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KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) KOK Edit: your favorite copyeditor since 1984(SM) Katharine O'Moore Klopf

Monday, December 13, 2004

Echoes of the Past

There must not be too many Americans any more who read history books or remember what they read there. If there were, G. W. Bush never would have made it into office again. Many of the things he's doing are reminiscent of Hitler. Now, by saying that, I don't mean to trivialize the Holocaust. But Bush's actions make me think he's been studying Hitler. What actions, you ask? Here are just a few:

  • He's curtailing civil liberties bit by bit, a process he began after 9/11. Hitler did the same thing after the Reichstag fire. The Patriot Act was ostensibly passed to protect us, but it gives Bush's government much more power over how we conduct our private lives. In the atmosphere of fear created by the act and the constant repetition of Bush's belief that everyone is out to get us, it's becoming "un-American" to speak out, to disagree. If you're not for Bush and his followers, you just might be a terrorist. And that means that it might be a good idea to arrest you, to silence you.

  • He's set up a bogeyman for everyone to blame for world problems, just as Hitler did. Hitler justified a military buildup to fight international communism. Bush has created the image of the Axis of Evil: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. These nations, he'd have us believe, are completely populated by terrorists. Will he push for invasions of Iran and North Korea?

  • He's repeating lies so often that many people think they're the truth. A great many Americans still think there's an Iraq–Al Qaeda link, despite evidence to the contrary. Yes, Saddam Hussein tortured his own people, but he didn't send Al Qaeda to mow down the Twin Towers and the Pentagon. In fact, the U.S. put him in power years ago, so we began killing Iraqi civilians to get a monster of our own making out of the way. And those same Americans still believe in the fictitious weapons of mass destruction allegedly hidden somewhere in Iraq.

  • He goes to war despite objections by the UN. He does what God tells him, he says, so nothing must stand in his way. He knows the One True Way, he'd have us believe. If his way is so right, why have so many Cabinet members resigned at the end of his first term? They can't all be exhausted from "fighting the good fight" and wanting to spend more time with their families. I don't remember such a high turnover of Cabinet members in my lifetime. I was born in 1959.

I only hope that enough people speak out to keep the man from starting World War III.


Anonymous said...

Strange, that no one else has responded to what you have to say. Perhaps people really aren't reading or understanding history these days. I made a detailed study of Hitler's methods in my college years, and the many resemblances are chilling. Here, just as in Germany, the average person equates "defense of the homeland" with blind obedience to a maniac. Where do we turn when there is no effective opposition to this tyrant? Where do we go for sanctuary when nuclear arms allow him to turn his notions of a "final rapture" into self-fulfilling prophecy? Ultimately, whether by other nations or God, Americans will be held accountable for their blind obedience to Bush and his military-industrial-complex cronies. Now I know exactly how the minority of anti-Nazi Germans felt in WW2, and my sense of powerlessness and guilt is overwhelming.

Katharine O'Moore-Klopf said...

Well, Anon, either everyone agrees with me and so doesn't find it necessary to say so, they aren't reading history, or they are Bush followers. It's a frightening world.

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