Attention, Haters of Bush

I don’t like the guy. I didn’t vote for him and I won’t vote for him. I disagree with many of his policies. I am most definitely not a Bush supporter, or a Republican.

But the arguments some of his opponents use make me sick. There’s one in particular that sets me off like nothing else: the “Bush=Hitler” meme. As a Jew, and a descendant of holocaust survivors, I am absolutely appalled that thinking, compassionate individuals can spout this line without even thinking about what they are saying. For all Bush has done, he doesn’t represent a fraction of the pure evil that Hitler was. To say that the two are equivalent is to trivialize Hitler’s crimes. Let me be perfectly clear: If you equate Bush to Hitler, you spit upon the memory of the Jews, Gypsies, disabled people, homosexuals and others slaughtered by the millions by the Third Reich. You are trivializing the nations subjugated, the millions of soldiers killed, the utter devastation of a country’s economy and national spirit, the use of POW’s for hideous expiraments, the indiscriminate bombing of civilians. You are making nothing of a hellish quasi-religion of hate and fear that survives in pockets to this day.

You may think it’s a clever slogan, a way to make a point; but what you are telling the children growing up today, watching the media, watching you, is that Hitler must not have been all that bad. You are doing more than the Holocaust-deniers ever could to erase the sting of that memory on society’s collective consciousness. Before you compare Bush to Hitler, read a little history, and ask yourself if that’s really what you want this generation’s children to grow up believing.

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  1. thank you. bush is an absolute menace and must go, but -all- the hysteria and non-objective yelling must go. you can’t get rid of a liar by telling lies!

  2. *applause* Well said, my friend. Well said.

  3. I agree whole-heartedly..

    I think bush is a complete lying hypocritical evil moron…

    But he is not hitler.. and the willy-nilly claims about him being so are horse-shit…
    Hitler was a fucking insane racist atrocious purely evil individual responsible for the deaths of millions…
    Bush has much to do before he could even aspire to that level of heinousness…

    1. Re: I agree whole-heartedly..

      Of ~course~ they are horse-shit, that is the entire point. If all political campaigns were based on the pure truth, the absolute facts and honesty, noone would vote. The only way to get most people to move politically is to cattle-prod them in the genitals ~ few care unless you kick them in the fucking teeth and you are going to piss off a few people. That’s just the way it is ~ I know this because I have sold thousands of these things to all walks of life. If you only have a few words to say, their barbs must be sharp as fuck.

      I tried on many occasions to sell “VOTE CONCIOUS – VOTE GREEN” and countless other witty sayings that ~should~ appeal to the more liberal and educated end of the spectrum, but unfortunately, that’s not how propaganda works. Overstatement sells because it works.

      1. Propaganda

        I happen to take a different view on propaganda. I think it widens the divide between people, increases the general level of negativity and anger in the world, legitimizes dishonesty, promotes deliberate ignorance, and radicalizes the weak-minded. I don’t care if it’s for the ruling party or the opposition; if it causes people to react rather than to think, it isn’t helping.

        I’d rather someone stayed home then voted as a knee-jerk reaction to manipulative slogans.

        1. Re: Propaganda

          The division, anger, dishonesty, ignorance and negativity is already there. Always has been and always will be. My propaganda is bought by people who already have certain opinions. Would a staunch conservative christian republican buy a button that says FUCK JESUS VOTE GREEN? Doubt it. Would a anti-christian militant vegan buy one? Hell fucking yes! Did I make that person who they are or plant any ideas in their head? If I would have posted that particular button, would you have been offended?

          >if it causes people to react rather than to think, it isn’t helping

          Depends on which end of the shovel you are on.

          People don’t want to think. They want to push Button A or Button B, receive food pellet and watch TV. As idealistic and warmfuzzy as your wish seems, it will NEVER happen. Propaganda exists because people are LAZY and they WANT it. You can either use it to make your life better, or not use it and watch others profit from it.

          >I’d rather someone stayed home then voted as a knee-jerk
          >reaction to manipulative slogans.

