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

Part 14: American Modified and Accepted Hitlerism: Comparisons and conclusions (2)
By B.J. Sabri
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jun 22, 2004, 21:24

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"We should invade their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war." �Ann Coulter, journalist, in the wake of 9/11; article �This is War.� [1]

�We pulverized villages from the air if we merely imagined that we received hostile fire. I witnessed it with my own eyes and I saw the leaflets we dropped which said, "If you fire on us, we will destroy your village," and then a follow-up leaflet that said, "You did fire on us, and we did destroy your village."
American soldier In Vietnam [2]

�Mengele [Josef] even introduced sexual degradation to the already dehumanizing process of selection. Inmates from the various women�s barracks were paraded before him, stripped totally nude. He often would make each woman stop and answer the basest questions regarding the intimate details of their sexual lives.� �
Douglas B. Lynott, Court TV�s Crimes Library, Criminal Minds and Methods: Auschwitz [3]

Because the word �violence� is comprehensive of countless meanings, I limited its use here to all acts of military aggressions as motivated by policy, ideology, imperialistic expansion, or colonial conquest.

Such violence includes willful killing, physical injury, torture, threats to kill or torture, sexual and pornographic abuse, as well as physical-psychological abuse such as slapping, kicking, insulting, spitting, racial slurs, sleep deprivation, starvation, and denying access to personal hygiene, etc.

Countless books and documentaries dissected Mengele�s biography and cruelty, and called him Dr. Death for his inhuman treatment and experiment on prisoners in German concentration camps.

If the West considers Mengele, a personification of Nazi atrocity because he, among other things, paraded Jewish women nude in front of him, and asked them impertinent questions, then we want ask three legitimate questions. How should we describe American military commanders in Iraq when they: 1) piled up naked Iraqi men, one on top of another, and made them simulate sexual acts, 2) paraded them stripped totally nude, and forced them to masturbate and fellate each other, and 3) made them walk on hands and legs while naked and tied to a leash? If this is not beyond Mengele-ism or Nazi bestiality, then what is it? If the U.S., to absolve itself, claims that these are isolated atrocities, which do not represent the system, then why could we not apply the same standard on Mengele, i.e., Nazism was not responsible for his behavior? Answer: morally and technically this is not possible. Both, Nazi imperialism and American imperialism are equally guilty of bestial atrocity.

Violence as related to inflicting bodily harm is only a component of the larger picture of military aggression and war crimes. For example, destroying a building with a missile is an act of violence although no physical contact between aggressors and aggressed has ever happened�people inside the building would certainly die. Destroying electric grid systems or water supply plants is also a form of violence that would certainly result in death or disease of people in sensitive conditions such as the elderly and the sick. Moreover, even destroying a home without killing its inhabitants is, in itself, an act of violence because it deprives those inhabitants from a primordial need�shelter.

Tarik Kafala of the BBC Online writing on The Hague tribunal that convened to hear charges of war crimes in Yugoslavia, cited examples of such crimes as per article 3 of the Statutes [4]:

  • Wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity
  • Attack or bombardment, by whatever means, of undefended towns, villages, dwellings, or buildings
  • Seizure of, destruction or willful damage done to institutions dedicated to religion, charity and education, the arts and sciences, historic monuments and works of art and science
  • Plunder of public or private property

Based on daily chronicles of U.S. destruction of Iraqi property and life since it invaded the country in March 2003, I submit that each point of Article 3 applies solidly and without appeal to the U.S. crimes in Iraq. Yet, we never heard the preposterous and politically controlled tribunal order George Bush and Tony Blair to appear before its panel of jurists to answer for crimes against humanity. Perhaps, the court that is composed of Westerners does not view the crimes of Western imperialists as crimes at all, but minor scratches on the skin of the remaining part of humanity.

It is elementary that wars bring violence, death, and destruction to people at war, but it is beyond certainty that violence by major powers against small nations has always been different from all other kinds of violence on the planet for one simple reason: imperialism, racism, and greed are the driving force guiding it.

