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The Splendid Failure of Occupation Last Updated: Jan 4th, 2007 - 01:08:31

Part 12: American Modified and Accepted Hitlerism: Domestic considerations
By B.J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing Writer

May 27, 2004, 20:27

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�The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means in casualties and damage. Within 45 minutes, a full-size village can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured. It was an easy matter to bomb and machine-gun the tribe�s people, because they had no means of defence or retaliation. Iraq and Kurdistan were also useful laboratories for new weapons; devices specifically developed by the Air Ministry for use against tribal villages.� �Sir Arthur Harris, later, head of wartime Bomber Command during WWII) describing the methods used by British to subdue the Iraqi uprising in the 190�s [1]

�How many people go to the middle of the desert 10 miles from the Syrian border to hold a wedding 80 miles from the nearest civilization? . . . These were more than two dozen military-age males. Let�s not be na�ve� �Maj. Gen. James Mattis, commander of the 1st Marine Division, justifying why U.S. forces murdered over 45 people at a wedding party in Western Iraq, May 19, 2004. [Italics added]. [2] Remark: The implication of his statement is that the U.S. considers military-age males in Iraq a legitimate target for killing.

�America robbed Iraq of everything it had, its riches, its dignity, its health, its future. This is the real message America is sending to the world. If the rest of the world doesn't stop America in its tracks, right now, the world has no future. Or, the future it has will be the rubble of the Gaza strip and the makeshift cemeteries of Fallujah� �John Kaminski, �In the Mouth of Madness� [3]

In debating how ideologies or ideas could find their way to the public psyche, I selected institutions, indoctrination, and thought contagion as the main factors. However, I consider thought contagion by repetition and spreading, the preponderant factor among the three. The reason being is that we could challenge and change institutions; we could fend off indoctrination, but we cannot stop ideas from spreading.

For example, since the U.S. unleashed its aggression on Iraq 14 months ago, the domestic response to it is perplexing. While the invasion sprang from a set of false premises, the ongoing occupation has a very different set of premises from the original. Despite all revelations on deceptive motives and horrors of the occupation, a shrinking majority of the American people are either still incapable of debating the nature of this war or just indifferent to how it is unfolding. Yet, this same shrinking majority, inexplicably, still endorses or tolerates the policy of the administration.

Is this attitude a product of indoctrination, or because contagion by imperialistic ideas is irresistible? Could it be both? Maybe, with susceptibility to indoctrination being first. We are less likely to spread an idea if we doubt it. Therefore, once a minimum dose of indoctrination sets in, contagion is ready to begin spreading. For example, why did the American people raise no objection to the Bush administration�s view that it would wage war on Iraq, and then force it to pay for its own so-called reconstruction?

Does this mean the U.S. would pay for reconstruction, if Iraq were poor and had no oil? Excluding other strategic objectives of imperialism, the answer is no. Capitalistically, it is not worth sending 138,000 soldiers and investing billions of dollars to occupy a poor country. On the other hand, not even a poor but strategic land is worth that investment in men and money�see occupied Afghanistan. Of course, every coin has two sides. For example, Syria has only a few oil wells, but, theoretically, a fundamentalist biblical zealot, such as Bush, who considers all Arabs America�s enemies could invade it for the sake of Israel and its objectives.

It is now redundant to repeat that Iraq, a country with the second largest proven oil reserves in the world, is the prize. However, did oil, one of the real motives for war, cross the minds of the American people? The answer is uncertain. Efficient contagion by propaganda led the majority to believe only what the Bush administration said, especially after most Republicans, Democrats, and media endorsed Bush�s imperialist war plans.

In addition, where is the logic in thinking that an occupied country must hire and pay invaders to reconstruct what they destroyed? Where were the voices that challenged the callousness, absurdity, and political determinism of this imperialistic scheme of robbery? I used the phrase, the �American people,� but I must specify that I am talking exclusively about that substantial majority that is detached from the news of the devastation that the U.S. creates in the world. As for the involved and committed minority, certainly many strong voices and movements oppose the ongoing destruction and killing, but have no power to stop them or end the occupation.