          Not me, I’d rather use their collective momentum for my own personal gain. I know that sounds shitty, but its just really brutal honesty – something people dont want to hear.

          I really wish people ~would~ read and vote and play nice and not lie, but shit just aint like that and you can only use resources that are available.

          1. Re: Propaganda

            I hope you don’t think I’m criticising you for making a profit off of radical idiots, because I’m not. More power to ya. I’d feel dirty at the end of the day in a line of work like that, but that has entirely to do with my personality, and is not a moral judgement of any kind.

            You’ll note that my rant is directed against those who claim equivalency between Bush and Hitler. As you’ve made it pretty clear that isn’t your position, I can’t think why you would take it so personally. I’m not one of those jackasses who takes his anger at a product’s users out on the product’s manufacturer.

          2. Re: Propaganda

            i’m planning on voting green and didn’t realize “fuck Jesus” was part of their platform. <looks down at nonexistant papers>

      2. Re: I agree whole-heartedly..

        So, what you’re saying here, is that the end justifies the means?

  4. Hrmmm.. I wonder what prompted this?

    >If you equate Bush to Hitler, you spit upon the memory of
    >the Jews, Gypsies, disabled people, homosexuals and others
    >slaughtered by the millions by the Third Reich

    Bullshit. Projection and Extrapolation.

    Funny how reactions to propaganda are often just as over-inflated as the propaganda itself ~ even funnier when the purveyor of said propaganda uses the momentum of that exact reaction to finance his completely non-political motorcycle habit.

    (perhaps I should post my I <3 BUSH button or my Scary Kerry button? I swing both ways baby..)

    .785 Square Inches of real estate on a button on some “liberal” college kid’s jacket is NOT going to change the world or anybodys views. You being pissed about that view ~definetly~ isn’t going to change a thing, in fact your sensitivity might be the fuel in the first place. Rant and Extrapolate until your out of breath if you will, but this is how propaganda and political manuvering is often done ~ take advantage of the opponents momentum and throw him off balance long enough to strike a REAL blow.

    Oh, and the save-the-children thing.. come on, Avdi.. that’s soooo 1989…

    I personally think overstatement and agregious warping and magnification of ideas to say something is pretty damn FUNNY, especially when people get “offended” and launch counterattacks.

    >Before you compare Bush to Hitler, read a little history..

    (long rant deleted, replaced by the following)

    How about we ~not~ go there…

    1. Wow, Joe. You certainly took this personally.

      1. Yes I did, and I do. Part of my profession is propaganda, so it is very familiar and personal. It’s truly a love/annoy relationship.

        1. I won’t deny that it was your recent post which sparked this rant, but it wasn’t aimed at you specifically (which is why there’s no link or reference to your entry).

          1. General statements can be infinetly specific on a personal level, especialy when timed correctly.

          2. Think what you like. That’s a rant that’s been brewing for a long, long time, and it just needed one more nudge to crystalize it. You happen to have provided the nudge.

          3. I believe it! Especially considering your background.

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more. Certain associations do no good.

    People who make such comparisons to Bush instantly lose any ability to reach me. I’m no longer interested in their opinions, their justifications for said opinions, or their beliefs.

    Why not?

    Because they’ve just proven that they have no regard for truth or reasonable judgment, and I’m not interested in listening to the frantic ravings of ultra-liberals, ultra-conservatives, or radicals in search of a cause. I’m particularly not interested in the ravings of such people when they are the rich, SUV-driving college kid type out to “make a difference.”

    I’m reminded of a time when a group of students at my Alma Mater attempted to march down Locust Street (the college’s main drag) with a Soviet flag in celebration of May Day and Workers Rights. They were stopped by a professor in the middle of their March, and their leader was utterly torn a new asshole. The professor in question was Ralph Raymond–one of DePauw’s most radical professors. But he tore into them for claiming that a regime that murdered tens of millions of its own citizens, worked them to death in the gulag, and gorged them on propaganda, stood for the rights of workers.