From historical perspective, it is pathetic to see the way with which American politicians and military commanders define their violence or, more precisely, their wars and policy of domination. For example, Eisenhower, a man of war that supervised and commanded the destruction of Germany in WWII, writes a book on his years at the White House and entitles it, �Waging Peace.� Eisenhower who with Nixon continued with the Cold War founded by Truman, and expanded U.S. traditional interventionist policy in the world, considered the status quo after the war as �waging peace.�

Caspar Weinberger, a man of belligerent and obsessive aggression in the Reagan administration, writes a book on his tenure as war secretary and entitles it, �Fighting for Peace.� Weinberger considered the U.S.�s confrontational stance with the Soviet Union, Iran, and Libya, etc., as �fighting for peace.�

Thomas J. Schoenbaum, a law professor and author, beat both Eisenhower and Weinberger at the game of naming intended antonyms, when he wrote a book on Dean Rusk, a contradictory secretary of state in the Kennedy administration. Schoenbaum, not sure about where Rusk stood, and borrowing from Eisenhower and Tolstoy, invented a functional dualism. He entitled his book, �Waging Peace & War.� Well, equivocation aside, even Hitler claimed that he loved peace, while George Bush called a notorious war criminal [Ariel Sharon], �A man of peace.�

Hitler�s Violence

Starting with Germany itself, and continuing with Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Poland, France, Yugoslavia, Greece, and the USSR, etc., Hitler, whether because of war imperatives or racial ideology, inseminated death with alacrity and vengeance. It is equally important to mention that the Allies had bestowed death upon the Germans with similar alacrity and vengeance. The result was that millions of innocent Europeans, North Africans, Asians, and others perished by the war that Germany, France, and Britain provoked for the world.

If we were to exclude pure military violence (military operations between opposing combatants) from the discussion, but address military violence by an attacker against the civilian population of the �adversary,� we would confront a different issue�purpose of war. For example, although all international conventions hypocritically call on the warring sides to spare their respective civilian populations the horrors of war, they omit mentioning that civilian and military structures of those societies are inseparable.

Of particular importance is the fact that when warring countries are adjacent, the line between what is civilian and the military is blurred; as a result, reciprocal violence on all targets is the rule. In contrast, when major imperialist powers wage advanced technological wars against distant countries, violence flows in one direction toward the weakest power. In all cases, the civilian population, being the vulnerable link in any society, is the first target of war.

Furthermore, because war presupposes the destruction of the human and economic capital of an enemy, such destruction becomes a priority in the calculation of any attacker. It is in this condition where Hitler baptized violence as a supreme method of subjugation, rationalized it, and gave it mystique.

The intent to use violence as a means to pacify, defeat, intimidate, and conquer an adversary is a form of slavery. As a language, the intrinsic role of violence is conveying a supremacist fascist message whereby the user of violence is telling his victims that he can inflict bodily harm or death on them at wish.

On the theological side of violence, Hitler and his regime thought the killing of innocent civilians of all creeds as cleansing rituals whose ends justified the means, all within the frame of self-endowed privilege of the �superior� nation. This explains the rapturous zeal with which the Nazis killed innocent Jews, Christians, Gypsies, communists, Slavs, and the handicapped.

On the practical side of imperialistic violence, Hitler employed brutal military force as a means to achieve political objectives. In this respect, Hitler�s Germany is no different from any other nation at war, where killing the enemy is planned and indiscriminate. For example, the German bombing of London is, contextually, no different from the American bombing of Tokyo, and the allied bombing of Berlin, except that these latter bombings were much more devastating than the bombing of London.

The true face of violence, however, appears when one enemy prevails over another and occupies its land. It is there where the Nazis made their name sound ominous.

In occupations such as the Nazi occupation of European states, the Japanese of Korea, the Israeli of Palestine, and the American of Iraq, violence, no longer managed directly by higher military commanders, becomes micro-managed by soldiers and their immediate commanders, who, in turn, receive directives from higher commands. Because of chain of command, violence whether direct or micro-managed, follows an ideological path that has been already predetermined. In other words, violence from the single soldier to the commander in chief is the same as one; all, soldiers, commanders, commander in chief share responsibility for the killing, torture, and atrocities.

Hitler codified violence as a tenet and as a political tool. However, for his personal bad luck, while many other leaders and nations embraced equal or even worse tenets of violence, his remains the most notorious because propaganda and concealment of own crimes wanted it to remain that way.

U.S. Violence

After it destroyed millions of innocent Native Indians in what it is now America, the U.S. continued with direct aggressions against former Spanish colonies and countless other countries, including, but not limited to, Mexico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Korea, the Dominican, Republic, Vietnam, Libya, Panama, Iraq, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, and Afghanistan. Like Hitler, the U.S., at the order of consecutive American presidents, inseminated death with theological infatuation and imperialistic determination.

In its onslaught on the world for absolute supremacy, the U.S. killed millions of innocent people around the globe. Likewise, while Hitler imposed slave labor on prisoners of war, the U.S. institutionalized true slavery where millions of Africans were a commodity bought and sold in slave markets of the southern states.

Although the U.S. brand of violence preceded that of Hitler�s, it surpassed it in many ways. For example, while Hitler and his regime never denied the violence committed in the name of racial superiority and revanchist imperialism, the U.S. ceremoniously wears white gloves over her bloodstained hands.