To give an example on this detachment, I would like to cite a behavioral message by Michael O�Sullivan of the Washington Post. Says O�Sullivan, �It's a scary world out there. Let�s go to the movies. What with the country still mired in a slow-boil war overseas and the threat of domestic terrorism always lurking in the backs of our heads, who can blame people for wanting to hide out in the dark security of the movie theater?� [Italics added] [4]

Three indoctrination themes emerge from this brief message. First, a U.S. aggression by choice becomes, a slow-boil war overseas. Second, the so-called threat of domestic terrorism follows the scary tactics adopted by the White House. Third, by saying who can blame the people to hide out . . . etc., O�Sullivan has invited an already sedated America to keep escaping from realties that require attention, study, and courage to confront.

Once O�Sullivan composed his message, it was time to spread it. How does this happen? An unidentified number of readers could find his suggestion appealing, and may be ready to accept or act upon it. Consequently, we have a thought contagion in progress . . . Another example of thought contagion is when an announcer at a local FM radio station exhorts us to �send an email or a fax to our soldiers, who are fighting around the world to preserve our freedom, to give them our thanks and encouragement.�

Still, are there factual mechanisms by which a society can uncritically accept the specific ideology of its own political state as a part of a contagion process? A perceptive Karl Marx answered this question when he stated that in any epoch, the dominant ideology in a given society is the ideology of the dominant class.

Just look around you. When the Roman Emperor Constantine Augustus issued the Edict of Milan tolerating Christianity in 313 AD, the Roman Empire, East and West became Christian. When the communists controlled Russia, most Russians became communists. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Russians converted to capitalism. When Mussolini was in power, most Italians became fascist. After his defeat and execution, most Italians reprised their lives by choosing different paths. When Saddam was in power, most Iraqis became Baathist. Now that the U.S. removed him from power, Iraqis have no time to think of alternatives, as they are battling vicious occupiers. When European or other Jews emigrated to and lived in Israel, they, necessarily, either embraced or believed in Zionism, or just used it.

How does the United States figure in this paradigm?

First, we cannot theorize on every occurrence; second, exceptions are always the rule; and third, we have to specify certain aspects of the intrinsic relations between society and state. My view of history is that had Mussolini, for example, never entered World War II, fascism would have probably become Italy�s long lasting hallmark. Likewise, the U.S. society is, practically and dialectically, the reflection of the institutions that manage and organize its life. For example, when Joseph McCarthy began his witchhunt of citizens accused of having communist sympathies, anti-communist hysteria spread to almost all spheres of society. The most recent example of the dominance of state ideology is the anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hysteria spread by the Bush administration and ideologues of empire. Many people assimilated that message of fear to the point that, the mere sight of a person who looked like or sounded like an Arab could be a cause for panic or alarm. Note that in the Oklahoma City bombing, no such thing ever happened against people who looked like or sounded like Timothy McVeigh. This means, the intent to spread ideological hysteria is selective and predestined.

Specifically, how does U.S. ideology of interventionist militarism permeate into and interweave with the social conscious? In other words, how does AMAH become an accepted practice?

Let us elaborate by taking the invasion of Iraq as a starter. In relation to military aggressions that are the essence of �AMAH,� how is the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait worse than that of the U.S. invasion of Iraq? Former President George H. Bush called it, �naked aggression.� So, why does he not call his son�s invasion of Iraq a �naked aggression� as well? When Saddam invaded Kuwait, U.S. ruling circles and media cried and called that invasion �the rape of Kuwait,� so, why can we not call the U.S. invasion of Iraq, �the rape of Iraq?� By comparison, in which way is the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, better or worse than the American invasion of the same? What makes the Soviet interventions in Hungary and Czechoslovakia better or worse than the American interventions in Nicaragua, Haiti, Cuba, Iran, or the Dominican Republic? Accordingly, AMAH is a vehicle to understand the mentality of U.S. military interventions, meaning, and consequence.