    If you want to criticize Bush, there’s a lot to criticize. There’s a LOT of valid points to be made. The key to the kind of rational, objective, and intelligent discussion that’s vital to Democracy is in the discussion of those points.

    Its NOT in the frantic brow-beating and ridiculous comparisons so many would like to make today.

    1. I think the political process would be improved immensely if someone figured out how to manufacture doses of perspective in pill or chewable form.

      1. Hell, *life* would be improved it someone figured that one out.

  6. Probably going to get roasted for this but…

    I grew up in europe, of a family also deeply affected by the holocaust for different reasons. And one thing that got pounded into me early and often was to learn to watch for signals of a recurrence, to be alert to the possibility of another such leader and thus perhaps be able to act sooner or more effectively. That a failure to see and grasp his full threat sooner was part of what allowed Hitler to get as far as he got. No US leader in my life has set off more of those deeply ingrained alarms than Bush has. I consider him insane and dangerously so.

    Leaving aside the use of the analogy as a slogan and considering as a personal statement – IF someone sincerely believes that bush desires genocide of moslems and will kill millions of people and help end freedom as they perceive it by bringing us fully into a 1984 orwellian nightmare – then why not equate him to hitler? how is killing off muslims any less offensive than killing off jews? How is making up WMD offenses to invade a country signicantly morally different than invading Poland?

    1. Where do you start

      First, it is not clear that they ‘made up’ the WMD claim. It was an awfully silly thing to do if they did. It seems to have been a comprehensive intelligence failure (shared by lots of people, even captured Iraqi colonels thought they had them). They overstated the certainty of the evidence, clearly, but not the same thing. Saddam certainly did everything to give the impression he had something to hide (which he did, both his missiles and his research programs were in breach of the 1991 ceasefire agreement and the UN Security Council resolutions).

      Secondly, the US campaign took infinitely more pains to avoid civilian casualities than did the Germans in 1939.

      Thirdly, the US is attempting to set up a democratic regime in Iraq. Not to engage in permanent conquest for lebensraum

      Fourthly, they are no herding people in camps prior to extermination.

      The Coalition invasion and occupation of Iraq is a lot more like, say, the Allied occupation of Germany in 1945.

      So, really, they are not alike at all except both are invasions. They are certainly not even close to morally equivalent.

      As for believing Bush wants genocide, one is not responsible for other people’s delusions and they have no moral standing. There is no evidence of this, and much evidence to the contrary.

      1. Re: Where do you start

        lebensraum indeed. in the current world, i dont see where an invasion based on oil isnt just a variation of lebensraum – let me kill people so my own kind can live more comfortably.

        many places ive worked since 9/11 allow an atrocious amount of anti-anything that might even faintly be muslim attitude to a point of tremendous pain for those targeted. to paint people as evil, to slowly force them out of better jobs and environments, to get a group consensus that labeling them is ok – ARE vital first steps towards genocide. you devalue the target group until it becomes acceptable, then people are more likely not to raise a fuss when it gets worse.

        democracy cannot be put into place as the next stage after a tyranny like that and bush knows it. it is intended to fail, always was – then they will need our extended help and involvement while we sit back and say well we tried to let em go on their own but geez it didnt work. and ultimately it is NOT our job to force a government model we think is the only valid one on the rest of the world. The US targeted many middle and south american countries that were functioning better than their neighbours because they weren’t ‘democracies’. While supporting ‘democracies’ that had militant regimes in place by a voting process that wouldve torn our founding father apart between laughter and howling in pain.

        Bush’s direction on the war on ‘terrorism’, which I fundamentally despise because any war with no clearly defined enemy or goal is a guarantee of the orwellian nightmare I mentioned previously, is a clear step towards establishing a domination of the future towards his way of thinking. Like Hitlers. He has passed legislation providing for serious invasions of privacy and abrogation of rights, because the war effort requires it. Like Hitler. He has a loud and clear moral religious framework for his vision. Like Hitler. He is against marriages he sees as morally questionable. Like Hitler. And he is utterly convinced what he is doing is right and cannot see the role of his own ego in his decisionmaking. Like Hitler. he had advisors try to tell him the data was highly questionable but ignored it and barred them from providing their concerns to other officials because it didnt suit what he wanted to do. Like Hitler.

