, an emissary of God, whom he summons whenever the opportunity presents itself. He has ordered all cabinet meetings to begin with prayer. And claims to have consulted God before attacking Iraq, dismissing the position of the majority of the planet's nations and 90% of mankind. He attempts to imitate president William McKinley invading the Philippines to bring the Gospel to the natives and blaming God for ordering him to invade the country against his will.
Another coincidence in these parallel lives, which would have pleased Plutarch no end, is that Hitler and Bush would have avoided entering the Hall of Fame for History's Buffoons if they had only had access to a decent psychoanalyst. A good psychoanalyst would have helped them both channel their libidos into more normal duties, and learning to control the only aphrodisiac they have ever known: cruel, all-embracing power over others.
Let's go on and look at other similarities between the warrior for the Aryan race and "God's warrior", as Telma Luzzani so perceptively calls the excitable Texan. Bush declares a pre-emptive war, urbi et orbe. In 1953, Dwight Eisenhower had no doubts on the matter: "Pre-emptive war was invented by Adolf Hitler. To be perfectly honest, I wouldn't take anyone who came up with such a thing seriously".
But pre-emptive war against whom? It is a well known fact that truth is the first casualty of war. And the first thing Bush does to manufacture his pre-emptive war, after the burning of the Reichstag, is to lie like Goebbels in such an unsophisticated manner that nobody believes a word of it. First he said that Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda. When it was shown that there ran an irreconcilable hatred between Saddam Hussein and the ex-US-employee Osama Bin Laden, Bush appealed to have Iraq included on his list of Moslem fundamentalism. Difficult to believe in the most secular country in the Arab world. He then claimed there were weapons of mass destruction. Asserting that Iraq wouldn't allow inspections and, when it did, declaring that it wouldn't let the UN enter Saddam's palaces or any other protected places. When it was then revealed that this wasn't the case, the administration said that the weapons were well hidden. In the end, not a single weapon of mass destruction has been found. When all the arguments were well and truly buried, he insisted that Saddam Hussein should stand down or go into exile, while admitting the real truth: we want to occupy Iraqi territory, no matter what, and decide who will govern the country. Planetary democracy they call it. The very same disinformation campaign that Hitler launched against Czechoslovakia, Austria and Poland. The same excuses that would change as soon as they were overrun.
Another resemblance is the disdain for the international community and public world opinion. Hitler destroyed the League of Nations founded in 1919. Bush tore the United Nations to shreds, inciting the greatest opposition to a country since the founding of the UN: 170 nations did not support the war against the 30 that did, the majority lightweight states or the result of the break up of the Soviet Union, and ready to sell themselves to the highest bidder. Bush, like Hitler, was not stopped by the greatest defeat to US diplomacy since the founding of the UN. Hitler was never concerned about the hate and condemnation he generated in people's hearts. Bush hopes to surpass the Teuton. The mass demonstrations without precedent on the face of the planet are war-drums to Bush's Wagnerian ears. He is faced with the spirit of Seattle which, in 1999, founded the most important pacifist, anti-globalisation movement of all time. Nothing stops him.
It was outrageous to see the rudeness meted out to the UN chief of inspectors, Hans Blix: a man with 75 years on his back, born in frozen yet wonderful Uppsala in social-democratic Sweden, an honourable follower of the democratic traditions passed down by the martyr Olof Palme.
