07 November 2004

Mr. Bush, Meet Herr Hitler...

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The GOP and the Nazis: There are similarities and, no, I will not apologize

By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

March 10, 2004—In a number of columns written after George W. Bush's extra-constitutional seizure of powers post 9-11, I pointed out a number of similarities between Bush's GOP and Hitler's Nazi Party.

The bombast from the usual suspect circles was swift and predictable. Writing in the neoconservative National Review, Byron York bemoaned the fact that "Wayne Madsen wrote that Bush is 'borrowing liberally from Hitler's play book.'" Following the same line, The New York Post's editorial page editor, arch-neocon propagandist John Podhoretz, in his new book, Bush Country, whined that when I wrote about Hitler's oratory skills being light years ahead of Bush's, I was somehow praising Hitler. This is so typical of the right-wing attack dogs: ignore the main point and fire off a broadside of false innuendo. No reasonable historian would deny that Hitler's speechmaking abilities were far ahead of the syllable-challenged Bush's. Contrasting the policies of Bush and Hitler following terrorist attacks in their countries is a legitimate area for historical comparative analysis. Although Hitler was behind the burning of the Reichstag, he and Bush virtually tore up their respective constitutions and began viciously denouncing their political enemies. Both Bush and Hitler failed in every business venture they started, until, of course, they became leaders of their countries in questionable elections.

The neocon spin machine continues to defend Bush against charges that he practices the same sort of reactionary politics embraced by Hitler. On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, I was asked to defend my comparison.

Guest Co-host Michael Wolff: But you don't see a legitimate distinction between Adolf Hitler and George Bush?

Madsen: Well, look, if you look at some of the policies, preemptive warfare, we know that Hitler did that against Poland. He did it against France; he did it against the Soviet Union. Trashing the United Nations, that's what Hitler did to the League of Nations.

Sean Hannity: Don't you see how you're alienating the majority of the American people with your rhetoric?

Madsen: I don't think so. The way to combat terrorism isn't to take the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights and shred it like Mr. Hitler did after the Reichstag fire.

The exchange on Fox was prompted by two television advertisements likening Bush to Hitler that were submitted in a contest sponsored by MoveOn.org. Cathy Young, writing an op-ed on behalf of Reason, a so-called libertarian magazine whose motto is Free Minds and Free Markets, said comparisons between Bush and Hitler should be retired. It is interesting that a magazine like Reason would use the phrase "Free Minds and Free Markets." Considering that Reason champions the so-called rights of companies over the Lilliputians of the working class, that motto is not much different from the sign over the main gate of the Auschwitz concentration camp, "Arbeit Macht Frei" (Work Liberates).

Recently, radio shock jock Howard Stern said the real reason why the pro-Bush and Dallas-based Clear Channel dropped his nationally-syndicated morning program from its stations was not because the company was trying to placate the Federal Communications Commission over offensive material on the airwaves, but was in response to his attacking the Nazi and Taliban-like policies of Bush. Stern also suggested that the fundamentalist right-wingers supporting Bush were organized into Nazi-like cells. Stern is just one more in a long list of people who have disagreed with Bush and have faced the wrath of the Bush storm troopers. Let us not forget what the creepy management of Clear Channel did when The Dixie Chicks spoke out against Bush. They banned their songs from their radio stations and sponsored compact disk smashing events in the same manner that Hitler's minions banned books and burned them in huge bonfires around Germany.

John Ashcroft's Gestapo-like Justice Department has engaged in definite selective prosecutions of those who have openly opposed Bush's policies or have contributed money to the Democratic Party's coffers. Take former Illinois Republican Governor George Ryan: Ashcroft's right-wing prosecutors indicted him after he commuted the death sentences of Illinois's death row population. Ryan cited police and prosecutorial misconduct in Chicago and the state capital of Springfield as a major reason for his decision. Ashcroft and Bush, both self-anointed born-again Christians, are in love with the death penalty and championed executions while serving as governors of their states of Missouri and Texas, respectively. In 2002, a Purim sermon at a Washington, DC, synagogue suggested Ashcroft was like Haman, the evil vizier of the Persian King Ahasuerus. Haman, like Hitler, plotted to annihilate the Jews and the two are often compared in Jewish liturgies.

