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Nazi Germanys War on Terror: The Warnings of History

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 02:23 PM
Original message
Edited on Tue Jul-24-07 02:28 PM by Time for change
Germany February 27, 1933: It started when the government received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings When an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference. "You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history," he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. "This fire," he said, his voice trembling with emotion, "is the beginning." He used the occasion - "a sign from God," he called it - to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their evil deeds in their religion. Thom Hartmann, March 16, 2003

The above depiction by Thom Hartmann of the beginning of Nazi Germanys War on Terror took place less than a month after Adolf Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany.

Almost 75 years later, as we in the United States are faced with a president and vice president who increasingly make it clear that for the duration of their self-proclaimed War on Terror, they are to be held accountable neither to the rule of law nor to the Constitution that they swore to defend and protect, Americans (and especially their representatives in Congress) would do well to recall a similar period in German history. Hartmann continues his narrative:


Hitlers war on terror on the domestic front

Two weeks later, the first detention center for terrorists was built in Oranianberg to hold the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist. In a national outburst of patriotism, the leader's flag was everywhere, even printed large in newspapers suitable for window display.

Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Police could now intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and without access to their lawyers; police could sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.

To get his patriotic "Decree on the Protection of People and State" passed over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency provoked by the terrorist attack was over by then, the freedoms and rights would be returned to the people, and the police agencies would be re-restrained. Legislators would later say they hadn't had time to read the bill before voting on it.

Immediately after passage of the anti-terrorism act, his federal police agencies stepped up their program of arresting suspicious persons and holding them without access to lawyers or courts. In the first year only a few hundred were interred, and those who objected were largely ignored by the mainstream press, which was afraid to offend and thus lose access to a leader with such high popularity ratings. Citizens who protested the leader in public - and there were many - quickly found themselves confronting the newly empowered police's batons, gas, and jail cells, or fenced off in protest zones safely out of earshot of the leader's public speeches

Within the first months after that terrorist attack, at the suggestion of a political advisor, he brought a formerly obscure word into common usage. He wanted to stir a "racial pride" among his countrymen, so, instead of referring to the nation by its name, he began to refer to it as "The Homeland" and the beginning of an us-versus-them mentality was sewn. Our land was "the" homeland, citizens thought: all others were simply foreign lands. We are the "true people," he suggested, the only ones worthy of our nation's concern; if bombs fall on others, or human rights are violated in other nations and it makes our lives better, it's of little concern to us.

His propaganda minister orchestrated a campaign to ensure the people that he was a deeply religious man and that his motivations were rooted in Christianity. He even proclaimed the need for a revival of the Christian faith across his nation


Hitlers war on terror on the international front

Making himself the absolute dictator of his own country was not enough for Hitler. He soon decided that he must widely expand his powers, either to distract Germans from their domestic problems and help consolidate his rule over them, for the sheer glory of conquest, or in order to provide a screen for his genocidal intentions:

Playing on this new nationalism he argued that any international body that didn't act first and foremost in the best interest of his own nation was neither relevant nor useful. He thus withdrew his country from the League of Nations in October, 1933

To consolidate his power, he concluded that government alone wasn't enough. He reached out to industry and forged an alliance, bringing former executives of the nation's largest corporations into high government positions. A flood of government money poured into corporate coffers to fight the war against the Middle Eastern ancestry terrorists lurking within the homeland, and to prepare for wars overseas.

He began a campaign to convince the people of the nation that a small, limited war was necessary. Another nation even though its connection with the terrorist who had set afire the nation's most important building was tenuous at best, it held resources their nation badly needed if they were to have room to live and maintain their prosperity. He called a press conference and publicly delivered an ultimatum to the leader of the other nation, provoking an international uproar. He claimed the right to strike preemptively in self-defense

To deal with those who dissented from his policies, at the advice of his politically savvy advisors, he and his handmaidens in the press began a campaign to equate him and his policies with patriotism and the nation itself. National unity was essential, they said, to ensure that the terrorists or their sponsors didn't think they'd succeeded in splitting the nation or weakening its will. In times of war, they said, there could be only "one people, one nation, and one commander-in-chief", and so his advocates in the media began a nationwide campaign charging that critics of his policies were attacking the nation itself. Those questioning him were labeled "anti-German" or "not good Germans," and it was suggested they were aiding the enemies of the state by failing in the patriotic necessity of supporting the nation's valiant men in uniform. It was one of his most effective ways to stifle dissent

The Germans developed a new form of highly violent warfare they named "lightning war" or blitzkrieg, which, while generating devastating civilian losses, also produced a highly desirable "shock and awe"


Thoughts on our slide into tyranny

Many Americans who have not previously been too concerned about our slide into tyranny have recently started to take note. George Bushs obstructing of Congressional investigations into his many crimes and impeachable offenses by refusing to comply with subpoenas, ordering witnesses not to appear before Congress, and then ordering his Justice Department not to pursue contempt charges, have opened the eyes of some. We will soon see whether or not these ominous events are sufficient to cause the American people to successfully demand the impeachment and removal from office of our tyrants. Perhaps if and when Bush declares martial law and cancels our 2008 national elections, many more Americans will be concerned though it may be too late by then.

Yet it seems to me that the defining moment of our slide into tyranny came a long time ago very shortly after George Bushs War on Terror began. The rounding up of hundreds or thousands of people, throwing them into prison, holding them there indefinitely and subjecting them to daily abuse or torture, while disallowing them access to family or legal counsel, or the right to challenge their detention, should have been the defining moment for us. It should have been crystal clear at that time what kind of people George Bush and Dick Cheney are.

Yet they received tens of millions of votes in their bid for re-election making that election close enough to steal. The question that I have is this: For those who believe that it is acceptable for the leaders of our country to unilaterally abolish the human rights of hundreds or thousands of our fellow human beings and subject them to a perpetual life in hell do they deserve a democracy? Well, perhaps most of them are just uninformed, rather than callous. Who can say? But I think its a question well worth considering.

Let me put it another way: Unless and until enough people in this world evolve to the point where they become deeply concerned about this kind of cruel treatment perpetrated upon other human beings, I doubt that our world will ever know lasting peace.