Considering the above, is AMAH, as motivated by aggressive objectives of imperialist domination, applicable on the Iraqi example? The answer is yes. All pretexts that led to the invasion and to all atrocities committed in the name of higher �values� and �preemptive security� are typical Hitlerian practices. In addition, while Hitler�s invasion and occupation of France did not aim for the transformation of its socio-economic system, U.S. occupation of Iraq did not only destroy the Iraqi state overnight, but also immediately proceeded to restructure its geopolitical and economic orders to suite the design of Tel Aviv and Washington.

Aside from being an experiment with recycled notions of colonialist engineering, the coerced transformation of the Iraqi society within the frames of hyper-imperialistic ideology and economy is slavery by all standards; and slavery in all its forms, is the beating heart of Hitlerism. I shall expand on this concept later in the series.

Moreover, as Hitler was unconcerned with the count of his designated victims, so are the engineers of AMAH. Counting the dead, however, is fundamental to understand genocidal inclinations justified by imperialistic ends.

In the Iraqi example, while the occupiers kill with premeditation and cruelty, U.S. politicians and media reduce the news of killing to an inessential level with the manifest intention to cover up, minimize, or rationalize that killing. For example, on May 19, 2004, the MSN site, in a small headline, reported: �Scores killed in Iraq�; an ordinary headline that many would now skip. However, if you decide to click on the link, you will read, �U.S. helicopter attack kills over 40 people at a wedding.� In the heading of this article, I quoted Maj. Gen. James Mattis on this incident.

If this is the essence and practice of AMAH, then why do we keep indicting Hitler for killing �millions� of innocent Jews and others? Why do we not just say, Hitler killed many people? Why do American politicians, cultural institutions, and media eternalize every phrase that Hitler said on his brand of violence, while obscuring every word that Jackson, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, or George W. Bush said about their brand of equal violence?

Let me say this: if Hitler killed Jews, because he claimed they were harming Germany, then, why can we not say Bush killed Iraqis because they are standing in his way of conquest? Many U.S. authors wrote scores of books about �Nazi gold� and the looting of European cultural treasures, meaning the gold and treasures that Hitler�s army reportedly seized from Jews and others during WW II. If this is one of the many cornerstones of Hitler�s wicked manners, can any one tell us what the Americans have been doing to Iraq�s wealth and national treasures? Can that substantial majority I alluded to before explain to us or educate us on how �Operation Iraqi Freedom� has transformed from �liberation� to sadistic masturbation?

In part eight, I indicated how a selective minority could take absolute power of foreign policy decisions in the United States. I identified that minority as any administration that takes the White House in cohabitation with ideological, industrial, and economic think tanks. Emphatically, I can assert that the unlimited power of the White House in the conduct of foreign policy is in effect a dictatorial authority in all attributes except by name. In fact, whoever reaches the presidency can use its power in international affairs according to the requirements of special groups within the system. Where is popular supervision, restraints, or accountability in this process? These are only words void of content and specific meaning. Remember, as per the constitution, foreign policy is the exclusive privilege of the executive branch of the federal government, and not of the people of the United States. Moreover, even if the White House misbehaves criminally, it would be still untouchable.

It is interesting to note that in U.S. history, not even one president, cabinet member, or senator had ever resigned because of errors in foreign policy or war. In recent history, Nixon, under pressure, resigned because of a spying scandal on the Democrats, and the House of Representatives impeached Clinton because of sexual misconduct in the White House. I do not think that we should interpret these acts of extreme public reprimand as evidence that the system can effectively oversee or demand accountability. Rather, it is a pyrotechnic show aimed at convincing the gullible that the system is healthy and is willing to punish its members for misconduct. Let us agree with the show of accountability for a moment.

Now, if the system can punish its members for insignificant domestic misconduct, is it not strange that it never punished anyone for heinous crimes against foreign nations? I can confirm this observation with the example of Lyndon Johnson.

No legal authority had put Johnson posthumously on trial for lies that cost the lives of millions of Vietnamese and thousands of American soldiers. Presently, no legal authority is indicting Bush for all the lies he told about Iraq that caused incalculable death and destruction in Iraq. Conclusively, when the system is above its own laws, that system is unaccountable. When a system is unaccountable, it is untouchable. When a system is untouchable, it is, by implication, dictatorial.