        I am not saying the two are absolutely equal, I don’t know the future. Bush might not be as bad. Or he might end up racking up an even higher death toll. But I don’t think the analogy is as ridiculous as some might claim. Many people who were concerned early about Hitler were labeled as paranoid and overreactive. And for anyone who thinks a democracy, even one handled legitimately, is a cureall, remember this even if you ignore the rest – Hitler was elected in a fair and honest process. The citizens of a reasonably welleducated and aware country can still put the wrong person in power.

        1. Re: Where do you start

          Something I have trouble getting a handle on is why people in Europe as so overacting about Dubya in particular and the US in general.

          Hitler was a tyrant. Germany is now a democracy. Democracy is possible after such a tyranny. Now, there are reasons to be sceptical about whether democracy will succeed in Iraq, but no reason to think that the US is not seriously trying.

          But, for so many people, Dubya’s evil, America’s evil is a premise, not a conclusion.

          Hitler did what he said he would do. If you take Dubya the same way, they are not even in the same ball park. And Dubya’s behaviour has been consistent with his words.

          As for oil, it is remaining nationalised, in Iraqi hands and has its export continued to be supervised by the UN. If oil access was the issue, it would have been a lot easier to just kiss and make up with Saddam.

          These analogies seem to require not understanding either Hitler and Nazi Germany or Dubya and the US.

          Like I say, there is something strange and deep going on that people even think this analogy is plausible, or get so amazingly overwraught about the US.

          Particularly when you have Islamists who really do hate us all, stand for profoundly different values and are happy to kill as many as they can. To the extent of killing themselves to express their hate. That is the real abyss.

          1. Re: Where do you start

            Hitler was a tyrant. Germany is now a democracy.

            Germany was also a democracy then. They elected Hitler. Please learn a little more about Hitler and Germany before lecturing others on whether or not they comprehend it.

            You also clearly lack the fortitude it would take to even begin to see why some people have so much resentment against the US and have taken the easy copout of labeling them simply as evil and hateful. That very attitude, especially in someone who clearly possesses a strong mind, is precisely what saddens and frightens me the most about the overall temperament in this country on the matter. It is the essence of what allowed the Holocaust to happen.

            Since I do not know avdi personally, I will decline to pursue this further. Not because you disagree with me, but because I believe the tone would degenerate on both ends and I do not want to bring negative energy into his journal. Avdi, I thank you for the interesting post and I hope I have not detracted from it by failing to agree with the majority.

          2. Re: Where do you start

            Batgirl, I find your statements reflect the precise lack of perspective and willingness to jump to conclusions with no supporting evidence that frightens me about the Bush=Hitler meme, but I don’t grudge your addition to the discussion in the slightest. Welcome!

            At a heart level I have more respect for your position than for the partying-while-Rome-burns attitude reflected elsewhere in this discussion; I simply think your conclusions are wrong based on my own examination of the facts.

            I would ask that you have more respect for the other readers of my Journal; debate is fine but I found your suggestion that lacked fortitude and education to be in poor taste, not to mention laughable if you have been reading his journal for any length of time. Let’s keep it civil, please.

            Anyway, again welcome, and I hope the clash of opinions doesn’t scare you off. There’s a reason I don’t write about politics much…

          3. Re: Where do you start

            Avdi – Thank you for giving a clear and even reply, I appreciate that. I probably simply shouldn’t have responded to the topic in my whose a friend of a friend meanderings.

            As for my comments, I don’t question that he is educated, I clearly stated he had a strong mind. It is a sad fact of American education that few people ever get exposed to the fact that Hitler was elected. And that fact is incredibly central to any understanding of how or why the Holocaust happened, as well as to any realistic perception of whether or not it is possible for such a thing to happen again. Nor do I assume such is the case with Bush – I simply haven’t ruled it out.