And then there is Martha Stewart, a past generous contributor to Democratic candidates and causes. She was indicted by Ashcroft's New York feds after she lied about dumping her Imclone stock in an insider trading deal. Never mind the fact that Enron's former chairman, Kenneth Lay (affectionately called "Kenny Boy" by Bush) still walks free despite the fact that he ripped off billions of dollars from stockholders and employees. It was hallmark of the Hitler regime to accuse political opponents of the Nazis of committing economic crimes against the state. The Nazis charged a number of non-Nazi business leaders with contributing to Germany's hyper-inflation following World War I. Many were later arrested and had their property seized. The Nazis allowed only a few large corporations to flourish, particularly those that generously contributed to the Nazi cause. Arms manufacturer Gustav Krupp was won over to the Nazi cause in 1933 when the Nazis told him that they would increase defense spending to record levels. For his part, Krupp led an industrial fund called the Adolf Hitler Spende. The fund collected money for Hitler's election coffers in return for special treatment for German industries. Ken Lay, meet Gustav Krupp.

On the subject of Enron, it was Lay and his buddies in Houston who financially raped California in 2001 by conspiring to raise the state's electric utility rates to a usurious degree. Who paid the price when California was plunged into financial ruin? Democratic Governor Gray Davis, who was recalled in a right-wing financed election after having served less than a year of his second term. And who replaced Davis? Self-described Hitler, Nazi, and Kurt Waldheim admirer Arnold Schwarzenegger, the new Republican Governor of California whose congressional soul mate, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, wants to amend the US Constitution to allow an Austrian émigré like Schwarzenegger to run for president. Where before have we seen national laws changed to allow a right-wing Austrian to run for political office in an adopted homeland?

But the neocons still continue to attack those who draw comparisons between Bush and Hitler. Shamefully, the neocons keep silent as Mel Gibson releases a big screen version of the Passion plays that were historically used throughout Europe to fan the flames of anti-Semitism. Many religious experts have pointed out that Gibson's The Passion of the Christ will only further exacerbate tense relations between Christians and non-Christians. Not so, say the evangelical Christians and their neocon allies—especially those affiliated with the Catholic right-wing secret society Opus Dei and the New American Century/American Enterprise Institute crowd. Shamefully, they mimic the capos of Nazi Germany's concentration camps and keep silent as Gibson's movie fans the flames of religious intolerance. Worse, the hallelujah chorus for the extreme right failed to urge Gibson to condemn his father Hutton's historical revisionist comments that Germany could not have killed 6 million Jews. "Do you know what it takes to get rid of a dead body? To cremate it? It takes a liter of petrol and 20 minutes. Now, six million of them? They [the Germans] did not have the gas to do it. That's why they lost the war," the elder Gibson told a New York radio show. He then suggested that many Jewish victims of the Holocaust had actually emigrated to the United States and Australia.

Yet, GOP radio and television mouthpieces like Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, and Rush Limbaugh defend Mel Gibson's movie while, at the same time, deride those who would compare what is happening in the United States now to what occurred in Germany in the early and mid 1930s. They feel we should just ignore Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hutton and Mel Gibson, and the foaming-at-the-mouth racists and xenophobes of evangelical Christendom and right-wing Catholicism. I, for one, will not ignore what are indisputable signs that the right wing in the United States has made a sharp turn into the netherworld of fascism and racial and religious xenophobia.

"Mixing with Blacks was out of the question . . . The Negro problem, indeed the racial problem in general, is viewed differently in the industrialized North than in the more agricultural South, which had drawn a sharp line for centuries between the colored and Whites." That passage could have been written by any number of racist Republicans, from Strom Thurmond, to his number one fan Trent Lott, to Haley Barbour and Sonny Perdue, the neo-Confederate GOP governors of Mississippi and Georgia, respectively. However, this interpretation of race relations in the United States was prepared in 1942 by Hitler's Reichsorganisationsleitung, a Nazi Party propaganda mill headed by Robert Ley. Haley Barbour, meet Robert Ley.

The GOP is also engaged in a national campaign of gay bashing. Using gay marriage as a casus belli, the GOP, fronting for the evangelical Christian Taliban of Ashcroft, Pat Robertson, Bob Jones, and Jerry Falwell, wants to turn the clock back on the civil liberties and equal treatment for gays and lesbians. But the GOP, like the Nazis, is hiding a dark secret. The Nazi youth movement (Wandervogel) was led by a number of homosexuals, including the sadistic Gerhard Rossbach, who would lay the groundwork for the Nazi Brown Shirts as a result of his creation of the post-World War I Freikorps (Free Corps). Rossbach recruited German Army Captain Ernst Roehm, another homosexual, into his movement. Roehm would eventually become the leader of the SA Storm Troopers of the Nazi Party. Many of the early Nazi leaders in Munich were, in fact, gay. Heinrich Himmler began to see Roehm and his associates as dangerous to the party. Even Hitler was suspected of having a homosexual past, especially when he was living the life of an itinerant on the streets of Vienna. Some of Hitler's followers formed a secret occult order called the Ordo Novi Templi (Order of the New Temple).