Germany then America then and now

Hartmann concludes his article by making some final comparisons, explaining where we now stand, and that the choice is ours:

Reflecting on that time, The American Heritage Dictionary left us this definition of the form of government the German democracy had become through Hitler's close alliance with the largest German corporations and his policy of using war as a tool to keep power: " fas-cism: A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism."

Today, as we face financial and political crises, it's useful to remember that the ravages of the Great Depression hit Germany and the United States alike. Through the 1930s, however, Hitler and Roosevelt chose very different courses to bring their nations back to power and prosperity.

Germany's response was to use government to empower corporations and reward the society's richest individuals, privatize much of the commons, stifle dissent, strip people of constitutional rights, and create an illusion of prosperity through continual and ever-expanding war. America passed minimum wage laws to raise the middle class, enforced anti-trust laws to diminish the power of corporations, increased taxes on corporations and the wealthiest individuals, created Social Security, and became the employer of last resort through programs to build national infrastructure, promote the arts, and replant forests. To the extent that our Constitution is still intact, the choice is again ours.

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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 02:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. Hmmmm...
..if the housing market implodes (as it appears more and more likely to do) and the weight of subprime loans triggers panic selling on Wall Street, would a turr attack be enough for the sheeple to simply hand over power?

I hope that's not the case....
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David__77 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
4. I don't think fascism is really possible presently.
The problem with fascism is that it would ultimately discredit the whole premise of the USA and the existing social contract in the eyes of most US citizens. Fascism always ends in the victory of the left and the long-term banishment of the right. Usually the ruling elites are smart enough not to commit suicide.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #4
25. Fascists in this country don't call themselves Fascists
Why don't you think that Fascism is a possibility here? Isn't it already here? Consider the four traits of Fascism mentioned in the OP:

Dictatorship: What would you call it when the President of our country makes it absolutely clear that he is the supreme decider and is not answerable to any law in our country, nor is he bound by our Constitution?

Extreme right: No comment necessary

Merging the state and business leadership: The Bush administration wants to privatize everything. They invite the energy companies to come in and write our energy laws for us.

Belligerent nationalism: No comment necessary

Which of these traits have not already come to this country?
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MisterP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #25
32. U.S. small-F fascism has always had a massive right-libertarian bent
the premier examples of American fascism would not be the fringe American Nazi Party but the gun-crazy, anti-environmental, militaristic, corporate, lying, punishment-loving, anti-intellectual wiretappers and authoritarians with prominent female figures (Rand, Crouch, Judith Miller). That's why I always laugh when someone thinks fetishized commodities (e.g., pistols) will stave off Bush's final attempts: most nuts only care about one libety--shooting living things. As long as the current puppet doesn't touch guns (and he won't, since the NRA is now "working in the Oval Office" and holds sances with Viktor Bout invoking Cho Seung-Hui's ghost), they'll happily pay for the 41 stamp and turn in another American to the star-spangled gulag across the serene hills
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 11:44 PM
Response to Reply #4
50. Fascism was succeeded by McCarthyism in America, and the rise of Cold War Empire
I disagree that fascism's inimicable to our history. Just look at what happened after World War Two. The Left didn't take power, the Left was purged, and the Dulles Brothers brand of Rightist authoritarianism took over. The national security state replaced the Republic, and under Bush-Cheney, the pretense of constitutional rule has been all but abandoned.

No, I'm afraid, we've been headed down this road to fascism for a long time.
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bananarepublican Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #4
64. Why? Because Bush is dumber than one of Hitler's turds? n/t
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speakclearly Donating Member (97 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 09:32 AM
Response to Reply #64
93. Great work! Very original!
Comparing Repubicans to Nazis. What an interesting concept! Did you think of that yourself? And this fecal fixation is also gives it a dramatic touch. It evokes sensations of smell and texture to the entire picture. And it reflects well on this site! I am sure that all of America (at least all Democratic progressives that see your comments) will appreciate your creativity and thoughtfulness in bringing these images together. Nicely done!
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 12:37 PM
Response to Reply #93
94. A more intelligent response to my post would be to
find something about it that you think is inaccurate and explain what you think is wrong with it.

Any idiot can spew out sarcasm like you did in this post.
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WinkyDink Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 09:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
70. Yes, it would be the demise of America. Read any signing statements lately?
Or Executive Orders?
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Pawel K Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 01:06 PM
Response to Reply #70
76. Which signing statements are you talking about?
Post the text from them that actually alarms you.
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Pawel K Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 01:08 PM
Response to Reply #4
77. The day this country becomes fascist or a totalitarian state
is the day the second civil war starts.

I don't think it will happen any time soon. And all this talk about it is trying to use fear for political gain, the exact same thing Bush is doing with terrorism.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 01:45 PM
Response to Reply #77
78. In what way do you feel that this is not a facist state?
Or quickly becoming one?

Consider the four traits of Fascism mentioned in the OP:

Dictatorship: What would you call it when the President of our country makes it absolutely clear that he is the supreme decider and is not answerable to any law in our country, nor is he bound by our Constitution?

Extreme right: No comment necessary

Merging the state and business leadership: The Bush administration wants to privatize everything. They invite the energy companies to come in and write our energy laws for us.

Belligerent nationalism: No comment necessary

Which of these traits have not already come to this country?

And what political gain are you talking about? Talking about this issue hasn't resulted in any political gain for anybody that I can discern.
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Pawel K Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #78
79. Where did Bush make it absolutely clear he's not bound by our Constitution
Maybe I missed something here?

To answer your question. These comparisons have been made before as as much as they show how bad Bush is for this country you are missing one key aspect of Fascism and that is an authoritarian government. As much as some people would like us to believe this we do not currently have a authoritarian goverment and there is nothing in place to make this government authoritarian.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:50 PM
Response to Reply #79
83. Yes, apparently you are missing a lot
Edited on Wed Jul-25-07 02:53 PM by Time for change
Whether or not Bush SAYS he is bound by the Constitution has nothing to do with it. The fact is that he has violated numerous of our Constitutional rights repeatedly.

For one thing, with his approximately 1000 signing statements he has made clear that he is not bound to follow the laws passed by Congress, and therefore he violates the requirements for the balance of power that is built into our Constitution.