Disdain for people and their rights is the driving force behind their "humanism". Listen to Marshall Goering in the Nuremberg trials: "It is natural for the common people to not want war but, after all, it is a country's leaders who determine policy and it is an easy matter to convince the people. Whether they have a voice or not, the people can always be made to do what their rulers wish. It's easy. All you have to do is tell them they are under attack and condemn the pacifists for their lack of patriotism and for exposing their country to danger". It was Goering the Nazi who said this in 1945, not George Bush. The difference is that the Nazi said this in German and Bush says it in English. The invasion of a sovereign country that has not attacked you requires ethical though illicit legitimacy: toppling the tyrant Hussein and imposing a popular democratic government through blood and fire. It sounds nice, though the price to pay may go against the international community and its regulations. But this is not necessarily so. Nobody doubts that Saddam Hussein is an evil dictator who has murdered his own people and that there is nothing socialist about his Baath party. But who is going to believe that Bush is about to install an Iraqi democracy when his predecessors, less Nazi than he, have for years and years invaded and occupied sovereign nations and established ferocious dictatorships which they defended in the face of popular opposition; Somoza in Nicaragua, Duvalier in Haiti, Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. Just like the despotic, puppet regimes which the Nazis imposed on the countries they occupied, including the anti-Gaullist France of Marshall Petain.
Just as Hitler invaded Europe in search of his Lebensraum, for the purposes of territorial expansion, the urgent need for raw materials required for German growth and the construction of a new German empire that would avenge the humiliation of the Versailles Treaty, Bush is also looking for his own Lebensraum. A Lebensraum which, in today's globalised world, is no longer measured in terms of kilometres of physically occupied territory but in economic and political domination wielded from distant international financial centres.
The objectives of the new Hitler are many. In the first place, to take over the gas tank of world capitalism, which is none other than the Persian Gulf. Bush knows full well that the oil produced by his country, the motor driving the production of the world economy, will inevitably be exhausted within 10 years. In 40 years there will be no more oil left on the planet. It's a race against time. According to the Statistical Review, the discovery of new energy reserves is falling off alarmingly. These have grown by only 5% in the last decade, compared to 45% in the decade before. Sixty-five per cent of the reserves are located in the Middle East. The US consumes 20 million barrels a day, compared to the 77 million produced each day throughout the world, of which only 10 million is produced by the North-Americans who therefore depend on the rest of the world so they can go on being an imperial power. The purpose of attacking Iraq, the world's second largest reserve of petroleum, is to control these deposits, control its price and control its production. It's nothing to do with hidden weapons or anything else. As Galeano says, if Iraq produced radishes instead of oil, who would even consider invading the country?
For Bush, the oil is on a plate. All he has to do is take it. It's just that he just doesn't know how easily he could choke on it.
Bush's second game plan is to discipline his ally Saudi Arabia, the world's number one oil producer and largest energy reserve, whose pricing policy is of little value to US interests. The third aim, as revealed by the undersecretary of state, John Bolton, last February, is to invade Iran and Syria, which together with North Korea form the "Axis of Evil". And, if winds are favourable, why not include Libya in the Holy of Holies? The fourth step is to destroy OPEC and control the world's fossil fuels. If it doesn't expropriate these and find alternatives in time, North-American capitalism will be forced to change its model of national consumption, and with it perhaps lose the fulcrum of its global hegemony. The fifth aim is the succulent bandwagon business of reconstructing Iraq, onto which are leaping many of the 500, mainly US, multinationals dominating the world. No less important is the sixth objective, which lives off the teachings of Lord Keynes; using the war industry to pull the US economy out of the deep zero-growth recession which it is in. Let's not forget that winning a war is not about imposing one's military supremacy over an adversary, but being able to reap the financial returns thereof, the reason why it was unleashed in the first place.
I cannot help bringing up one last aim, which is perhaps the most important one of all in this war: imposing the supremacy of the dollar over the euro, which has recently been giving the dollar a thrashing on unexpected fronts, and threatened the privileged position of the US in the crude oil market. Over the last few months, the dollar has been falling in relation to the euro, some 17%, figures that would have been hard to believe when the single European currency was set up. Part of this fall is due to the Iraqi decision to transfer 10 billion dollars of its reserves to the common European currency. This is another reason to attack Iraq: to persuade a puppet government of its liking to return Iraq's 10 billion dollars to the dollar area. Russia is also operating in petroeuros, and Iran and several other OPEC countries are considering whether to abandon the dollar and adopt the euro. Should this happen, the economists believe that the dollar will go through an unwonted depreciation, US share prices will plunge, and will generally bring the clay-footed giant to the brink of a financial collapse similar to the one it went through in the 'thirties.