But even as Roehm and his homosexual colleagues helped extend Nazi rule in Germany, Hitler, after his ascension to power in 1933, banned pornography, homosexual bars and bathhouses, and homosexual rights groups. The Nazi anti-gay laws were only directed against homosexuals who were opposed to the Nazis, not against those who supported Hitler. In June 1934, Hitler and his allies ordered the extermination of Roehm and his SA associates, as well as other political enemies, on the Night of the Long Knives. One of the chief executioners was Reinhard Heydrich, one of Hitler's top advisers, who was also a homosexual.

Fast forward to today. Although Bush and his evangelical allies condemn homosexuality, the ranks of the Bush's brain trust are rife with gays who support the gay bashing agenda of the GOP. It should be pointed out that these ranks do not include the moderate Long Cabin Republicans, a moderate Republican gay advocacy group. From Bush's fraternity Skull and Bones, to Bush "best friend" and fellow Skull and Bonesman Victor Ashe, the former Mayor of Knoxville, Tennessee; to Karl Rove; to Bush's successor as Governor of Texas, Rick Perry; to other Republican politicians in Texas, to some of Bush's top ideological advisers and media cheerleaders, rumors are swirling about homoerotic fraternity initiations, secretive trysts, sudden divorce filings, and tropical island getaways. Skull and Bones, meet the Order of the New Temple.

Germany's Foreign Minister Joachim von Ribbentrop was often said to be the friendly face of Nazism. A frequent guest at Europe's high society dinner parties, Ribbentrop would brush aside fears about Germany's ambitions, including its imperial designs on its European neighbors. Colin Powell, who has been called the "good cop" in the Bush administration's crowd of "bad cops," permitted his right-wing Latin America assistant, Roger Noriega, a former chief of staff to Sen. Jesse Helms, to strong-arm and hoodwink Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide into accepting a peace agreement that the brutish Haitian opposition, armed and supported by the Bush administration, had no intention of signing. Noriega's machination was supported by his predecessor, Otto Reich [sic], who serves as Condoleezza Rice's National Security Council point man for Latin America. After Aristide was kidnapped at his home at gunpoint by U.S. troops accompanied by US Deputy Chief of Mission Luis Moreno and flown on an American plane to house arrest in the Central African Republic, the democratically-elected Haitian president proclaimed that his removal was unconstitutional and had been forced out by Washington. In 1936, beleaguered and exiled Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie appeared before the League of Nations in Switzerland to condemn its inaction over the Italian Fascist invasion of his country. "God and history will remember your judgment," Selassie told the League. Colin Powell, meet Joachim von Ribbentrop.

Yes, there certainly are many comparisons between the policies of Bush and Hitler. More astounding is the fact that Bush's grandfather, Senator Prescott Bush of Connecticut, was an investor in Nazi businesses and industries during World War II. No wonder his son, George H. W. Bush was urged to sign up as the youngest Navy pilot to fight the Japanese in the Pacific! Pursuant to the Trading With the Enemy Act, Prescott Bush had his assets seized during World War II. They included interests in Union Banking Corporation, Holland American Trading Corporation, Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation, and the Silesian-American Corporation (a joint operation between Prescott and his father-in-law George Herbert Walker). Silesian-American would pressgang slave laborers from the Polish town of Oswiecim, the future home of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

The similarities between the Bush and Nazi gangs are unmistakable. The list of those who see the similarities grows every day. The latest on the list is Howard Stern. He joins former German Justice Minister Herta Daubler-Gmelin, CBS's Hitler: The Rise of Evil miniseries' director Ed Gernon, financier George Soros, filmmaker Michael Moore, actress and comedienne Janeane Garofolo, German author and TV moderator Franz Alt, playwright Harold Pinter, Cuban President Fidel Castro, former South African President Nelson Mandela, "Boondocks" cartoonist Aaron McGruder, retired Western Michigan University English professor Edward Jayne, columnist Nicholas von Hoffman, author John Pilger, and Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes in comparing Bush's policies and antics to those of Hitler. I am proud to have my views associated with those of such visionary luminaries.

During the 1930s, the famous writer H.G. Wells was rebuked by the conservatives of his day for comparing Hitler to Caesar and suggesting that Hitler was a "certifiable lunatic." Wells turned out to be right on the money. Those of us who see a creeping fascism with Bush and his cronies will, one day, be vindicated by the muses of history.


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