With regard to the Bill of Rights:

the Bush/Cheney administration has repeatedly violated several of our Constitutional rights:

George Bush has denied us our First Amendment rights in numerous ways: He denies the right of protesters to be heard by confining the right of protest to first amendment zones. He denies government access to journalists who fail to tow his line. He ties up our airways, using tax dollars, with government propagandists pretending to be real journalists. And he has even claimed the right to imprison journalists who expose administration crimes to the public.

George Bushs warrantless domestic spying program is a clear example of massive and repeated violations of our Fourth Amendment rights. Though Bush has repeatedly assured Americans that the programs purpose is to catch terrorists, he has offered no evidence to that effect. If the Bush administrations wiretapping of American citizens had a justifiable basis behind it, there should be no reason it couldnt request warrants to conduct them. Though Bush claims that that would hamper his War on Terror, that claim is patently absurd, since the law allows the requesting of warrants to be retroactive. Furthermore, knowledgeable sources have maintained that, though thousands of warrantless wiretaps per year have been ordered and conducted by the Bush administration, fewer than ten per year are justified by the constitutional standard of reasonable cause for suspicion.

In its so-called War on Terror, the Bush administration has violated virtually every provision of our Fifth and Sixth Amendments. It is barely an exaggeration to say that our detainees in this so-called war have no rights whatsoever. They are held indefinitely, and only a minute fraction of them have charges brought against them. They are not allowed to confront witnesses against them. They are not given access to counsel. According to our own military, most of them are completely innocent. The whole idea of innocent until proven guilty is turned inside out by our administrations repeated public pronouncements on their guilt.

There is abundant evidence that torture of our detainees is widespread and routine, as documented by Human Rights Watch, Seymour Hersh, Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, and our own FBI. Furthermore, the Bush administration has issued memos affirming its right to torture our prisoners, and George Bush himself has appended a signing statement to an anti-torture bill passed by Congress.

I have the links to document the above in this post:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

And to top it off, he has demonstrated that he is not bound to comply with Congressional attempts to investigate his many transgressions.

If that's not authoritarian government then what is your definition of authoritarian government?
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Pawel K Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 04:01 PM
Response to Reply #83
85. I am not disputing he has violated the constitution
Edited on Wed Jul-25-07 04:03 PM by Pawel K
and the people we elected don't give a shit.

But you said he made if perfectly clear he will not abide by the constitution, no he didn't. What he did do was violate the law, the basic structure of the constitution to check his power is still there.

No where does Bush claim to have control over the judicial branch and the legislative branch. He would need that to have an authoritarian government. If you have a problem with Bush violating our country's laws call your senator or rep if you haven't already, chances are they are too busy with their elections to give a shit.

The fact still remains that the seperation of powers is still there, just because the main branch that is supposed to be a check to the executive brench is filled with a bunch of pussies, pussies we elected, doesn't mean our government is about to collapse, it simply means this country is going to be digging itself into deeper and deeper hole until Jan 20th 2009.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 08:42 PM
Response to Reply #85
87. Actions speak a hell of a lot louder than words
When I say that Bush makes it perfectly clear that he will not abide by the constitution, that statement refers to his actions, not his words. His words mean NOTHING. Our government is what it does, not what it says it does. Once the legislative branch becomes nothing but a rubber stamp for the executive branch, especially when our executive branch is as it is now, democracy is gone. That's what happened to Rome. The fact that they still had a Constitution meant little or nothing.
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Pawel K Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #87
92. I have a hard time believing that if Bush tried to take over the government
congress would sit by and apply their rubber stamp to that legislation, especially since Democrats control both chambers.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 12:42 PM
Response to Reply #92
95. By the time BushCo is ready to declare marial law it may be too late for Congress
to do anything about it.

Milton Mayer, who studied the thinking of ordinary lower level Nazis during Hitlers rise to power, explained in his book, They Thought They Were Free The Germans 1933-45, the gradual process by which Germans gave up their freedom to Hitler:

What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand, or so dangerous that, even if the people could understand it, it could not be released because of national security. And their sense of identification with Hitler, their trust in him, made it easier to widen this gap and reassured those who would otherwise have worried about it.

This separation of government from people, this widening of the gap, took place so gradually and so insensibly, each step disguised (perhaps not even intentionally) as a temporary emergency measure or associated with true patriotic allegiance or with real social purposes. And all the crises and reforms (real reforms, too) so occupied the people that they did not see the slow motion underneath, of the whole process of government growing remoter and remoter.

They are gradually habituating the people to tyranny.
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Pawel K Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 01:09 PM
Response to Reply #95
96. They haven't given up any thing as far as seperation of powers goes
Edited on Thu Jul-26-07 01:10 PM by Pawel K
Just because they refuse to confront Bush on previous abuses and misconducts today doesn't mean they won't still have the power to wake up and finally stand up to these abuses tomorrow. If Bush was stupid enough to try and take that power away I have a hard time believing they would sit by and do nothing. If that was the case I would join you in being extremely worried about it, until then I don't think its fair to make these accusations that Bush will not leave office after the elections, these same claims were being made in 2004.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 02:29 PM
Response to Reply #96
97. They haven't given up anything as far as separation of powers goes?
The American Bar Association would seriously disagree with you on that.

Regarding Bush's approximately one thousand signing statements, here's what they have to say about it:

BLUE-RIBBON TASK FORCE FINDS PRESIDENT BUSH'S SIGNING STATEMENTS
UNDERMINE SEPARATION OF POWERS:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...


Anyhow, as I explained in my last post, by the time Congress gets around to doing anything about this it may be too late.

And I didn't "accuse" Bush of planning not to leave after the 2008 elections. I expressed it as a fear. A fear that I think is reasonable based upon his actions up to this point. It isn't a question of being fair to him.
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Pawel K Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 02:58 PM
Response to Reply #97
98. Quick question for ya
Does congress still have the power to start impeachment proceedings? And I'm not asking you if they are willing to, I am asking you if they have the ability to.

