Part 12: American Modified and Accepted Hitlerism: Domestic considerations
By B.J. Sabri
Journal Contributing Writer
May 27, 2004, 20:27
�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 
�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].  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� 
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
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
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] 
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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?
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
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
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
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
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?�
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.
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.�
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.  Of that number, 50,456,002, or
24.51 percent, voted for Bush who became president after a ruling by the
Supreme Court. 
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
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: email@example.com.
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