Sunday, 30 December 2007

Creeping Fascism: From Nazi Germany to Post 9/11 America

I've just read an article by retired senior CIA analyst Ray McGovern in which he describes - as Naomi Wolf did in her essay Fascist America: In Ten Easy Steps - the parallels between the policies of the Bush/Cheney administration and those of Hitler's Nazi party in 1930's Germany. The article is based on a book called Defying Hitler by Sebastian Haffner, a young lawyer who lived in Berlin during the 1930's.
"There are few things as odd as the calm, superior indifference with which I and those like me watched the beginnings of the Nazi revolution in Germany, as if from a box at the theater..."
Sebastian Haffner
It seems to me that the question isn't so much to do with whether or not the US is becoming fascistic, rather it's a question of how people, journalists and so called opposing political parties are responding to the 'security' measures being undertaken in the US (and not just the US). For instance, Haffner records the "sheepish submissiveness" with which the German people reacted to measures taken for the sake of National Security following the Reichstag fire in 1933. Things like having one's "telephone tapped," one's "letters openned," one's "desk broken into." According to Haffner, none of his aquaintances "saw anything out of the ordinary" in this. Fast forward to today and you'll find that Bush has openly violated the Fourth Amendment of the US constitution which is meant to protect citizens from 'unreasonable searches and seizures'. Justified by the mantra, 'for the sake of National security', US citizens can now have their phones tapped without judicial approval, indeed, without reason, simply on Presidential whim. McGovern points out that such illegal surveillance formed a key part of Nixon's impeachment. Yet today no one seems to bat an eyelid. And Congress seems either impotent or consciously unwilling to lift a finger.
"You don't have to be a Nazi. You can just be, well, a sheep."
Ray McGovern
Read McGovern's article here or here. Incidentally in Rums...felled!, the video on the bar to the right, it's Ray McGovern asking Rumsfeld why he lied to the world about Saddam's non-existent WMD's.

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