If you answer yes the fundamental structure of seperation of powers is still there. And until their power to remove Bush from office is gone Bush can not eliminate the elections and he can not gain dictorial power. So if you think your fear is logical explain to me how Bush can take away congress's power to impeach him when that power is directly spelled out in our constitution.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 04:15 PM
Response to Reply #98
99. I don't know the answer to that question
Edited on Thu Jul-26-07 04:16 PM by Time for change
Here's what I said about that in my last post:

If Congress moves to impeach them now, it is very possible that they will attempt a coup de tat. However, if that happens you can be sure that the impeachment effort will have changed only the timing of the coup de tat, not its occurrence. And furthermore, by so changing timing, Congress will also have reduced its likelihood of success, by moving it forward to a point in time when the tyrants would probably be less prepared.

I believe that the Bush administration may be moving rapidly towards martial law, and that the longer we wait the less chance we'll have of stopping them.

It's not wise to give a government more and more powers, on the assumption that we can always stop them when the time comes. That is not true. The fact that our Constitution says we can get rid of them doesn't mean that we can.

It's just like when Hitler was constantly appeased in the 1930s. The League of Nations clearly stated that what he was doing was against international law. But he was appeased time and time again, when he could have been easily stopped. By the time he started WW II it was too late to stop him with minimal bloodshed. Instead, it took tens of millions of lives.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 01:00 AM
Response to Reply #4
90. the elite got over-confident after the fall of the Soviet Union. they figured we were at their
mercy and pulled out the long knives.
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unpossibles Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 02:27 PM
Response to Original message
2. recommended! n/t
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Swamp Rat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 02:28 PM
Response to Original message
3. Sehr gut!

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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 02:52 PM
Response to Original message
5. Franz Von Papen and Von Hindenburg
just happened to be at a cafe across the street from the Reichstag when it caught fire.

What a coincidence.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #5
65. Yes, what a coincidence
Similar to the 101 coincidences surrounding the 9-11 attacks ;)
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formercia Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 06:30 AM
Response to Reply #65
66. Von Papen and the boys, sabotage in the US during WWI
http://www.libertystatepark.com/black_tom_explosion.htm

Von Papen and crew were a busy bunch.
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pepperbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 02:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. One tiny question...
Did Hitler ever suffer a 30% or below approval rating?

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reichstag911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 03:21 PM
Response to Reply #6
7. Yep,...
...and he shot himself in a bunker 'cuz he was so disheartened. ;)
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pepperbear Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 03:25 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. I was thinking BEFORE the end. Seriously.....
Edited on Tue Jul-24-07 03:26 PM by pepperbear
I had never seen polling data on Germany after the Weimer Republic, if it exists at all.

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reichstag911 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 04:03 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. Only if you consider...
...the election results leading up to Hitler's seizure of dictatorial power "polling data," I suspect. I sometimes wonder which is worse, living now when everything seems to be poll-driven, or back then when manipulation of the populace by focus group polling wasn't yet ubiquitous, or even very developed.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 01:21 AM
Response to Reply #6
58. The Nazi Party only won roughly 30 percent of the votes in the 1932 parliamentary elections
That was enough to give the party a voice in negotiations to establish the next ruling majority government.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 04:08 PM
Response to Original message
10. Suprised this isn't receiving more K&R.
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sicksicksick_N_tired Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 04:26 PM
Response to Original message
11. I confess. This peak into the past, in THIS present,...gives me the heebeejeebees, big time.
:scared:

I see a different, far more manipulative and polished form of fascism evolving,...one with greater breadth and depth than before.

Horrifying,...and so damn sad.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 11:23 AM
Response to Reply #11
73. Me too
These people are evil, and although Bush may or may not be intelligent, he has enough intelligent people pulling the strings for him. I hope Congress knows what it's up against.
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snappyturtle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 04:44 PM
Response to Original message
12. K&R Thanks for posting! n/t
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 04:58 PM
Response to Original message
13. My mother says that she's seen all this before
The propaganda, the scapegoating, the phony patriotism, etc. The last 7 years are like a rerun to her. She lived in Austria during the 1938-45 Anschluss.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 12:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
74. I have relatives who were victims of the concentration camps
I think it is those who were closest to it that are most able to recognize what's going on in this country now.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 05:08 PM
Response to Original message
14. Excellent post...

it is important to note that Hitler may have had the backing of fascist-leaning groups even before he took dictatorial power. This was largely on behalf of certain white, right-wing industrialists and bankers who wanted to overcome any threat of Marxism in post-Depression Germany, which might have threatened businesses. Of course, plenty of money was to be made in gearing up the war machine. When Hitler's ideology got out of control then even the right-wing in America decided it was time to take action.

It may also be important to note that one of the neoconservative brains (Michael Ledeen) who consults for Karl Rove once wrote a book entitled "Universal Fascism" which extolled the virtue of "creative destruction" in rebuilding new societies. Of course there is plenty of money to be made in gearing up the war machine. Now,even the paleoconservative right-wing in America has become concerned about our "Flirting with Fascism".

http://www.amconmag.com/06_30_03/feature.html

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 12:48 PM
Response to Reply #14
75. Thank you -- I read William Shirer's book, "The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich" --
One of the best books I've ever read.

I don't remember much about corporate backing for Hitler before he took power -- mostly my recollection is that anti-Semitism was the driving force that drew people to him in the early days of the Nazi Party. But it was a long time ago that I read it.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #75
80. Some of it had to do with "the Aryanization of Private Jewish Banks"...
This is not just a theory, as witnessed by these documents and memos:

http://www.icons-multimedia.com/ClientsArea/HoH/LIBARC/...


Although it has been sufficiently proven in the past, I nevertheless wish to point out the following: unfortunately, it is a fact that Aryan companies with military contracts continue to work with private Jewish banks. In the process of applying for credit for military contracts, the specifications of the contracts are often submitted to the Jewish banks. The Jewish banks are thus fully informed about all the details of the military contract. Considering the wide-spread internationally family ties of Jews, this poses a considerable threat to the secrecy of the military requirements and the security of the state. I also wish to point out the role of international Jewry in boycotting the German Reich in recent years. There is no doubt that Jewish capital has played a major role in this. I do not think I need to elaborate on this subject, as the relevant authorities are certainly aware of the circumstances. Heil Hitler!


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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
15. It is a really stupid mistake to equate any american
with the Nazis - please do not do this.

You make us look bad.

I accuse "W" of being an idiot - and he is - but it ends there.

I think the sickest thing is - he believes what he says - and he has gone against the common will - that is worse to me.