It follows that, if the American people cannot interfere nor have a say in the foreign policy of the White House, can the Congress do that on their behalf? It is preposterous to claim that the Congress has any functional relevance in relation to war decisions by the White House or its foreign policy, although the constitution required that only the congress could declare war. The ruse is that now the White House is in charge of national security and in charge of defending American security as it sees fit�as per deliberation [sic] of the president and his National Security Agency.

This arrangement has allowed the White House to wage war after war, and to intervene in all crevices of the world without domestic accountability or international retaliation, whatsoever. Consequently, the Congress� role in waging war and the options of imperialism has become limited to providing approval for decisions already taken.

Indeed, while the White House had already decided to pursue �the second phase of the war on terror,� meaning war on Iraq, the Congress, which a reactionary but lucid Pat Buchanan once eloquently described as an, �Israeli occupied territory,� convened not to debate war or peace options, but to sanction formalities. Despite all sessions and speeches, every senator and every representative, whether opposing or approving of Bush�s policy, knew the true scope of that �debate� and knew exactly the outcome.

It is pathetic to note that most debates in Congress on foreign policy, war, and peace are not debates but speeches by senators and representatives.

I must observe that most members of Congress are either ignorant of, or lack specific knowledge on foreign policy matters and world history. For example, Sen. Clinton�s speech during the Senate�s debate of the war resolution on Iraq was filled with unsubstantiated claims, incorrect dates, and speculative conclusions on recent Iraqi events.

Another example was Sen. Biden, who, at one point, exclaimed that �Britain created Iraq,� as if Iraq did not exist before, so Britain created it from the ribs of Mesopotamia. He obviously skipped mentioning that Britain took Iraq from its erstwhile occupiers, the Ottoman Turks, consequent to WW I. It is true that Britain created Iraq�s recognized international borders and statehood to implement colonialism, but to say that Britain created Iraq is ludicrous. This is equivalent to saying that Britain created India, or America the Philippines.

When a solid, wise, and coherent Sen. Bird gave all his warnings on the pending Iraq war, others, like Sen. Kerry, first backed Bush, and then complained, �The president lied to all of us.� Was Sen. Kerry dozing off as the �debate� was unfolding?

The curious question is, �Who makes all these decisions for the White House?� Answer, the countless American citizens who manage U.S. foreign policy. Well, what is wrong with the practice that American citizens are in charge of their own democracy and its foreign policy? Nothing is wrong, except that the American people did not elect appointees with ideological or religious connections with a foreign state to serve its exclusive purpose. In other words, if America is a sovereign state, then why is it a vassal to Israel and obedient to American ideologues at the service of empire and Zionism?

However, one may rebut that all transactions in foreign policy are legitimate decisions as per democracy�s paradigm. This means that the people delegate an unbridled power to a duly elected executive branch, which then executes that policy in their name. This is true, but I can refute this overconfident rebuttal as follows. Because most citizens are suffering from an endemic illiteracy in the foreign affairs of the American state, as well as of its dynamics and motivations, delegation such as this, is meaningless at best.

If the American people and the Congress of the United States have no say in the choices of the White House, then who empowered appointees with an agenda to conduct U.S. foreign policy? Concisely, who elected Richard Perle, Frank Gaffney, Douglass Feith, Paul Wolfowitz, Henry Kissinger, Richard Armitage, John Bolton, Marc Grossman, et al, all known for their enmity and Zionist zeal toward the Arabs, to dictate the final word on the U.S. conduct vs. Palestine, Iraq or Syria which are, by historical coincidence, Arab and have problems with Zionism and Israel? Why is that only pro-Israeli personalities and no one else directs that policy?

By making the U.S. government a private club where controlling pro-Israeli elites exclusively promote pro-Israeli sub-elites. For example, an opportunist Bill Clinton nominates a pro-Israel Albright as secretary of state. Albright names a pro-Israel James Rubin as State Department spokesperson, and the New York Times puts its own spin by calling James Rubin, �a master at foreign policy.� Full stop, the circle is now complete! In a sense, it is a monopolistic ownership of the political power and its appointment processes. In the Clinton era, we could see this trend so clearly when the State Department, the Defense Department, the National Security Council, as well as most important branches of the foreign policy agencies and ambassadorships were all under the control of pro-Israel diplomats. In the White House of George Bush, Christian Zionists replaced first line Zionists.

