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History repeats itself ???

Discussion in 'News' started by ERIZENO, Sep 22, 2005.

  1. ERIZENO

    ERIZENO Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 30, 2003 Messages: 1,999 Likes Received: 28
    Its long but crazy how familiar it sounds.

    source

    Published on Sunday, March 16, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
    When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
    by Thom Hartmann

    The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States, and was barely reported in the corporate media. But the Germans remembered well that fateful day seventy years ago - February 27, 1933. They commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that mobilized citizens all across the world.

    It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)

    But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the nation's leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the majority of citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. He was a simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world. His coarse use of language - reflecting his political roots in a southernmost state - and his simplistic and often-inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric offended the aristocrats, foreign leaders, and the well-educated elite in the government and media. And, as a young man, he'd joined a secret society with an occult-sounding name and bizarre initiation rituals that involved skulls and human bones.

    Nonetheless, he knew the terrorist was going to strike (although he didn't know where or when), and he had already considered his response. 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.

    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. (In the meantime, he was taking almost daily lessons in public speaking, learning to control his tonality, gestures, and facial expressions. He became a very competent orator.)

    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," a phrase publicly promoted in the introduction to a 1934 speech recorded in Leni Riefenstahl's famous propaganda movie "Triumph Of The Will." As hoped, people's hearts swelled with pride, 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.

    Playing on this new nationalism, and exploiting a disagreement with the French over his increasing militarism, 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, and then negotiated a separate naval armaments agreement with Anthony Eden of The United Kingdom to create a worldwide military ruling elite.

    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, what he called a "New Christianity." Every man in his rapidly growing army wore a belt buckle that declared "Gott Mit Uns" - God Is With Us - and most of them fervently believed it was true.

    Within a year of the terrorist attack, the nation's leader determined that the various local police and federal agencies around the nation were lacking the clear communication and overall coordinated administration necessary to deal with the terrorist threat facing the nation, particularly those citizens who were of Middle Eastern ancestry and thus probably terrorist and communist sympathizers, and various troublesome "intellectuals" and "liberals." He proposed a single new national agency to protect the security of the homeland, consolidating the actions of dozens of previously independent police, border, and investigative agencies under a single leader.

    He appointed one of his most trusted associates to be leader of this new agency, the Central Security Office for the homeland, and gave it a role in the government equal to the other major departments.

    His assistant who dealt with the press noted that, since the terrorist attack, "Radio and press are at out disposal." Those voices questioning the legitimacy of their nation's leader, or raising questions about his checkered past, had by now faded from the public's recollection as his central security office began advertising a program encouraging people to phone in tips about suspicious neighbors. This program was so successful that the names of some of the people "denounced" were soon being broadcast on radio stations. Those denounced often included opposition politicians and celebrities who dared speak out - a favorite target of his regime and the media he now controlled through intimidation and ownership by corporate allies.

    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 encouraged large corporations friendly to him to acquire media outlets and other industrial concerns across the nation, particularly those previously owned by suspicious people of Middle Eastern ancestry. He built powerful alliances with industry; one corporate ally got the lucrative contract worth millions to build the first large-scale detention center for enemies of the state. Soon more would follow. Industry flourished.

    But after an interval of peace following the terrorist attack, voices of dissent again arose within and without the government. Students had started an active program opposing him (later known as the White Rose Society), and leaders of nearby nations were speaking out against his bellicose rhetoric. He needed a diversion, something to direct people away from the corporate cronyism being exposed in his own government, questions of his possibly illegitimate rise to power, and the oft-voiced concerns of civil libertarians about the people being held in detention without due process or access to attorneys or family.

    With his number two man - a master at manipulating the media - he began a campaign to convince the people of the nation that a small, limited war was necessary. Another nation was harboring many of the suspicious Middle Eastern people, and 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, and nations across Europe - at first - denounced him for it, pointing out that it was a doctrine only claimed in the past by nations seeking worldwide empire, like Caesar's Rome or Alexander's Greece.