Leave it there.

Joe
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 06:38 PM
Response to Reply #15
17. It's stupid to equate ANY American with Nazis???
Why on earth is that?

Is your point that there is no American who is similar to Nazis? All the bad apples happened to be born in Germany or other countries, but it's not possible that an American would have those traits?

Do you really believe that George W. Bush believes what he says more than Hitler did? What reason do you have to believe that?

I think it's about time that more Americans started understanding that there's nothing about being an American that automatically makes us better than all other peoples of the earth. There are evil Americans just like there are evil people who come from other countries.

It's attitudes like you've expressed that prevent people from recognizing just how bad our leaders are -- and consequently prevents the outrage that is needed to remove them from office.
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 06:53 PM
Response to Reply #17
20. A - It makes us look like lunatics.
B -I don't see any concentration camps popping up in the Valley - and I don't see any jews (or others) disappearing.

That is pretty much the problem with Nazis - isn't it??

Man - "W" is a moron - nothing more - Hitler was pretty smart after all - the nut collapsed the european continent is six weeks.

I don't think "W" could collapse anything in 4 years.

Joe
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MetaTrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
21. A - It makes us look like lunatics
Hey, no need to regard yourself as part of the group...that's what diversity is all about!

B -I don't see any concentration camps popping up in the Valley - and I don't see any jews (or others) disappearing.


A nitpicking argument akin to the neocon mouthpieces trying to discredit an economic argument by pointing out an incorrect decimal point value. Hitler started a war of aggression by provoking the populace with fear...isn't that what Bush's "war on terror" is all about? (And there are those who are a bit upset by the bloodied "detainees" and corpses out of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib...)

I don't think "W" could collapse anything in 4 years.


Tell that to the unemployed...
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:12 PM
Response to Reply #21
23. What the hell do you know -
Friend - My family fought the damn war - family were executed in those goddamn "camps". I - unwantedly - became an expert on the damn war.

B*sh - is nothing more than a blip in our history. And I will never make him more than that.

WHat do you think he is - 2nd comming of Gengis Kahn??

Cause really - he is just an idiot from Texas - and gives Texas a bad name - to me.

Joe

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MetaTrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. It's possible not to see the forest for the trees...
Anyway, Bush was born in Connecticut, so don't sweat it! ;-)
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:22 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. I suppose that is true.
Look - we don't all agree with each other all the time - that is normal.

It is ok -

But do not give these people ammunition to blow us apart either - and that is what they will do.

I live in LA - really sophisticated - but I was born in the Ohio River Valley - and maybe they are not so "sophisticated" - maybe they make judgements on the emperical - you know??

And maybe they have a right. So don't push this - it is wrong. It will hurt people.

Joe
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MetaTrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:34 PM
Response to Reply #26
28. Hello fellow midwesterner, I'm from Michigan myself
And we're not all completely dim in the Great Lakes states, although it would be nice if Conyers would do some of his impeachment speechifying amongst his constituency, rather than travelling to the west coast for it.

As for the Hitler thing, it's not like the meme hasn't been out there like the elephant in the living room since Bush started overrunning Third World nations...just like there's a strong current of belief in the U.S. (no matter how much some would like to ignore it) that the Bush administration itself was behind September 11 (plenty of us thought so even BEFORE his tight business links with the bin Laden family were known). I would perhaps recommend reading this piece:

Bush-Hitler: A Holocaust Survivor Speaks Out
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:52 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. You say that - and it is funny - I never thought of myself like that.
A Mid-westerner. I always thought - I was either that nice kid born on the Ohio or that "sophisticated kid" from LA - you know - sarcastic. Not in the middle -

You know - in the end - I am that kid born in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania - We only raise our hands to help - TO do the right thing as we understand it - not in Los Angeles. You live in LA and you have to assume if someone raises their hands it is to hurt you. Conditioned response.

WHen I was young there was this song in CCD - and you had to learn it - That what ever you to to the least of your brothers - that you do unto me (Jesus) - shit - I believed that.

Yeah - I guess I am from Beaver Falls.

Joe



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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:04 PM
Response to Reply #20
22. You don't see any concentration camps?
What would you call what we have at Gitmo? What about Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq? What about the secret prisons we have scattered about the world where our prisoners are tortured on a daily basis? What about our extraordinary rendition program, where we outsource our torture to other countries?

Yes, I know, our whole program involves only a few thousand prisoners, and the Nazis had millions - AFTER Hitler gained near total dictatorial powers over his country -- not before.
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:24 PM
Response to Reply #22
33. Don't do this -
I have photos from Buchenwald - not in the books, that I saw. Cause dad was there at the liberation or shortly thereafter. Moms family - they were killed (we think) at Treblinka - worse than Buchenwald if you can imagine that.

And we have a Gitmo and all that and we should be ashamed - but it will never equate to killing fields like those. And when you try to equate it - we look bad - as a movement.

There is nothing you guys say I do not agree with in this vain - about doing the right thing. But you make false comparision - it has a cost.

Measure it. A lot of us had family that know better - even today.

Joe



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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:44 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. No false comparisons here
I didn't say that the numbers were the same. But the the degree of genocide you're talking about didn't get going until Hitler started a world war. Then, under the cover of that war, he expanded his concentration camps in number and killing function exponentially. Until then, it wasn't much worse than what Bush and Cheney have going now.

Your original claim that my comparison was "stupid" applied to my OP, where I quoted Hartmann's article. Tell me one thing in the OP that is a false claim. Just one thing.

So you had family who served in the military there. I had several relatives who were victims of the concentration camps over there. You think I don't realize how terrible that regime was? I've probably read more than 50 books on the subject.

You don't think that there are ANY Americans who have the potential for unbounded evil?
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #34
35. I think americans have a much better chance of doing the right
thing - under pressure - then any other country - and that is cause - we did that.

Yeah - I trust us. We proved ourselves.

Joe
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:04 PM
Response to Reply #35
39. You didn't respond to either of my two main questions
1. Tell me one thing in my OP that is false.

2. Do you really believe that there are no evil Americans?

And as far as Americans having a better chance of doing the right thing than any other country -- consider our long history of slavery and near extermination of the Native Americans, not to mention all this:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #39
42. OK -
Your premise assumes an america that would absolutely screw over pows - and we have NEVER done that.