            As for questioning his comprehension of the matter as a whole, it was actually he who began the tack of insinuating that I must be lacking such things. I quote from his post “These analogies seem to require not understanding either Hitler and Nazi Germany or Dubya and the US.” Thats a pretty blanket, judgemental, and in this case, foolish, thing to say. Your reaction to my saying very similar things back to him tells me that if you are willing to see that he brought that element in, you will also see why I chose not to pursue further political discussion with him on the matter. I knew I would not be able to discuss it politely with someone who had already been insulting.

            Perhaps it would be laughable as you say if I knew more of him. But again, equally so, if he knew more about me he’d never have made the claim that my knowledge is lacking in this area.

            I hope you got at least some enjoyment from Ascension, and that the coming week brings good things to you :).

          4. Re: Where do you start

            It is a sad fact of American education that few people ever get exposed to the fact that Hitler was elected.
            Take a look at ‘s userinfo. He’s not American.

            You also clearly lack the fortitude it would take to even begin to see why some people have so much resentment against the US and have taken the easy copout of labeling them simply as evil and hateful. That very attitude, especially in someone who clearly possesses a strong mind, is precisely what saddens and frightens me the most about the overall temperament in this country on the matter.
            Again, he is *not* American.
            I do agree with you that many fail to see why people resent the US, and I too, am annoyed by this – I don’t necessarily *agree* with the reasons why people resent us, but I do *understand* them.

          5. Re: Where do you start

            I have not read his journal, I prefer to keep my responses as unbiased as possible. American or not, he brought in the element avdi called me (appropriately, even though I didn’t ‘start’ it) on of pulling the ‘you just don’t know enough’ card. Wherever he was educated, he is wrong about the process by which Hitler came to power and cannot possibly use it as an example of a country that was switched over to a democracy after a tyranny. Whatever his nationality, “Particularly when you have Islamists who really do hate us all, stand for profoundly different values and are happy to kill as many as they can. To the extent of killing themselves to express their hate. “ tells me that he would rather believe a group of people is just evil, hatefilled and violent than examine why they act that way. And Like I say, there is something strange and deep going on that people even think this analogy is plausible, or get so amazingly overwraught about the US. I think we agree on – I do NOT make any claim that all complaints or issues other countries have with the US are legitimate, or all actions excusable, but I sure as hell can understand where it comes from.

          6. Re: Where do you start

            Forgive me, but this is where I see a subtle bias in your thinking: you assumed that he doesn’t know how Hitler came to power, rather than assuming he did know and attempting to work out his meaning based on this assumption. It never even occurred to me to doubt his knowledge of Germany’s history; quite apart from his scholarly credentials and track record, I don’t think this is terribly uncommon knowledge. The statement “Hitler was a tyrant” does not imply that Hitler was unelected. Hitler was a tyrant: by the time Germany was defeated, the Fuhrer’s word was law and I rather doubt he was planning on giving up power voluntarily. Certainly Germany endured fewer years of tyranny than has Iraq, which is a valid point. But the assumption that his statement implies ignorance seems baseless to me.

            he would rather believe a group of people is just evil, hatefilled and violent than examine why they act that way

            I hate to keep harping on this, but I see the same kind of assumption here. erudito made no claim that all Muslims are like this. Nor did he give any indication that he’s uninterested in understanding their motivations. The argument he was making was one of moral equivalence, or rather the lack of it, between those who are incontrovertibly hate-filled and violent and the Bush administration. You can argue that if you like, but I think to say that it tells you what he’d rather believe about a whole group is, again, jumping to conclusions.

          7. Re: Where do you start

            Re the first part – sorry, I do not believe that is what he meant. He used it as an example of a tyranny going into a democracy, in the context of analogy to Iraq being transformed into one, as well as stating germany is NOW a democracy, all of which clearly imply he believed germany wasnt a democracy at the time.

