Monday, October 15, 2007

Good Germans

As the war has dragged on, it is hard to give Americans en masse a pass. We are too slow to notice, let alone protest, the calamities that have followed the original sin.

I don't get around to reading Frank Rich too often. But I think he's spot-on here.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why did it take so long for a pundit to notice.

I was not alive during the rise of Hitler or the war years. My parents were and they managed to survive it. They never talked about as it was too painful a time for them and I always wondered what it felt like to live under such a government.

I realized some time ago that I no longer had to wonder, for we are living through such a time.
And if anybody was wondering we do have a fascist government, and I do not see any difference between the behavior of the brownshirts or true believers of that time and the right wing and the newcons of the GOP.
If they had lived during that time they would have been fullblown nazis and proud of it.

I let the readers make of the list of them, but I have never heard such lies, vicousness and downright meanness and also they do not have an ounce of christian charity.
They would have had a lovely time at the concentration camps or at the gulogs in siberia.
They give christianity and humanity a bad odor.

I sure hope that I have never the misfortune of meeting them in person.

10/15/2007 6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing is, some people have protested and protested and protested. And a lot of good it's done. Have you written to your representatives in Congress lately? I have, and I get a form letter response to about every fourth letter. My representative in the House has had a grand total of zero town hall-style meetings in his district in the last six years, and surely knows that his perfectly gerrymandered district means he doesn't need to. He tends to run unopposed in the primary, too.

And then there's the Secret Service's "free speech zones" when the president goes out in public, and the police on Capitol Hill who wrestled an elderly minister to the ground when he tried to enter a hearing room with an anti-war button on his lapel. I'm sure other examples can be found.

Our government has developed a hard shell. You can shout at it, but you can't break through. They...Are. Not. Listening.

10/15/2007 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And seventy percent of the population has been saying for well over a year that they want the war in Iraq ended. You see what that level of sustained public opposition accomplishes.

10/15/2007 7:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm supposed to like Rich, since he's said to be on "my team", but I've never found him any more astute than Dowd. Still, I suppose it's good that even a NYT gasbag has noticed that in many respects the most worrisome thing about these awful years is that Bush -- particularly 2004, re-elected Bush -- is only a symptom of a much deeper and broader rot.
-- sglover

10/16/2007 12:55 AM  
Anonymous mary said...

I'm with the other commenters -- I don't necessarily disagree with what Rich is saying, but I think Rich and all the other pundits and reporters have a lot of nerve blaming everyone else for not paying enough attention. As far as I can tell, Rich makes one very brief mention of the press not doing its job in the run-up to the war, but . . . that's not nearly enough. I am fairly convinced that Rich and his peers' obsession with trivial aspects of Al Gore's "character" (and their condescendingly low expectations of Bush the candidate) helped put Bush in the White House. And so far the '08 campaign shows signs of more of the same -- the Dem leaders are subjected to silly, inane "reporting" and commentary (about haircuts, cleavage, cackles, flag lapel pins, etc., etc.) and the Republicans . . . are not, for the most part. And even when the Times (for example) tries to tackle substantive issues, they stick to tired, conservative-friendly frameworks and narratives. (I'm thinking, for example, of the Times's recent coverage of the two parties' approach to health care, in which the reporter kept asserting that BOTH parties realize its importance, that the Dems emphasize govt. intervention while the Repubs favor the "free market" -- even though there's nothing "free-market" about subsidizing drug and insurance companies, and even though none of the Republican candidates had put forth anything close to a health-care policy.)

So, anyhow. The fact that Frank Rich now writes rueful columns about how bad things are does not impress me very much.

10/16/2007 3:18 PM  
Anonymous goldhorder said...

Agree Rich is a clown. Americans have never been any better than Germans. There was never anything special in the DNA in German humans in the 1930s that made them susceptible to Charismatic leaders. They simply suffered the curse of being human. The Nazis used the unfair treatment of the Germans after WW1 to blame the German's suffering on the French and English. They pointed out the trade routes denied them and the unfair reparations and told them they had to prepare to defend themselves. They had to "get them before they get us". The initial propaganda was not necessary deceitful. They just used it to gain help turn the economy around so they could get the war machine going again. That was when the big lies started. But the people saw their country turn around from a defeated humiliated one to a country that could "defend its interests" again. It was great fun...of course...until the war turned against them and their cities were reduced to rubble. All humans are ruled by their emotions and fears. Leaders know this. Look at the mega churches in the US. People eat that crap up. Wrap yourself in God and country and lead the people to the slaughter. Hitler was a Christian himself. That is what he told the Germans and the Germans believed him. Speaking of all this nonsense. There was a great article on Lew Rockwell yesterday of a man I never heard of that challenged the German's war fevor. The Catholic church is going to beatify him today. Its a great story but this guy was a fool. If there is anything I know in this is that you can't stop humans from being humans. You try and you wind up like this guy. With your head chopped off.

10/16/2007 8:26 PM  
Anonymous Thomas Daulton said...

Careful, careful -- everybody --

Saying that Americans are becoming "good Germans" is only a step or two away from admitting that maybe the WTC was indeed full of "little Eichmanns".

And we all know the penalty for _that_ remark.

Go back to your desks and keep working, nothing to see here.

10/17/2007 7:11 PM  
Blogger Jen Clark said...

Thanks for posting this link.

Mary took the words out of my mouth when she said, "Rich makes one very brief mention of the press not doing its job in the run-up to the war, but . . . that's not nearly enough. I am fairly convinced that Rich and his peers' obsession with trivial aspects of Al Gore's "character" (and their condescendingly low expectations of Bush the candidate) helped put Bush in the White House."

The press is still failing us in so many ways. They have not fully covered Michael Mukasey and his shameful comments during his confirmation hearing, they have been completely silent on the National Applications Office, they have not reported that 25% of the North Pole is gone, they have not talked about how Rush Limbaugh admitted to blackmailing a journalist, and they have not thrown a fit that Bush pressured the telecom companies to spy on us BEFORE 9/11. These are just the developments of the last two weeks.

Our media is still a hollow shell of what it used to be in the days of Edward Murrow.

At least we have bloggers... for now.

10/22/2007 2:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"What surprised me at first was that most Germans, so far as I could see, did not seem to mind that their personal freedom had been taken away, that so much of their splendid culture was being destroyed and replaced with a mindless barbarism, or that their life and work were becoming regimented to a degree never before experienced even by a people accustomed for generations to a great deal of regimentation.

One soon became aware, to be sure, that in the background there lurked the terror of the Gestapo and the fear of the concentration camp for those who got too far out of line or who had been Communists or Socialists or too liberal or pacifist or who were Jews.... Yet the Nazi terror in those early years, I was beginning to see, affected the lives of relatively few Germans. The vast majority did not seem unduly concerned with what happened to a few Communists, Socialists, pacifists, defiant priests and pastors, and to the Jews.

A newly arrived observer was forced, however reluctantly, as in my own case, to conclude that on the whole the people did not seem to feel that they were being cowed and held down by an unscrupulous tyranny. On the contrary, and much to my surprise, they appeared to support it with genuine enthusiasm. Somehow Adolf Hitler was imbuing them with a new hope, a new confidence and an astonishing renewed faith in the future of their country."

- William L. Shirer, "Nightmare Years"

10/25/2007 6:01 PM  
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