Never.

DO I believe there are evil americans?? - Not if they are americans I don't. We are not the Romans - many of our POWs - man, they want to live HERE when their war is over - you know how bizare that is??

Safe to say - we are NOT the Romans.

It is the way you look at it - you think as individuals - I don't know. I think as a society - and I TOTALLY trust us that way.

Do you think this is about the individual - we are a REPUBLIC.

Joe
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:52 PM
Response to Reply #42
46. We don't screw over our POWs?
What about those who Bush deems to be "unlawful enemy combatants"? You do realize that that term was invented by Bush or his minions and has no meaning in international law right? And you do realize that Bush has proclaimed that they have no legal rights whatsoever, right? And you do realize that Congress passed a law saying that it was unlawful to torture anyone, including Bush's "unlawful enemy combatants", right? And that Bush appended one of his "signing statements" to that law saying essentially that he did not feel obligated to recognize it.

You don't believe that we indefinitely detain these people under abhorrent conditions, while giving them no right whatsoever to challenge their detention, in clear violation of the Geneva Convention? You don't believe that they are regularly tortured, not only with Bush's full knowledge, but with his encouragement?
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 11:46 PM
Response to Reply #46
52. You trhink he is our history - he IS an abboration.
Yes - we are very good about pows - once they reach the camps we are.

War - it didn't start with the moron - and it won't end with him either.

Joe
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 07:56 AM
Response to Reply #52
68. The point of Hartmann's article is that by talking Hitler's war on terror
people will see the similarities between his war on terror and George Bush's war on terror.

Yes, George Bush is an aberration -- and an abomination. His treatment of our prisoners is very similar to Hitler's treatment of prisoners prior to the start of his world war. We ought to all be very concerned and worried abuot that. If you're not aware of how extensive is the Bush torture program, I suggest that you check out some of the links in this post:

http://journals.democraticunderground.com/Time%20for%20...

And read Stephen Grey's Ghost Plane, which I talk about extensively in this post:

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 08:53 PM
Response to Reply #68
100. My kid is in the war and all that -
But man - he ain't the only in the family.

I know exacly what the son of a bitch did. I'll never forgive him.

I'll say this - one of them - MR right wing military - combat ribbons to his crotch. Security -
Even he resigned in disgust.

This is really bad - for our country - and I will never forgive the son of a bitch - and even I carve out exemptions for things that happened in the pacific in WWII.

This son of a bitch doomed kids he doesn't even know in the wars to come - and he has NO CLUE about what he did. And that is more than unforgivable.

And man - I ain't that liberla either. Not about this.

Joe





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truedelphi Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:54 PM
Response to Reply #34
84. Just want to weigh in and show support for your side of the debate
Edited on Wed Jul-25-07 02:55 PM by truedelphi
The instigation of a World War gave Hitler a smokescreen that Bush does not possess now.

But this pro-torture administration has already decreed "You are with us or you are against us" (A phrase I had heard before parsed by Mafiosa in old gangland movies.)

Give Cheney/Bush a chance to declare martial law - and I really would not want to still be inside the borders of this country at that point.

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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 08:48 PM
Response to Reply #84
88. That's the way I see it
Any difference between the extent of killing and torture between Hitler's regime and Bush/Cheney's regime is simply due to the fact that they don't believe they could get away with more than they are currently getting away with. I see no evidence that they would stop at anything.

And what people tend to forget is that for the first six years of Hitler's regime, the degree of killing, genocide, torture, and abuse of other human rights, was very minor compared to what it turned into once he got his war. In fact, it was more similar to what we have in the United States today.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #20
56. They are Muslims.
..and I don't see any jews (or others) disappearing..

You should look around. Take your head out of the sand.
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yodermon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #20
57. WHOAH. So the bar for you is concentration camps & genocide?
So all the other actions that the Nazis took -- up to but NOT including the genocide & concentration camps -- are just fine 'n dandy?

Re-read the article. One can, in fact, be very nazi-like, and fascist, without actually committing genocide.

PS - Henry Ford was an American. Completely off topic, sorry.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:50 AM
Response to Reply #57
63. Oh, were gettin' there, if we are not there already.
Even though there were puppet governments set up in occupied Europe, the Nazis were held responsible for atrocities that were committed everywhere under their control.

Under these Nuremberg principles, isn't Dubya responsible for atrocities committed in Iraq by the Iraqi forces that we are arming and training? Almost a million civilians dead, and perhaps it does not meet the definition of genocide, but it's definitely an atrocity.

It sure sounds like an ongoing war crime to me. Another argument for speedy withdrawal.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:35 PM
Response to Reply #20
82. Muslims and illegal immigrants are the new "jews"...

detention centers have been maintained and don't think they wouldn't be used. Some of these are leftover from WWII.
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broadcaster Donating Member (105 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 06:06 PM
Response to Original message
16. Here is a BBC radio program about the fascist coup against FDR
..that was averted. This program aired on Monday.

The link to the BBC website and audio for the program:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/history/document/document.s...

From the program description:

The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bushs Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.
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MetaTrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. Maybe we should promote Teresa Heinz Kerry's family connections with Prescott's Nazi past then
Edited on Tue Jul-24-07 06:42 PM by MetaTrope
Could be a big boost among potential Republican supporters!
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 06:43 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. These are so serious - these allegations - really.
And they cannot be used like this.

The bonus marchers - were NEVER out for FDR - hell, FDR used the fact that Hoover blew them up as a way to gain the presidency in 1932. His wife fought for those people - endlessly.

And anyway - if such powerful people were out to get him (and you missed Henry Ford) - how is it he got elected to 4 straight terms?

Hell - if his corpse was running today I'd vote for it.

FDR - his grasp on the imagination of the country was total.

During the war - MANY american officers and enlisted - they would beat the snot out of anyone challenging FDR - and I BET they still feel that way.

The british never really did understand american spirit. There is a reason we are not british.

Joe



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TheOtherMaven Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
30. Yes, it was REAL serious
The plot was quite real. The only uncertainties are, exactly who was involved, and what backing they had. And no, the "Bonus Army" wasn't part of it.