            Re the second – sorry, again, not convinced. I know he didnt say all. But Particularly when you have Islamists who really do hate us all, stand for profoundly different values and are happy to kill as many as they can. To the extent of killing themselves to express their hate. Happy to kill as many as they can, and killing themselves to express their hate, tell me whether it is allinclusive or not, he doesn’t understand the mechanics. They aren’t killing themselves to express their hate, they are killing themselves because like every other culture historically that has been willing to make frequent suicide missions, they believe, rightly or wrongly, that their entire culture is under attack and will cease to exist if they don’t do something about it. It is the country size equivalent of a parent being willing to die to save their children. Misplaced? Perhaps. But NOT the product of some deepseeded love of suicide or killing.

          8. Re: Where do you start

            Your statement seems to me at least as much a blanket statement as his. There is ample evidence to support the the desperation which drives people to become suicide attackers; but there is also ample evidence that many of them do take joy in the simple act of killing infidels. The strain of Islam which nurtures suicide attackers teaches that quite apart from striking a blow for freedom, slaying nonbelievers is a good thing to do in and of itself, worthy of rejoicing over (and of a great reward in heaven). There’s also evidence that some of them haven’t even the maturity to fully grasp the desperation of their people, let alone the humanity of their enemies. They are simply trying to make their peers and family proud. Saying that all suicide attacks stem from a well-developed sense of a culture under attack is at least as much of a lumping-together as saying they all stem from a love of death.

            As for hate, I’d say that those who chant “death to America” are expressing at least as much hate as Americans who say “death to Bin Laden”. Whatever it’s source, longing for someone’s death seems as good a definition of hate as any to me. Of course, I’m not saying all Muslims, or even all the ones who oppose our policies, are chanting “death to America”.

          9. Re: Where do you start

            “slaying nonbelievers is a good thing to do in and of itself, worthy of rejoicing over. There’s also evidence that some of them haven’t even the maturity to fully grasp the desperation of their people, let alone the humanity of their enemies.”

            I certainly agree that exists, but that exists to some degree in vitrtually every society. Rejoicing in the death of the enemy because the desire for vengeance, and the moral freedom that a sense of vengeance offers from guilt, runs hot. Joining militaries all over the world to make their family and peers proud of them. Finding ways to tell yourself that the ones you want to kill deserve it. Refusing to see the basic humanity of a people easier to cast as just evil. Which is my point – even people in such sects are human, have feelings, experience pain, and have reasons for their attitudes that do not originate in a fundamentally evil desire for destruction. You can condemn someone’s actions without defining them as evil beings.

          10. Re: Where do you start

            Germany was also a democracy then. They elected Hitler. Please learn a little more about Hitler and Germany before lecturing others on whether or not they comprehend it.

            Actually, Hitler merely received a plurality, not a majority of the vote. He then turned his regime into a tyranny. And I have been reading serious historians on Hitler and Nazism and related subjects for over 20 years. Though I agree, the lack of previous democratic tradition in Iraq is a reason to be sceptical.

            I would also point out that you have moved to personal abuse, which I did not.

            Nor would I deny that, as a Great Power, the US has done reprehensible things. All Great Powers do. It is the completely overwrought nature of some of the rhetoric and analogies which is striking.

  7. I agree with both avdi and batgirl.

    Bush has set off ALL my internal alarms, and I started off by defending him to some people who are…maybe a little more fluffy than me. You know, the kind of fluffy lefties who would be saying this about ANY US leader. And I still am inclined to think that many of the people who go all the way in comparing him to Hitler are those kind of people. They thought Clinton was Hitler, too. I didn’t vote for him, and I never have liked him, but until the last two years I tended to say “Vote for someone else next time and forget about it.”

    However, he’s shown sides of himself that SHOULD get people worried. For real. Hitler looked like a joke at first, too.

    The part that worries me is the Jew-Bush connection: as in, somehow, since Bush has been here, indeed since 9/11, it has become OK to say borderline-genocidal things about Jews, in mixed company, in respectable circumstances…oh heck you know it all already.