The root cause of this invasion lies in the need to create a new redistribution of the planet's wealth after the failure of the triad accords (US, Europe and Japan) at the Paris OECD meeting in 1998, and the 1999 WTO meeting in Washington. No agreement was reached on how to share out a world market besieged by a diminished percentage of the Gross World Product, of which only 50% was in the hands of the triad and its multinationals at the end of the century. The inability of neoliberalism to maintain a maximum rate of exploitation of dependent nations, the fatigue and decadence of unipolar hegemony and the not-too-distant possibility of a world crisis which would transform today's arrogant domination into a tyranny in tatters, are the roots of this act of international piracy.
Europe did not accept the terms of the share out and steamed ahead with the Euro. The US is responding with the subtlety of a bull. If it gets hold of the black lakes it will have as much cheap oil as it wants, while its allies will be forced to pay top dollar for a few drops, to the detriment of their economies.
That's the war plan. The same reasons for economic dominance that threw Hitler in the arms of Mars, with a cry of "occupy, administer, exploit". From there to Bush actually accomplishing his mission is a long stretch. Especially when you bear in mind that the only one picking up the bill for this war is the US. The last invasion of Iraq, legitimised by the international community, was financed by all nations. This illicit invasion, a crime against humanity that challenges the civilised world, will be paid for solely by the US, with only a small percentage coming from the England of renegade Blair. And it's a lot of money. Enough to further destabilise the proud owner of the little machine used for printing dollars and sitting in the Department of the Treasury of the most highly indebted nation on the face of the planet: the United States of America.
Once the real objectives had been drawn, Bush and his band of hawks patented the Nazi military strategy: the famous Blitzkrieg which the Nazis used to devastate Europe, lightning war combining attacks by whole divisions of Panzer tanks supported by waves of aircraft and artillery pieces. Times change and the Nazi blitzkrieg has become the US hyperblitzkrieg, but the style of fighting invented by Hitler's marshals is the same as that used by Bush, though with one thousand times greater firepower.
Another similarity is the disproportion of forces. The Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia, or Poland where the Polish cavalry facing German tanks was decimated beforehand by the planes. This was nothing compared to the infernal firepower of the most powerful technological meat-grinder in history. It's as if the Poles had been armed only with slingshots to defend themselves from Goering's Luftwaffe. In the first invasion of Iraq, the Iraqis suffered 120,000 casualties compared to 137 US dead and 7 missing in action. With the exception of Saddam's Republican Guard, the rest of the Iraqi army consists of starving peasants without training, technology or suitable weapons, all facing three hundred thousand soldiers who have been trained to kill with not a moment's hesitation.
What can a country with a military budget of 1,400 million dollars do against another which has invested $400,000 million per annum in its armed forces? And as if that weren't enough, Bush has just asked for a further 75,000 million dollars in spare change for this massacre. In exchange he promises that the spoils of war will far exceed the initial investment involved.
Before the slaughter began, the Iraqi army was bled in the same way as a bull is bled by the picadors when it goes into the bullring so that the bullfighter can have an easier job of it. A decade of economic sanctions, embargoes, a lack of spare parts, no planes, a limited number of tanks, few anti-aircraft batteries and an army equipped only with old AK-47 assault rifles, have driven the Iraqi bull on its knees. The bullfighter need only drive the sword down to the hilt and wait for the death throes.
Bled though it may be, the latest news from the front indicates that the bull is ready to sell its life at a high price.
The Viennese tramp-cum-prophet-of-the-Aryan-race, Adolf Hitler, plunged ahead showing no respect for mankind's treasures, destroying wondrous cities, assailing unrecoverable peoples and their culture and fabulous monuments created by the hand of man over the centuries.