What IS certain is that retired General Smedley Butler was approached in 1933 to head up a coup, with the idea that he was popular enough with the military to bring a sizable contingent on board.

The plotter(s) picked the wrong man. Butler, for all his outspoken opinions ("War is a Racket", e.g.), was a patriot to the bone. He pretended to play along, and then spilled the beans - to Congress, to the press, and to the general public.

The matter was hushed up and swept under the rug, so that to this day no one is sure whether the guy who contacted Butler had the solid backing he claimed, or was a lone or nearly-lone rightwing kook.

You can Google "Smedley Butler coup" if you want to know more. And look up "War is a Racket" while you're at it.

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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:13 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Please -
There didn't exist 500,000 people in the ENTIRE ARMY at that point - you know??

From WWI there was - so you ARE looking at the bonus marchers here - for a fact!!

Don't do this -

And don't tell me what to look up - I don't like Google - and I don't trust it. I trust what I know first hand - That is it.

Joe
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TheOtherMaven Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:55 PM
Response to Reply #31
36. Sorry, YOU'RE mistaken - not ME
Just because something seems too horrible and heinous to believe, doesn't mean there's NO truth in it.

The "500,000 veterans" was part of Gerald MacGuire's original pitch to General Butler. It was not invented by the Beeb or by anyone other than MacGuire.

If you don't like Google, use any search engine you please. You WILL find:

1) There WAS such a plot, at least in the mind of a man named McGuire.

2) McGuire DID approach retired USMC General Smedley Butler to head up the "intended coup".

3) Butler DID go public about it.

4) Congress DID investigate (the McCormack-Dickstein Committee, which was later reconstituted as the House Un-American Activities Committee and became much more malevolent and destructive).

5) The Committee's findings were not released until 1967...and they CONFIRMED practically everything General Butler had told them.

For that matter, if you don't trust the Internet AT ALL, here are some printed sources you can look up:

Jonathon Vankin and John Whalen, The 60 Greatest Conspiracies of All Time (Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Publishing Group, 1997)

Jules Archer, The Plot to Seize the White House (New York: Hawthorne Books, 1973)

George Seldes, Even the Gods Can't Change History (Secaucus, N.J.: Lyle Stuart, Inc., 1976)

John Spivak, A Man in His Time (New York: Horizon Press, 1967)

Spivak, John L., "Wall Street's Fascist Conspiracy", New Masses, January 29, 1935, 9-15; February 5, 1935, (page numbers missing on the microfilm)..

Sacramento Bee, February 15, 1935.

San Francisco Chronicle, February 16, 1935.

Time, 24:23 .

U.S. House of Representatives, Special Committee on Un-American Activities, Investigation of Nazi Propaganda Activities and Investigation of Certain Other Propaganda Activities, Hearings 73-D.C.-6, Part 1, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess., (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1935).

U.S. House of Representatives, Special Committee on Un-American Activities, Public Statement, 73rd Cong., 2nd sess., (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1934).

Wolfskill, George, The Revolt of the Conservatives: A History of the American Liberty League, 1934-1940, (Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1962).

-----------------------------


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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #36
38. In 1939 - our whole standing army didn't add up to 50 thousand
guys - and that is a fact -

and I didn't read google to get it.

I read books.

And by the way - I didn't say I couldn't - I just don't like it. I like books.

Joe

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TheOtherMaven Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #38
43. Deny, deny, deny
I'm NOT making anything up.

In summer 1933 a bond trader named Gerald MacGuire told retired USMC General Smedley Darlington Butler that he wanted him to lead 500,000 veterans to Washington to "protect" President Franklin D. Roosevelt against unspecified entities that might seek to "assault" him. He also talked of the appointment of an "Assistant President" by one of several possible titles, to "take the load off" FDR's shoulders. (This is all taken from transcripts of Butler's testimony before the McCormack-Dickson Committee.)

MacGuire clearly implied that he had, or could raise, those 500,000 men. He dropped a lot of names of very rich, very powerful people who were interested in this scheme (apparently he did NOT drop Henry Ford's name, for whatever reason).

Butler said flat-out that he wasn't going to be part of any Fascist attempt to overthrow the government, and if that was what this was, he'd raise another 500,000 men and there would be civil war. (Calling MacGuire's bluff?)

MacGuire was apparently a very smooth talker, and left with the impression that he'd mollified and convinced Butler.

But he hadn't.

Now, what remains unclear is whether MacGuire was a silver-tongued con man blowing smoke up Butler (and, possibly, his alleged backers) - or whether it was a lot more serious than that. But, certainly, Butler believed the plot was real, and acted to scotch it.

I'm not asking you to take my word for it. I'm asking you to look it up and not just dismiss it out of hand.


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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:23 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. A bond trader?? Are you serious?
You know how crooked those bastards are - to this day??

I am telling you - and I am right - we had a very small army beteen the wars.

We really did.

Joe
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TheOtherMaven Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:50 PM
Response to Reply #44
45. That's beside the point
The point is, this bond trader (and possible con man) spent a number of months cultivating General Butler and feeding him information that led him to believe there was a cabal of powerful industrialists out to overthrow the duly elected Government of the United States.

There wasn't much financially he could have conned out of Butler, who was retired on only his military pay. So what WAS he after? And who WAS he conning? And WAS it a con?

That anyone would even think of such a thing - whether as a lunatic delusion or not - should be enough to give any patriotic American the creeps.

(It sure gave Butler the creeps - he played along until he had enough information, then went to the President and to Congress and the newspapers with everything he had been told.)

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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #45
47. But - he is cultivating soldiers that didn't exist - all from a conman.
Yeah - it all matters.

Joe
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TheOtherMaven Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 11:20 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. Here's the kicker
When it came to testimony before that Congressional Committee, both Butler and MacGuire were required to testify. MacGuire denied he had contacted Butler, denied he had said anything about any kind of plot, denied he was anything more than a "simple" bond trader. The Committee was able to corroborate much of what Butler told them - and practically nothing that MacGuire did.

People have been writing articles and books about this caper for 73 years, and still hardly anybody knows about it.
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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 11:41 PM
Response to Reply #48
49. I really do get it -
Maybe - for now - it needs to stay that way. And I could remember Butler - he is a bit player in our drama.