    It took a few months, and intense international debate and lobbying with European nations, but, after he personally met with the leader of the United Kingdom, finally a deal was struck. After the military action began, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain told the nervous British people that giving in to this leader's new first-strike doctrine would bring "peace for our time." Thus Hitler annexed Austria in a lightning move, riding a wave of popular support as leaders so often do in times of war. The Austrian government was unseated and replaced by a new leadership friendly to Germany, and German corporations began to take over Austrian resources.

    In a speech responding to critics of the invasion, Hitler said, "Certain foreign newspapers have said that we fell on Austria with brutal methods. I can only say; even in death they cannot stop lying. I have in the course of my political struggle won much love from my people, but when I crossed the former frontier [into Austria] there met me such a stream of love as I have never experienced. Not as tyrants have we come, but as liberators."

    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" ("Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuhrer"), 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 and pit wage-earning people (from whom most of the army came) against the "intellectuals and liberals" who were critical of his policies.

    Nonetheless, once the "small war" annexation of Austria was successfully and quickly completed, and peace returned, voices of opposition were again raised in the Homeland. The almost-daily release of news bulletins about the dangers of terrorist communist cells wasn't enough to rouse the populace and totally suppress dissent. A full-out war was necessary to divert public attention from the growing rumbles within the country about disappearing dissidents; violence against liberals, Jews, and union leaders; and the epidemic of crony capitalism that was producing empires of wealth in the corporate sector but threatening the middle class's way of life.

    A year later, to the week, Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia; the nation was now fully at war, and all internal dissent was suppressed in the name of national security. It was the end of Germany's first experiment with democracy.

    As we conclude this review of history, there are a few milestones worth remembering.

    February 27, 2003, was the 70th anniversary of Dutch terrorist Marinus van der Lubbe's successful firebombing of the German Parliament (Reichstag) building, the terrorist act that catapulted Hitler to legitimacy and reshaped the German constitution. By the time of his successful and brief action to seize Austria, in which almost no German blood was shed, Hitler was the most beloved and popular leader in the history of his nation. Hailed around the world, he was later Time magazine's "Man Of The Year."

    Most Americans remember his office for the security of the homeland, known as the Reichssicherheitshauptamt and its SchutzStaffel, simply by its most famous agency's initials: the SS.

    We also remember that 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" among the nation's leadership according to the authors of the 1996 book "Shock And Awe" published by the National Defense University Press.

    Reflecting on that time, The American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton Mifflin Company, 1983) 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 (fbsh'iz'em) n. 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.

    Thom Hartmann lived and worked in Germany during the 1980s, and is the author of over a dozen books, including "Unequal Protection" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight." This article is copyright by Thom Hartmann, but permission is granted for reprint in print, email, blog, or web media so long as this credit is attached.
     
  2. !@#$%

    !@#$% Moderator Crew

    Joined: Oct 1, 2002 Messages: 18,517 Likes Received: 621
    CHILLING

    :shook:
     
  3. oneeightyone

    oneeightyone Senior Member

    Joined: May 23, 2003 Messages: 1,289 Likes Received: 0
    HOLY CHRIST MONKEYS!.

    that was fucking scary.

    what a find man, what a find.
     
  4. ERIZENO

    ERIZENO Senior Member

    Joined: Jun 30, 2003 Messages: 1,999 Likes Received: 28
    best part ... to find that I went to Google.com typed in "failed" and hit the "I'm feeling lucky" button ... it goes straight to that page.

    Damn liberal media .... :haha:
     
  5. Neskoner

    Neskoner New Jack

    Joined: Jan 6, 2003 Messages: 0 Likes Received: 1
    dang,good read for sure.
     
  6. Stereotype V.001

    Stereotype V.001 Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2005 Messages: 416 Likes Received: 0
    I think it's a total coincidence this seems to be describing George Bush, I mean only someone with a political agenda would write that sort of article. They seemed to let actual historical facts take a back seat to writing a persuasive essay though. For example...
    -Hitler was always viewed as a compelling and gifted speaker, which is why he was at the forefront of his party since it's revolutionary days. He was never considered a "simpleton."
    -The "skull and bones secret society" wouldn't have had a kid who was homeless until he was in his 20's join in. Typically, elite organizations for college kids to play in are for the rich.
    -The term was "Fatherland" for Germany, not "Homeland."

