Thursday, March 6, 2014
Does Hillary's Dumb Hitler Comment Disqualify Her As A Dem Presidential Candidate?
Hitler and Vladimir Putin: There's no analogy other than in the minds of the historically -challenged or hysterically rabid neocons. Is Hillary part of the first set or the latter?
Hillary Clinton in the midst of all the Neocon-Neoliberal bombast in the U.S. on the Ukraine crisis, might be forgiven for making dumb ass remarks comparing Putin to Hitler in a private fund raiser. However, as a likely Presidential candidate for the Democratic Party this is not something that can be blithely swept under the rug or ignored.
For those who may not know, she was caught out making egregious comparisons of Adolf Hitler's 'tactics' in the 1930s to Vladimir Putin's justifiable responses to Neocon -instigated thuggery in the Ukraine. She went on to say:
"Now if this sounds familiar this is what the early Hitler did in the 30s.' I have to go and protect my people'."
Actually, anyone who's studied German history or actually visited the country and spoken to Germans that lived in that era knows this is all BS. Hitler in his early years, especially in his Munich meetings- speeches, was focused on the unfair treatment meted out to Germany under the Treaty of Versailles, following World War I. Konrad Heiden, a journalist of the era, in his book, The Fuehrer, pp. 80-81, explains:
"The idea of self-determination originated in old Austria, where Germans, Hungarians, Italians and Slavs, of different language and nationality, lived under one crown and fought one another bitterly. After the war it became a world slogan. Woodrow Wilson had taken it up, it served as a yardstick for the Peace Of Versailles. To all European nations the same right to self-determination had been granted - except to defeated Germany. Regions inhabited by Germans had been given to other countries by plebiscite, consequently without self-determination - German South Tyrol to Italy, the so-called Sudeten Germans to Czechoslovakia .....and even German-speaking parts of Austria...had been coldly rebuffed.
From the democratic right of self-determination, Hitler forged one of his sharpest and most effective weapons in a struggle for power, whose ultimate aims went for beyond any self-determination. "
Thus did Hitler demand rights of self-determination for the broad "German nation". That is, all those nations stripped of self-determination by the Treaty of Versailles. Hitler also magnified this theme by appeal to the Volkisch movement that had persisted in Germany since the Middle Ages. It extolled a kind of phony Aryanism and invested much of it in myths traced back to ancient Nordic origins. It also incorporated Christian rituals, such as the Passion Play at Oberammagau, in which the Jews were featured as "Christ killers". In other words, the Volkisch movement embodied a cultural anti-Semitism that had gone on for centuries, Hitler merely exploited it, partly out of pure laziness (he didn't have to create whole new themes and legends) and partly because German anti-Semitism had existed for centuries as a societal undercurrent.
But none of this is remotely comparable to Putin's response to the U.S. coup in Ukraine, which as I already noted, even Col. Lawrence Wilkerson asserted he was justified in doing - three nights ago on Chris Hayes 'All In'. In other words, Putin was indeed protecting Russian interests in Ukraine from U.S. Neocon-sponsored ultra-nationalists. Hitler, meanwhile, was out to reclaim all former nations originally part of the "German nation" - by which he meant the German-speaking nation and those deprived of self-determination under the Treaty of Versailles.
This is what makes Hillary's next comment - after her remarks were made public- so egregious:
"I was just trying to provide historical context that we can learn from this tactic that has been seen before. "
What 'historical context'? There is no such genuine context! There is no such 'tactic'! Putin was spurred to action by exercising his right to protect Russian ethnics-speakers in the Ukraine, after they'd been denied to even exercise their own language and were being beaten by Svoboda party ultra-nationalists sponsored by U.S. Neocons embedded in the NED (National Endowment for Democracy). The legitimate government had been overthrown by these same Neocons - pushing eastward to try to put NATO right at Russia's doorstep. This is absolute insanity!
By contrast, Hitler's occupations were based on the themes noted earlier, as well as the concept of "Lebensraum" or living space. I.e. the need to increase Germany's resource base if it was to return to any kind of practical self-determination.
The irony of Versailles, is that it left in its wake the palsied, pre-Reich Weimar Republic constituting a weak democracy which had little or no control over the most radical Rightists, especially Hitler’s (actually, originally Ernst Röhm's) NSDAP party. The latter is more comparable to the Svoboda Party in the Ukraine, which is a fascist party supported by U.S. Neocons with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians. Why wouldn't Putin be rightly concerned with Nazis literally at his doorstep, supported by whackos of the far right in the U.S.? Again, if the situation were reversed the U.S. would do the same. And as for all the Neoliberal media applause when all the "pro- democracy" protests erupted in Kiev, let's not forget how the U.S. police state banged the heads of Occupy protestors when they launched massive protests in New York, LA etc. Oh, and also put them in rifle sights in Houston, e.g.
Lastly, one of the most powerful forces leveraging Hitler into total power was German Big Business. As noted by Ian Kershaw (‘Hitler Nemesis’, p. xxxiii):
“Leaders of big business, though often harboring private concerns about current difficulties and looming future problems for the economy, for their part were grateful to Hitler for the destruction of the left-wing parties and trade unions. They were again ‘masters in the house’ in their dealings with their work force”
Note carefully: It wasn't Hitler destroying right wing parties but LEFT WING PARTIES and TRADE UNIONS! THIS is why the German capitalists, such as Krupp, Volkswagen, I.G. Farben (infamous for later manufacturing the Zyklon B gas used in the gas chambers) etc. threw their lot behind him and provided the political ballast, without which he could never have become 'Der Fuehrer'. All this is validated in Heiden's book as well.
In effect, the correct analogy to what is happening in the Ukraine now, is U.S. Neoliberal Business fueling the drive to push NATO to Russia's doorstep, via weapons sales, as pointed out by Col. Lawrence Wilkerson on Chris Hayes' show three nights ago. This drive, and the mandate to get Ukraine under the U.S. Neoliberal banner is what prompted the Neocon coup instigated by Victoria Nuland, John McCain and others.
The odd thing about all this is I thought Hillary had a better grasp of history than she's shown. Indeed, in 2008 I was a strong Clinton supporter, believing she was the right person to lead the nation and I didn't trust Obama's lofty rhetoric and high promises. In the wake of the Bush debacle I felt: 1) people would actually believe them and push him into office based on Bush hatred, and 2) Obama once in - and out of campaign mode- would never live up to the hype. Both turned out to be true.
My worry with Hillary now - after her remarks- is that she is a Neocon, or at least Neocon-lite. Why else keep Victoria Nuland around, a dedicated Neocon and NED'er, following the lead of her hubby, Robert Kagan? It also bothers me that Hillary was one of the Dems that voted for the Iraq invasion in 2003 - though I did believe in 2008 she could be a changeling.
Right now, I am on the fence, but will be watching closely. Meanwhile, my hope is that the Ukraine crisis will be resolved without bloodshed or war, but that depends on the U.S. and how strident a response it musters. Right now, the main talk (by the Neolib media) is using the 'gas weapon". That is, since the U.S. is now the de facto biggest producer of natural gas (via fracking) in the world, we can supply the Ukraine instead of it having to depend on Russia.
If this plan goes through it may avoid ultimate catastrophe (WWIII) but at the expense of millions more fracking wells, many likely right in your neighborhood.....coming soon!