Acting like the chosen son, George Bush bursts into the cradle of mankind spitting blood and fire, Mesos Potamos as Iraq was called eight thousand years ago, the "land between the rivers", where the first state was created, the first agrarian civilisation flourished and cuneiform writing was invented. In the land of the legendary library of Niniveh, the Tower of Babel, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, between the Euphrates and the Tigris, Bush launches mercilessly into the first pre-emptive war of the 21st century.
He will also have to answer for the cultural treasures he destroys. His homo demens will have to render account to homo sapiens. Just like Hitler was forced to succumb to history and his henchmen to the Nuremberg Trials.
The US ambassador to Uruguay, in his communiqué to LA REPUBLICA, claims to be astounded by the comparison of his president to Hitler, explaining that what Bush is doing in Iraq is precisely what the US did when it liberated Europe from Nazism. I believe it is an insult to intelligence to compare the brilliant creator of the New Deal, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with this power-crazed lunatic who, in the name of ideals, kills ideals, and with people inside them still. Roosevelt went to war legitimised by all the nations then facing Nazi barbarity, first among them the Soviet people who offered up the lives of thirty million of their best men, women and children on the altar of the German Moloch, people who gave their lives to change the course of the war, till then victorious for the Third Reich.
Bush is like Hitler, not Roosevelt. Bush violates all international law, challenges the United Nations and invades an almost disarmed nation that has at no time attacked it, just like Hitler.
In any case, when you consider statements like the US liberating Europe or the heroic surrender of the lives of American soldiers in the war against the German Führer, it would be good to remember that the US entered the conflagration very late, almost at the end of the conflict, when Germany had been worn down by the Soviet resistance which, alone, faced 95% of the Nazi war machine ranged along the eastern front. The US was the only beneficiary of the Second World War. During and after the conflict. During, as Heinz Dieterich well describes in LA REPUBLICA, because it was able to develop its industry and agriculture far from the battlefields, which led to real income rising 27% between 1941 and 1945, generating seventeen million new jobs and, by 1944, offering its population more products and services than before the war.
After the war it charged ten to one for its involvement. Yalta saw it rise to become the strongest power on the planet, shunting England to one side, though fearing the Soviet Union, its new historic counter-weight.
And, though I say that it would be an insult to compare Bush to Roosevelt, we should also not confuse the Founding Fathers of American democracy, heroes of freedom such as Washington, Abraham Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson, with this instructor of crime, a mobster of death, who is incapable of camouflaging the skulking gestures typical of cowards whenever he appears on television. Charles De Gaulle, the valiant rebel of anti-Nazi France, once asked the great philosopher Jean Guitton, "What is cowardice, master?". And the source of wisdom replied, "Cowardice, General, is seeking approval and not the truth, decorations and not honour, promotion and not service, power and not the health of humanity". How well would our new Hitler, who claims to defend the human rights of the Iraqi people while he specialises in making them human waste, do against this measure?
How can we be surprised by this behaviour in a leader who refuses to save the planet from devastation and sign the Kyoto protocols, unanimously approved by the international community. A leader who has rejected bacteriological arms control because he believes that agreeing to prevent the proliferation of these arsenals would be prejudicial to his country. A leader who demands that independent countries sign a document in which they relinquish their right to judge US citizens for crimes committed abroad. A leader who refuses to sign up to and take part in the International Criminal Court, recently created by the world community to judge crimes against humanity. This rejection of an institution approved by more than 190 countries, with only 7 against, coincides with the similar rejection by recently invaded Iraq, who also did not want to see an International Criminal Court made up of 18 independent lawyers that could legally hinder the continued presence of war crimes, committed by both the US and Iraq.
What do you expect from a leader who in his own country, the cradle of democratic tradition, has suspended civil rights, has introduced censorship, black lists, done away with habeas corpus (a right for which so many generations have given their lives), imposed clandestine trials, secret jails and made having an opinion a crime, taking his country back to the black night of the most backward McCarthyism.
