|The Dutch left-wing radical Marinus van der Lubbe was conveniently arrested at the scene of the crime, apparently as the sole culprit. After being tortured by the Gestapo he confessed to starting the fire.
According to Nazi propaganda, the Reichstag fire was intended as a signal for a communist uprising that had long been planned. The war against Communist terrorism had begun.
Historians do not agree on who is actually responsible for the Reichstag Fire: van der Lubbe acting alone -- a Communist plot -- or the Nazis themselves in order to create an incident. Writers such as Klaus P. Fischer feel that most likely the Nazis were involved. But regardless of who actually planned and executed the fire, it is clear that the Nazis immediately took advantage of the situation in order to advance their cause at the expense of civil rights.
Nineteen days later, The Reichstag passed the Law for Terminating the Suffering of People and Nation, also known as the Enabling Law, essentially granting Adolph Hitler dictatorial power. A Decree of the Reich President for the Protection of the People and State immediately abolished the following German constitutional protections: Free _expression of opinion, Freedom of the press, Right of assembly and association, Right to privacy of postal and electronic communications, Protection against unlawful searches and seizures, Individual property rights, and States' right of self-government. The rest, as you know, is history.
How has G.W. Bush's reaction to the attacks on September 11th, 2001 differed from that of Hitler's reaction to the attacks of February 27th, 1933? Sadly, not by much. Both implemented policies that were previously planned, such as pre-emptive strikes on sovereign nations, using the attacks as a pre-text. In both cases, governments used “national security” as an excuse to launch an assault on Constitutional freedoms, one under the guise of "Homeland Security", the other under "Fatherland Security".
In The State of the Union speech given by George W. Bush, the US president outlined a program of limitless and perpetual warfare, on every continent, and against any regime that stands in the way. (In the way of Zbigniew Brzezinski's "Grand Chessboard", that is) In 1938-39, Hitler demonized first Czechoslovakia and then Poland as threats to the national security of Germany, before invading and laying waste to each. Neither Hitler nor Bush had any exit strategies for their their infinite warfare.
In the end, the last War on Terrorism didn't go so well for Germany. They not only lost their War on Terrorism, but their regime was ultimately defeated, not by the "terrorists", but by a foreign alliance because of their response to terrorism. The foreign alliance felt justified in removing a hysterical empire from existence, who apparently could not deal with terrorism in a rational manner. If history is to repeat itself, Russia and China will feel the same moral justification when they attempt to do the same.
Does the Bush Administration think that they are better than history? This fits Albert Einstein's definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result. Do they feel that they can handle all opposition, regardless of human casualties? At which point do they feel that the 3000 lives lost on September 11th will be avenged? Are they prepared for an invasion of Washington ala the invasion of Normandy? If someone had asked similar questions of Adolf Hitler, would the Nazi regime still be intact today? If someone were to ask these questions of G.W., could we prevent the fall of the American Republic? How ironic would it be, if as a result of the actions of illusive boogey-men living in caves, America is destroyed? And what precedence will this set for the next "War on Terror", seven more decades down the road?
These are the questions that nobody is asking, primarily for the same reasons that they weren't asked the last time. I suggest that everyone read, The Psychology Behind Mass Subservience to Tyranny, for the answer lies within:
"Everyone likes to say, "Hitler did this," and "Hitler did that." But the truth is Hitler did very little. He was a world class tyrant, but the evil actually done by the Third Reich, from the death camps to WWII, was all done by German citizens who were afraid to question if what they were told by their government was the truth or not, and who, because they did not want to admit to themselves that they were afraid to question the government, refused to see the truth behind the Reichstag Fire, refused to see the invasion by Poland was a staged fake, and followed Hitler into national disaster."
"America has escaped the clutches of a dictatorship thus far only through the efforts of those citizens who, unlike the Germans of the 1930s, have the moral courage to stand up and point out where the government is lying to the people."
"The reality is that the American people, as individuals, have lost their courage. The government prefers it that way, as a fearful people are easier to rule than a courageous one..."
Will Americans be looked back upon in the scrolls of history in the same regard as the world looks back upon the Germans of the 1930's?
Just a month after the attacks, Osama bin Laden predicted "Freedom and human rights in America are doomed...The US government will lead the American people - and the West in general - into an unbearable hell and a choking life."
|Irrational Reactionism: The Last War on Terror
By Wade Inganamort
Shortly before election day, on the evening of February 27, 1933 in Berlin, the Reichstag building (the Imperial Parliament) went up in flames. Adolf Hitler rushed to the scene. At first glance, Hitler described the fire as a beacon from heaven.
"You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in German history. This fire is the beginning," Hitler told a news reporter at the scene.
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