September 20, 2002
Bush-Hitler Remark Shows U.S. as Issue in German ElectionBy STEVEN ERLANGER
OLOGNE, Germany, Sept. 19 — A reported remark by a German minister comparing President Bush's tactics over Iraq to those of Hitler envenomed a close-fought German election today and demonstrated how anti-Americanism had moved to the center of political debate here.
The regional newspaper Schwäbisches Tagblatt said today that Chancellor Gerhard Schröder's justice minister, Herta Däubler-Gmelin, had said: "Bush wants to divert attention from his domestic problems. It's a classic tactic. It's one that Hitler also used."
In Washington, Ari Fleischer, the White House spokesman, was asked at a news briefing about the minister's comments and the effect of such election campaign statements on the German-American relationship. After speaking of the importance of the long relationship, he added, "But this statement by the justice minister is outrageous, and it is inexplicable."
ere's my comment on Frau Däubler-Gmelin's comparison of Bush and Hitler.
After the seething anger in the Whitehouse generated by her comment, what she should have said is:
"My Dear Chancellor Schröder,
I made the comparison, but I've thought about it some more and here's where I'd like to leave it.
Bush and Hitler are the same to the following extent:
Both were appointed. Bush is and Hitler was a saber rattler and both have no regard for the sovereignty of nations. On the eve of Germany's invasion of the Soviet Union, Hitler ordered his Generals to show not the slightest mercy to any Communist that fell into their hands. America's refusal to grant prisoner of war status to those it captures in Afghanistan suggests that a similar mindset is at work today.
And here is where they differ:
Hitler walked out of the League of Nations when he couldn't get his way, but Bush just told the UN to give him his way or they could go to hell.
Hitler was a born leader who built the NSDAP up from scratch through tireless work over a period of 15 years while Bush, like everything he's ever done, walked into a ready made situation.
Hitler was born poor while Dubya was born rich.
Hitler was a decorated war hero who saw front line service while Bush was a draft dodger.
Hitler did not have a weapon of mass destruction, but he did have a weapon of mass deception. This was his Propaganda Ministry, a cabinet level position he created when he accepted the appointment to the Chancellorship. Bush has both, a craven press and enough nuclear warheads to destroy the world. And he wants more than that. He wants a system that will exempt America from the time-honored custom of negotiation and compromise in international relations and instead will allow America to offer to any nation on the face of the earth the choice between annihilation and submission. Hitler would have coveted such power, which we can surmise by his development and use of the V weapons against England.
Since the Americans have repeated the phrase "weapons of mass destruction" ad nauseum to justify their latest saber-rattling, the following conjectures may not be inappropriate.
Hitler would have used such weapons on the Red Army if he had had them when Germany stood on the brink of certain defeat at the hands of the hated Soviet Union. Bush is the linear descendent of President Truman and Secretary of State Byrnes who didn't hesitate to use them when America stood on the brink of certain victory over Japan.
Instead of warding off defeat they used it in what can only be considered as a gratuitous act of unspeakable cruelty against inhabited cities in the expectation that the new weapon would intimidate the hated Soviet Union as they prepared to double cross their former ally.
The manner in which the new weapon was demonstrated is significant. Not only did it demonstrate its destructive power, which could, after all, have been done with inanimate targets, but even more importantly, it demonstrated that America did not have the moral scruples which might inhibit it from using the weapon even in circumstances where its national survival was not threatened in the least.
I am convinced that Bush doesn't have a cell in his brain capable of criticizing America's use of weapons of mass destruction. And what I find as evidence of a national mental pathology in America is that what enrages Bush and company is the mere possibility that a tiny nation that they threaten with annihilation should even dare to consider defending itself by whatever means it has or can get.
Mr. Schröder, if you think there is anything untrue in what I've said here I would prefer not to remain in your cabinet and herewith tender my resignation.