    I think those were all genuine mistakes though. No way this would be any type of propaganda.
     
  7. SF1

    SF1 Elite Member

    Joined: Apr 25, 2003 Messages: 4,866 Likes Received: 5

    WOW!!!! You are such a diehard idiot! Someone could beat you in the head with facts all day and all night and you would still bend over backwards and try and fathom excuses to defend a lie.

    Props for having the backbone to stick to your guns no matter how bad your own idiotic opinions smack you in the face. :haha:
     
  8. CACashRefund

    CACashRefund 12oz Loyalist

    Joined: Oct 8, 2004 Messages: 14,171 Likes Received: 272
    The part about comparing shock and awe to blitzkrieg is a fucking travesty, blitzkrieg was a genious tactic, since copied by countless armies, which overtook half of europe within months. Shock and awe is just a gay media catchphrase.
     
  9. Stereotype V.001

    Stereotype V.001 Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2005 Messages: 416 Likes Received: 0
    SF, your done with that nice break from following me around and sending the same generic comments without touching on anything I said? Good to see you back big guy!

    Well, which idiotic opinions of mine are smacking me in the face? Did I get any of those historic corrections wrong? Please enlighten me, and don't forget a couple :shook: :rolleyes: and :umm: :umm: !!
     
  10. Stereotype V.001

    Stereotype V.001 Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2005 Messages: 416 Likes Received: 0
    The blitzkrieg works terrifically if you have the logistics right, and an adversary that is actually somewhat of a challenge.
     
  11. Biggus Dickus

    Biggus Dickus Senior Member

    Joined: Jul 21, 2005 Messages: 1,371 Likes Received: 1

    Ding ding.


    An exaggerated comparison, but it gets the point across.

    It won't be taken that far though. When I see Dawood stop posting and talking about Allah then I'll be worried.
     
  12. SF1

    SF1 Elite Member

    Joined: Apr 25, 2003 Messages: 4,866 Likes Received: 5

    See, there you go again. First off it's YOU that loves to repeat the same nonsense over and over without even touching on points provided (but this might actually be the 50th time of me telling you this).

    I don't have to "smack you in the face" with your idiotic opinions. You have that covered yourself. :D
     
  13. Stereotype V.001

    Stereotype V.001 Member

    Joined: Jun 9, 2005 Messages: 416 Likes Received: 0
    SF- Is this is the part where I point out your follow up post still didn't have any substance, and then you reply again with your generic interchangable zingers? I agree with what Shai said earlier, I'm not going to wreck a thread because you need to follow me around and write the same posts over and over. I find it very amusing, I'm sure some people don't but it's ok with me if you want to keep it up. Just don't expect a response until you finally try reading one of the posts and touch on any points I made.
     
  14. Krakatau

    Krakatau Member

    Joined: May 5, 2005 Messages: 549 Likes Received: 0
    I really, really hate the way that was written to imply the correlation between Bush and Hitler. If you are going to make the connection, make the connection. Don't dance around it. Weak article, basic concept has been floating around for years in various forms. Some similarities between them sure, but Bush is Bush, and Hitler was Hitler.

    Because of the shitiness of the thread topic, let's follow the hijack.
    SF- Stereotype brought up historical inaccuracies and pointed out that the tone of the article is obviously not neutral. Your response to that was essentially 'You are stupid!'. Here is an idea: Try responding to a few posts without talking about the poster. Just deal with the content of the post. I've yet to see you address his original post in any depth. I'll give you five bucks if you pull it off, no lie.
     
  15. Dawood

    Dawood Elite Member

    Joined: May 8, 2002 Messages: 4,677 Likes Received: 146
    Anyway, Allahu Akbar............Don't worry Biggus.
     
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