I never thought I’d write those words but what he said during his rise to power is informative and perhaps a bit prescient in our current circumstances.
When Hitler said, “The leader of genius must have the ability to make different opponents appear as if they belonged to one category”, he may have been writing a page in this administration’s playbook.
Happily for us, we don’t have a “leader of genius” (Faaaaaaaar from it) but keep Hitler’s words in mind when you read a few selected quotes from Bush’s speech to the American Legion yesterday in Salt Lake City.
It makes you wonder who the fascists really are:
“When terrorists murder at the World Trade Center, or car bombers strike in Baghdad, or hijackers plot to blow up planes over the Atlantic, or terrorist militias shoot rockets at Israeli towns, they are all pursuing the same objective — to turn back the advance of freedom, and impose a dark vision of tyranny and terror across the world.”
“Despite their differences, these groups from — form the outlines of a single movement, a worldwide network of radicals that use terror to kill those who stand in the way of their totalitarian ideology. And the unifying feature of this movement, the link that spans sectarian divisions and local grievances, is the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to their twisted view of Islam.”
“On one side are those who believe in the values of freedom and moderation — the right of all people to speak, and worship, and live in liberty. And on the other side are those driven by the values of tyranny and extremism — the right of a self-appointed few to impose their fanatical views on all the rest. As veterans, you have seen this kind of enemy before. They’re successors to Fascists, to Nazis, to Communists, and other totalitarians of the 20th century.”
So there you have it… Whether you fly planes into buildings; resist Israeli occupation; resist AMERICAN occupation, or just want to be left alone you’re a terrorist.
There is such a thing as terrorism and it should be condemned. But the men who flew planes into the WTC are not the same as the Iraqis who have picked up guns to resist opposition and/or occupation. Neither is the Palestinian who shoots an Israeli soldier in Gaza the same as the monster who blows up children in a Tel Aviv restaurant.
But it’s politically expedient for a failed president to use the fascist tactics of “common enemies” and “perpetual fear” to blithely defend the indefensible.
His latest round of cheerleading for a war already soundly rejected by the American people will only be effective if we allow him to scare us into submission. Or, as Hitler said, “How fortunate for leaders that men do not think.”
The above quotes from Mr. Bush’s speech in Salt Lake City are a small sampling of the persistent propagandizing and fear mongering that appeared throughout the text. Space and, quite frankly, limited attention span forced me to limit the number of quotes I included in this post. To read the entire speech, go here