Against all odds, in the middle of a huge intellectual void in American society, he has created a silent majority in favour of the horrors of war, a state of mind driven by disinformation, his method being to distort reality and play on the legitimate pain of the criminal attack on the Twin Towers—which cut down the lives of four thousand human beings— and a nationalism intentionally whipped up by this hypocrite in the White House. Nationalism and false patriotism are other links which unite Bush and Hitler. This form of nationalism is the scoundrel's last refuge and thrives on ignorance.
Albert Einstein described it well: "Nationalism is a children's disease, the measles of mankind".
However, a people's movement is beginning to rise up, from the feet up, from the roots, in the best civic traditions of the American people. People are standing up in the large cities, driven by the moral certainty created by common sense, an attempt to halt this serial murderer as he unleashes the greatest warmongering injustice of the last few decades.
Though slowly at first, the American people are beginning to understand that "freedom can not be brought into existence by people whose brows are stained with blood".
Who will have the guts to stop this psychopath? It's a question the whole planet is asking itself.
The United Nations could not. Nor could NATO. The European allies were snubbed and humiliated.
However, from the depths of history itself, the antidote is beginning to brew. All empires and their prophets have moved from victory to victory to their final downfall. And this empire and its emperor, who care so little for winning the hearts and minds of the world's nations, who is deaf or feigns dementia in the face of the immense rebellion of common sense, in the face of this resounding howl rising from the exasperated throats of the multitudes that have taken to the streets throughout the world clamouring for peace and an end to the slaughter, will, in the end, have no other choice but to accept that the winner of this crusade will be left picking through the ruins.
Men like Bush believe that crimes are easily swept under the carpet. Wrong. They come back to haunt us.
People are sick of violence. Sick of petty vendettas that pitch groups against one another. They want to see an end to the days of murderers. And if they are led up the garden path, they will react.
The sinister dialogue between master and slave nearly always ends in the ferocity of the slave as he has nothing to lose. Spartacus dixit.
The protests in every corner of the planet do not cease. There has never been an empire so lacking in support as the one today incarnated by this power freak.
But this immense world movement against Bush, only comparable to the world movement against Hitler, has one thing in its favour: the classic cockeyed view of the new messiahs which prevents them from clearly seeing the truth. To be cockeyed is a vicious condition of the eyes where the two visual axes can not hold the same subject at the same time. Reality is then distorted.
The murmur of millions can then become the weapon that stops this madness.
We need not fear these giants who ignore the laws of history. They use cunning more than intelligence, sending them back to the age of dinosaurs, those gigantic animals who developed an enormous body, and a minuscule head. When disaster struck their small heads were incapable of inventing the necessary mutation. Mosquitoes had no trouble.
There's a German saying referring to Hitler which says, "when you see a giant, first look at the position of the sun, make sure you're not looking at the shadow cast by a dwarf". We still cannot say how much of the giant and how much of the dwarf there is in our new Hitler.
Remember Gandhi, that moral incendiarist who alerted our consciences. Just his voice and peaceful bearing brought the greatest empire of its age to its knees.
Gandhi used to say that the most appalling thing about the evil deeds perpetrated by evil people was the silence of good people. Today, this silence does not exist.
At the beginning of the 21st century, all nations, rich or poor, whether governed by the right or by the left, everyone, everyone, with the exception of those living in the land of the aggressor—who are only now beginning to awaken from their slumber—, are aware that war as an irrational crusade is capable of changing mankind. We know that unjust war is a catastrophe which stunts the possibility of man discovering his humanity. We join our planetary hands to tell the hired assassin in the White House that there is a life and a breed of man less sordid than he, and that we are ready to stand up and defend it. This is my reply, Mr Ambassador.
Dr. Federico Fasano Mertens, editor of LA REPUBLICA.
Montevideo, Uruguay, 30 March 2003