    My own mixed blood is kind of like being part Jewish and part Arab, so I am usually inclined to try to see both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian deal, and my take is that while the Israelis have shown sickening disregard for the human rights of Palestinians, I don’t think they are all that different from the average Middle Eastern country and maybe a little better. In the case of many nations there would be no argument as to whether it was genocide or not. One would know. Also, I fail to see how any American with half a shred of knowledge about conditions in our own inner cities can be that morally sniffy toward the Jews.

    Is it really the case that so many people have been nursing the belief that the Jews are responsible for all the evil in the world, have an agenda of world domination, are behind everything from the Kennedy assassination to apartheid…and what’s suddenly given them the green light? If we have become so much more reactionary since 9/11 (which I think is true) and the Jews are behind it, why is it more safe than ever to be a pig ignorant Jew hater?

    (NB that the label “reactionary,” as a smear, should have nothing to do with a person is economically right or left. Capitalism and socialism are economic systems, not political styles. They both contain reactionary, liberal and progressive elements.)

    Rant done.

  8. Ok, I’ll weigh in again.

    I think BatGirl makes some good points, but a solid historical perspective is needed to properly examine the situation. Yes, anti-Muslim (and even some anti-French) sentiment has risen in the country. This is true.

    But we have no “Muslim camps.” We have one camp, in Cuba, for suspected Terrorism detainees. Is this questionable? Yes, it is. But it is nowhere NEAR the same level of rounding up that took place of all people of Japanese descent in the early days of WWII.

    If you look back at much of the legislation passed in the days following the declaration of WWII and even WWI, you will find much of it is absolutely draconian to a level surpassing even the PATRIOT act. Hell, Lincoln suspended the writ of Habeus Corpus during the Civil War.

    The fact is, governments under attack (or who perceive themselves as under attack) often take drastic measurements that the courts later re-examine over the years and roll back as henceforth unnecessary. We’re already seeing the beginnings of this occuring as states pull out of terrorism databases, key aspects of the PATRIOT Act are challenged, and the system begins to correct itself.

    I see no reason to believe that Bush desires the genocide of Moslems, or any other minority. In an age where even an affair cannot be kept secret, the press would’ve long since ferreted out any such destructive hatred. Remember, “Mein Kampf” was published YEARS before Hitler began his rise to power. His hatred and mis-understandings were on the board long before. Its also important to remember that Germany in the pre WW-II era was a shattered nation suffering multiple crises of faith, self-identity, and economy. Hitler rose into power in a time of immense civil unrest to which even the days following 9/11 cannot be compared.

    I am not universally thrilled with Bush. In fact, I dislike many of his closed-door policy, his good-ol’-boy networks, and his decisions in Iraq. I agree that the Iraq problem will NOT be solved swiftly or easily. Democratic institutions must slowly be constructed in the country. If you want an example of how this can be done successfully (or at least with a modicum of success) look to the former British colonies. This is not an endorsement by ANY means of old-world colonialism or imperialism, but if you examine the former British colonies as compared to the French, the unclaimed, or the generally unsettled, you’ll find that the former members of the British Empire are often in much better positions than their neighbors, and that some (such as India) made a remarkably smooth transition to Democracy, and Democracy continues to flourish there, even if that nation does have overwhelming problems of its own.

    The reason?

    The British (whatever else their faults) knew how to construct a native-run administrative system that would foster the growth of Parlimentary Democracy and create the necessary civic institutions. They also understood, however, that this was NOT an easy or swift process.

    My own verdict, is that at BEST Iraq’s transitionary period will resemble Russia’s in the sense that the country will transition to a corrupt and laisse faire economic system but where democratic institutions will function to a degree–and said institutions will remain in place. Over time–10-20 years–the Iraqi governmental system may slowly emerge from this turbulent transitional time, as is slowly happening in Russia today, 14 years after the fall of Communism.

    One last comment.

    I don’t believe we went to Iraq for oil. Oil prices now are much, much HIGHER than they were a year ago. They are $9 per barrel higher than they were in September. Its been over a year since we began invading Iraq. If that oil were set to flow into American coffers it already would be doing so, and gas prices wouldn’t sit at their highest levels ever.

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