Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bush Needs History Lesson.

As the mid-term elections are only a few weeks away, George Bush is trying to go on the offensive on the topic that most worries Americans these days - the war in Iraq. The current situation is so confusing for most Americas these days that the administration has to frame it into a (simple) picture that most people may understand...

The basic strategy of the Bush administration has been to say the war in Iraq is part of the war on terror but because that is not enough, they have to dig the villains from the grave - mostly Hitler - and reframe our complicated world into a binary struggle between good and evil. Undeniably, there is no better villain than Hitler.

This is nothing new of course. After all, Bush was already comparing Saddam Hussein to Hitler in 2002. Even his father, on the eve of the Gulf War in 1991, used the Hitler analogy. As for Rumsfeld, he sees Hitler everywhere, from Venezuala's Chavez to al-Zarqawi, which means of course that for him, any critic of the administration is a dangerous appeaser! Even the democrats have tried to use a dubious historical metaphor by likening the war in Iraq with theVietnam war - only they seem to have taken more heat for it.

Yesterday, Bush pushed the envelope even further by comparing bin Laden not only to Hitler but also to Lenin. Of course, anyone who’s been to high school probably knows the idiocy of such a comparison. Besides, it is a bit strange that he should have picked Lenin over Stalin. If I remember correctly, Stalin was the real "villain", he killed way more people (of his own country) in his Great Purge than Lenin did… but, wait a minute, Stalin also fought Hitler … so was he “good” or “evil”…? or is our world just more complicated than that? Or would it be unfair to say that Bush may have gotten his Russian history mixed up? [Who cares, most people won't know the difference any way, right?]

Here’s the corresponding extract of his speech:

BUSH: And I know some of our country hear the terrorist words and hope that they will not or cannot do what they say. History teaches that underestimating the words of evil and ambitious men is a terrible mistake.

In the early 1900s, an exiled lawyer in Europe published a pamphlet called "What Is to Be Done," in which he laid out his plan to launch a communist revolution in Russia.

The world did not heed Lenin's words, and paid a terrible price. The Soviet empire he established killed tens of millions and brought the world to the brink of thermonuclear war.

In the 1920s, a failed Austrian painter published a book in which he explained his intention to build an Aryan superstate in Germany and take revenge on Europe and eradicate the Jews.

The world ignored Hitler's words, and paid a terrible price.

His Nazi regime killed millions in the gas chambers and set the world aflame in war before it was finally defeated at a terrible cost in lives.

Bin Laden and his terrorist allies have made their intentions as clear as Lenin and Hitler before them. The question is: Will we listen? Will we pay attention to what these evil men say?

America and our coalition partners have made our choice. We're taking the words of the enemy seriously. We're on the offensive. We will not rest. We will not retreat. And we will not withdraw from the fight until this threat to civilization has been removed.

The rest of the transcript can be read here.

As for the “war on terror”, well, it is just that, the “war on terra”... whatever than means!


At 16:33, Blogger Lisse said...

I too thought the comparison to Lenin was odd. I noticed a fair number of American news outlets were only using the "failed Austrian painter" reference, perhaps to make the whole thing sound less stupid. I heard the Lenin comparison on the BBC.

Although I do think it is important to pay close attention to the words and aspirations of Islamic extremists, I found the evocation of WWII infuriating and smacking of desperation.

At 19:14, Blogger Joker & Thief said...

Yes, indeed. It's like an old trick used when there's nothing relevant to say. It does reveal how desperate the administration is. They're absolutely clueles about how to sell the idea of keeping troops in Iraq, and see the GOP split over what to do next. If it were not so dramatic, it would funny!


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