On the theological side of violence, as U.S. ruling classes did not think of killing as cleansing rituals, they, nevertheless, applied the same distorted ethical yardstick of the Nazis to implement conquest, annexation of territory, or just domination. Accordingly, if the Nazis called Jews and others parasites and subhuman, the U.S. called Natives Indians savages, and now it calls the Iraqis terrorists and sand-niggers.

On technical ground, the transmutation of the meaning of violence is this: cleansing rituals of Nazi imperialists have become conquering rituals in the case of U.S. imperialists. In other words, conquests, especially territorial, require ethnic cleansing, partial or complete, and mass killing which can be performed as per requirements of each circumstance. (Forced transfer of native population and confinement to reservations is another form of physical violence.)

In addition, to foster an identity based on national or even racial superiority (the myth of whites� racial superiority over African and others persists in the American thinking up to the present) over the people it conquered, the U.S. glamorized violence (shock and awe), gave it divine connotations (infinite justice, and just cause, etc.), mystique (good versus evil), and like the Nazis, it gave it a rationale and a purpose.

On the practical side of imperialistic violence, the U.S. follows a robust ideological path that includes many disparate rationales, including the self-endowed privilege of the strongest nation on earth. Furthermore, to achieve these supremacist doctrines, the U.S. employs high-tech violence to achieve the objectives of its ruling classes. From the colonial conquest of half of North America, to the imperialistic conquests during most of the 20th century, to the current hyper-imperialistic conquest of Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the U.S. marched into the future with certainty about its purpose and the human tragedies it might cost.

American ideologues of empire have masterfully brought their ideology of violence into a fictional future, as when writers of the science fiction TV series, �Star Trek, the Next Generation,� put the following slogan in the mouths of Klingon warriors when commenting on a fallen comrade: �dispose of him, for he is an empty shell.�

You can see this futuristic attitude on violence by visiting MSNBC�s website today. Go to news, click on anything that says Iraq, you will find on the right side a banner with the diction: �Iraq: the Human Cost.� Below that, you will read the following phrase: �Coalition deaths in Iraq since major fighting ended,� Of course, you cannot find news of Iraqi deaths anywhere in the column. While Himmler called Jews �life that is not worthy of life,� MSNBC writers do not even consider Iraqi life as a human cost worth mentioning.

From colonies to independence and finally to a nuclear mega-power, violence has marked every step of the U.S. expansion on the continent, and afterward in the world.

If the epitome of violence is infliction of death on an adversary, then this is not an abnormal behavior during hostilities. The violence I am alluding to, however, is that specific action, when a superior military power attacks a small nation for fabricated reasons, kills its civilian population and military personnel for motivation and with proportion that exceed the maximum requirement for defense, offense, or even conquest.

Three conditions of violence fit in this category. First, violence is preponderant even though there is no effective defense in response to offense. Second, violence is preponderant when there is offense but no counter-offense. Third, the offender, being in need of violence to implement an ideological and/or imperialistic design, invent ruses for war and inflict the utmost destruction on the largest segments of the attacked population.

Another important type of violence is that exercised by a state against its own population regardless of, or because of ethnicity and other social factors. Examples include civil wars, uprising, and revolutions.

One way to look at violence is by counting the dead it leaves behind. In comparing Hitler�s violence with U.S. imperialistic violence, what picture would emerge? Reportedly, Nazi violence alone had left 6�12 million Europeans of all extractions dead by war, direct elimination, or in concentration camps, and that is not even counting the Soviet loss of 20 million citizens, and the American loss of over 340,000 soldiers. Likewise, U.S. violence has left over 3 million Koreans, 3 million Vietnamese, 14,000 Yugoslavians, over 30,000 Afghanis, and over 1.5 million Iraqi killed. It is important to underline that if we add all victims of the Indian Holocaust and military interventions, as well as victims perished at the hands of U.S.-supported dictatorships, organized coupes, and paramilitary death squads funded and trained by the U.S., the number could easily match or exceed the Nazi count of atrocities.

In the end, violence has one face regardless of who commits it. If you follow links 5, 6, 7, and 8 provided below, you will see images that the mainstream media sanitize and rarely publish. If you choose to view them, please exercise caution as every image is a monument to the screaming failure of humanity, hence of civilization.



[2] Jonathan Schell, �Patriots: the Vietnam War remembered from all sides." Page 206, 2003 edition







Next: Part 15: American Modified and Accepted Hitlerism: Comparisons and Conclusions (3 of 3)

B. J. Sabri is an Iraqi-American anti-war activist. Email

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