Again, can popular supervision call on politicians to admit their responsibility in making war and other foreign policy matters? I tried to see, for myself, if I could make that individual call, by writing critically to my congressional representative on the war against Iraq. Although he took almost two months to respond, he did not answer my questions, but on the contrary, was tireless in repeating overcooked positions of the Bush administration. He repeated the U.S. mantra that Saddam was a brutal dictator, and that the president needs our support in these difficult moments.

This brings us back to AMAH. In a historical perspective, if U.S. power keepers can practice and accept Hitlerism as a second skin of empire, how does AMAH find its way to a society that, while submissively accepting the deceiving premises and rationalizations of the few, has no means to evaluate their nature, consequences, and horrific implications, nor is it interested in knowing? In other words, and on technical and arguable grounds, would that not make the silent majority of American society responsible (by force of its passivity) with those few for the human butcheries and devastation of foreign societies? Please see part 8 where I replied to this question by citing Jay Lifton and Eric Marcusen.

A strong argument that backs the charge of direct/indirect responsibility is the following. For instance, we could interpret the generalized absence of dissention against U.S. military interventionism as an acceptance of, or at least neutrality toward it. The latest example of this is, again, Fallujah, Iraq, where a few Iraqis mutilated the dead bodies of four American mercenaries. The U.S. response was a Hitlerian punishment of the entire city, including destroying countless homes, killing over 600 civilians, wounding over 1,200 people, and forcing the residents to convert the local soccer field into a mass grave.

Let us see now the side of hypocrisy with regard to assigning responsibilities. When U.S. invaders tortured and abused prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere, George Bush was quick to respond that this was an act by a very few people and it was not representative of the U.S. army. By comparison, was this not the same as what happened in Fallujah, where residents are fighting the occupiers of their homeland, and where a very few people, not representative of the city, committed post-mortem atrocities? Regardless of how Bush spins his case, we want to ask, �Where was the popular outrage at the killing of all those Falluji civilians?�

Unavoidably, we could presume that the indifference of the silent majority is, to a certain extent, an acceptance of continuous mass killing. How could it be otherwise, seeing the deadly results of U.S. world interventions and the inexistent mass reactions to them? Polemically, does the democracy paradigm, American style, require that the government of the United States commit unspeakable crimes in their name, while they are shopping and entertaining themselves as if nothing is happening? It seems that way. It is hard to dispute the fact that when one delegates power to the White House to conduct foreign policy, then that one is responsible for its consequences.

Another polemic question would be, �Do U.S. citizens really think that they are in charge of foreign policy by means of their representatives in Congress? In other words, is the Congress carrying out their will on foreign policy? Maybe they think so, but if the Congress is a swamp of special interest groups, where personalities seeking election or re-election must commit themselves beforehand to the service of these groups, would that constitute carrying out the popular mandate and free the American people from their direct personal responsibilities? I shall let a person with deep insight respond to this question.

Patrick E. Kennon, a former CIA official, who, in an excellent book (despite many arguable themes and supremacist innuendos), eloquently exemplified this notion as follows. Says Kennon, �Those societies that continue to allow themselves to be administered by individuals whose only qualification is that they were able to win a popularity contest will go from failure to failure and eventually pass from the scene.� [5]

Let us now see the delegation of power from a different angle. In the 2000 election, out of 205,815,000 eligible to voter, only 156,421,311 individuals registered to vote. Out of these registered voters, only 105,586,274 actually voted. Only 51.3 percent of registered voters had voted. [6] Of that number, 50,456,002, or 24.51 percent, voted for Bush who became president after a ruling by the Supreme Court. [7]

Let us assume now that the 24.51 percent who voted for Bush gave him and his appointees unlimited power to decide foreign policy and wars, the fact remains that the rest 75.49 percent did not give him that power, or at least we do not know their opinion. So why did George Bush wage war in their name? If the answer is, this is how �democracy� works, then, there is something wrong with a democracy where international violence by the government of the United States is a decision made by a minority, while the rest of the people are busy with other matters. This is a comfortable situation for the government where the democracy alibi works perfectly in concert with ideological and imperialist choices that have nothing to do with the majority or its choices.