Man - I am a history fanatic - I read everything.

But there is this book - and it is impossible to read it and not turn your view of the world upside down. It is called "Generals in Bronze" --

It has caused quite a stir - cause you will find - some of the greatest commanders, people that we grew up to think were great, some of them were psychotic - some were scoundrels - maybe some worse.

SO forgive me if my view is a little slanted.

Ahd yeah - I grew up with some family that reinforced that view.

Joe

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TheOtherMaven Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 12:11 AM
Response to Reply #49
53. Nobody's Perfekt
"some of the greatest commanders, people that we grew up to think were great, some of them were psychotic - some were scoundrels - maybe some worse."

No maybe about it. One of the greatest heroes of the American Revolution, and its greatest traitor bar none, were one and the same man - Benedict Arnold.

I mean, the man literally saved the American cause at least twice - once on Lake Champlain, and again at Saratoga. He was seriously wounded in battle twice, and lamed for life the second time (Saratoga again). If he'd been killed at Saratoga, we'd remember him only as a hero and martyr. But he lived - and was sidelined as military governor of Philadelphia, with too much time to brood on slings and arrows from the Continental Congress, and too many high Tories (and their pretty daughters) to whisper in his ears. And from that came no end of mischief, especially after he married one of those pretty Tory belles who had an ex-beau in the British Army....

Getting back to the Smedley Butler affair, I'm not setting him up as a plaster saint. He certainly wasn't that - and admitted it himself. As soon as he retired, he started admitting that he'd spent too much of his career as an "enforcer" for US business interests. A speech he gave in 1931 evolved into a book he published in 1935, entitled War is a Racket. (Get it. Read it.)

Maybe he was a pawn in a high-stakes game being played by a clever con man. Maybe he was more than a pawn and the stakes were a lot higher than fleecing some gullible and greedy industrialists. (If MacGuire was running that kind of con, he would have been targeting the pockets of his backers - not Butler's threadbare pockets.)

Where I give him points is, he genuinely believed the Republic was in danger - and he knew he could be setting himself up for ridicule if he went public about it (he was too right about that). He went public anyway.

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Joe for Clark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #53
54. Man - I am not trying to knock you down or anything.
Hell - I am impressed you knew who Butler was.

Anything I said - it was just my opinion.

Doesn't mean I don't respect yours.

Joe
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TheOtherMaven Donating Member (44 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #54
72. A tip of the hat
From one history buff to another. :D
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 12:54 AM
Response to Reply #38
55. Five-hundred-thousand veterans.
Edited on Wed Jul-25-07 12:55 AM by Usrename
We had more.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #55
59. Several hundred thousand cycled in and out of World War One in the US alone.
It is very possible the US in that time had less than 200,000 active duty troops yet have over 500,000 World War One veterans who are no longer active duty.
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Usrename Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:06 AM
Response to Reply #59
61. Oh yeah, there were easily that many still around from WWI.
The veterans probably outnumbered active duty by ten-to-one or better.
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:15 AM
Response to Reply #61
62. Yes, that's what made Gen. Butler's testimony that much more frightening.
In that time of the Depression, a lot of people were very angry and desperate. They were unemployed, starving, homeless, and they were war veterans. Recruiting several hundred thousand starving ex-soldiers was easy with promises of a meal and the possibility of a better future, and the industrialists owned farmland to provide them food and businesses to provide employment.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 09:06 AM
Response to Reply #16
69. That's a very good point
It stands as an important argument for those who believe that fascism can't exist in this country.

Thanks for the link, and welcome to DU :toast:
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 08:22 PM
Response to Original message
27. one inaccuracy in your version, he blamed the terror on communists
Edited on Tue Jul-24-07 08:23 PM by LSK
Not middle easterners.

He banned the communist party in one of his 1st moves.

His blame then shifted to Jews and others as time went on, but communists were the 1st real scare.

I read Will Shirers book a few years ago and everything else seems right on target.
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #27
37. Shirer's book is possibly one of the top ten I've ever read IMO
Not only for the amount of factual material, but he's such a good writer, it was like reading a novel, except everything was documented.

Yes, I know that Hitler primarily blamed the Communists for the Reichstag fire (Of course, I was quoting Hartmann in the OP.) But just as Bush primarily (originally) blamed al Qaeda and bin Laden for 9-11, in preparation for his invasion of Iraq, he also frequently blamed Saddam Hussein. Hitler had an intense hatred for Jews for many years before he came to power, and he raged against them in probably hundreds of speeches. Don't you think it's possible or even likely that Hartmann is correct in quoting Hitler as involving the Jews in his original speech about the Reichstag fire?
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Selatius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 01:36 AM
Response to Reply #37
60. Not sure, but the communist blamed for the fire was a Jewish person
Many Jewish people of that era were involved with the socialists, social democrats, unionists, and even communists.
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 04:02 PM
Response to Reply #37
86. Jews = middle eastern peoples?
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Time for change Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 08:10 AM
Response to Reply #86
91. That's where the Jewish religion originated
Edited on Thu Jul-26-07 08:12 AM by Time for change
Later, because of persecution, they spread out over a much wider area.

Hartmann tried to make as many parallels to our current situation as he could in his article.

I somewhat agree that referring to the Jews in his article as a "middle eastern people" is perhaps somewhat of a trivial parallel. But it's not really inaccurate, looked at from the perspective of where they originated.
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halobeam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 02:34 PM
Response to Reply #27
81. what freaks anyone out
is that the blame ALWAYS shifts.
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cynatnite Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:08 PM
Response to Original message
40. Germany had the support of the people...
that's a far cry from what we've got now.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 10:12 PM
Response to Original message
41. Kicked and recommended.
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Gabi Hayes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jul-24-07 11:45 PM
Response to Original message
51. I'll see your thousand words, and raise you one "picture," thanks to seemslikeadream
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AzDar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 07:00 AM
Response to Original message
67. K & R .....
:kick:
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stirlingsliver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-25-07 09:24 AM
Response to Original message
71. The American Nazis Have Been In The White House Since 2001
The American version of the German Nazi Party of the 1930's and 1940's has been sitting in the White House since January 20, 2001.

They are ruthless fascists!
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-26-07 12:59 AM
Response to Original message
89. kick
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