Curiously, and as I stated before, if the Congress or the people of the United States have no say on foreign policy and war, then who has a say? Who will oversee the options of the White House? Let us take a guess: the Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Knesset, the New York Post, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, the Council for Foreign Relations, the Rand Corporation, the Defense Advisory Board, the Middle East Institute, Kissinger and Associates, and Fox Network, defense contractors, among others . . .

Is the U.S. society, or at least a great part of it, responsible for choosing international violence, thus making it appear as a normal choice? From what we have been experiencing in the past two centuries, it appears that the situation of chronic detachment from historical responsibility within the American society makes AMAH a normal course for a nation and its institutions.

Beyond that, we can see the mechanism of propagation of fascist attitudes in relation to America�s war crimes by observing how the media systematically feeds the notion that the American people would accept the ongoing U.S. war on Iraq, if American fatalities would not surpass the 1,000 count. Well, if this is the case, then there is something ghastly morbid in the thinking of American society; and who set that number and by what criteria? Did any one theorize on the acceptable limit of Iraqis that America would kill before it subdues the country? If we take those polls seriously, would that not mean that the American people gave their government a license for mass killing?

In addition, given America�s military superiority vs. a disarmed nation, with the exception of improvised road bombs and Kalashnikovs, how many more Iraqis would America kill before it reaches the limit of 1,000 fatalities of its own? There is a problem with this attitude. Are the American people allowing the administration to go to war as it wishes, but on a condition that it keeps American fatalities low? Moreover, it is chilling to know that the American people are also indifferent to the killing of young Americans in Iraq and elsewhere. The rationale being that our soldiers are professionals, thus are aware of the consequences of their risky job. It is possible; therefore, to speculate that the American society treats its soldiers as expendable mercenaries, and limits its patriotic concern to the wrapping of fallen soldiers with flags, and to building monuments for men and women, it never knew or wept for?

Thus far, I summarily discussed a complex and �unpatriotic� issue that many opponents and analysts of U.S. imperialism wish to avoid�how to define the ideological and practical nature of American international violent interventionism. I maintain that avoiding an issue because it is controversial is not going to make it disappear, nor is it going to mitigate it. Either we confront it now, or it will destroy us all. However, before we move forward in the series, I have to conclude the discussion on U.S. violence with one last but necessary entry. If what I am saying about AMAH has a grain of truth or validity, can I back it? I believe I can through basic comparisons between U.S. Hitlerism and German Nazism.


[1] percent20terrorism/Britain_using_chemical_weapons.htm




[5]Patrick E. Kennon, The Twilight of Democracy, cover, 1995



Next, Part 13: American Modified and Accepted Hitlerism: Comparisons and Conclusions

B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American anti-war activist. He can be reached at:

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The Splendid Failure of Occupation
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Part 45: How the U.S. engineered the Iraqi holocaust
Part 44: Burning the cradle of civilization
Part 43: The scheme behind the bombardment of Iraq
Part 42: Postwar aftermath or imperialist mutatis mutandis?
Part 41: The choice: obedience or annihilation
Part 40: A one-way bombardment called Gulf War
Part 39: Iraq: The second stage of conquest
Part 38: Inside America's lab of horror
Part 37: Iraq, America�s Lab of Horror
Part 36: George Bush occupies Iraq
Part 35: When an American Hulagu invades Mesopotamia
Part 34: Iraq, another chapter of American fascism, colonialism, and extermination
Part 33: Facing East: Iraqi hating and empire building*
Part 32: From Alexander Hamilton and Iroquois to George Bush and Iraqis
Part 31: Achtung! We can invent a pretext to conquer you
Part 30: Iraq Occupation, pretext, encroachment, and colonialism
Part 29: Iraq Occupation, anatomy of pretext
Part 28: Imperialist expansions and 9/11
Part 27: Demystifying 9/11
Part 26: Dick Cheney, numbers and the metaphysics of 9/11