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What Enemy?

"There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again," Bush said during a joint news conference in Panama City with President Martin Torrijos. "So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law."

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As long as we allow American businessmen to go into other countries to set up businesses, implement cheap labor and then take over the political money grabbers so they can continue to exploit that country, there will be intelligent, caring people who will oppose it. Those people will become the enemies of that exploitation. Our government will be involved because they support their buddies, who care only about the bottom line. The government has made the enemies of our country.

At one time, those countries weren’t our enemies. At one time, we were heroes to them. Although there were a lot of political maneuvers in World War II, we helped liberate some of those countries from a ruthless tyrant, who, I might add, was supported by many money grabbers in this country and helped him into power. Now, those same countries, hate us. This didn’t happen over night. But our government allowed and encouraged it. Don’t the Bushes own oil wells in Kuwait?

The Christmas of 1959, found me in Mexico City. One day I went to a movie. Don’t remember the title, but I remember the story, the Spanish subtitles, and also, what happened in that theatre that afternoon. The story was about the retreat of the Nazis through a small college town. There was a river and a bridge that the fleeing Germans crossed to escape the oncoming allied forces. One of the German officers stopped long enough to drop off rifles and give instructions to the young college students. "Hold that bridge! Heil Hitler." Then of course he joined his retreating troops.

The boys built barricades around the bridge and prepared to hold off the enemy. An American tank appeared on the opposite side of the bridge. It stopped, an army sergeant climbed out of the tank and walked to the bridge. He was shouting that they did not want to hurt the students, explaining that the German army was in full retreat and that the war would be over soon. It was hopeless for them to resist.

One of the college students fired at the sergeant. The sergeant staggered and dropped to the ground. For me it was a sad moment. But, what happened next was totally unexpected. The entire audience cheered. There was a tremendous roar of approval for the shooting of an American army sergeant. Remember, this was in 1959. The theatre was full of Mexican people of all ages.

It shook me. All of the Mexican people who I had met, while staying there, were nice people and treated me very good. Being the only gringo in the small Mexican hotel about four blocks from the main part of Mexico City was my choice. Wanted to get to know the real Mexico, not the tourist’s view. I lived in Miami at that time and had many Cuban friends. Had been to Cuba many times, also lived in Panama for almost two years. I liked the Latin people. I still do. So why did this happen?

Thought long and hard about it. If they treat me so nice, why did they hate the Americans? While staying at that hotel, (about two months.) I was invited to dances, where I danced with the ladies and had a good time. No one avoided me, like the prejudiced people in this country do.

Well, there was one experience; while dancing with a young lady at a big Mexican ballroom, the other dancers formed a ring around me and applauded when the song ended, then insisted we dance again. I loved it. After the music stopped and I returned to the friends who brought me, a very attractive lady asked me to dance with her. She spoke to me in Spanish, I said, "Habla despacio, por favor." She looked at me, then said, "Agh, Gringo." and left me in the middle of the dance floor. I was very disappointed, to say the least. Had envisioned a wonderful evening.

So where does that hate come from? They didn’t hate me, and they didn’t hate any Americans that came to their country with friendship. Another American, a musician, moved into the hotel and stayed a couple of weeks. He got along great with the other people in the hotel; they didn’t hate him. What they hated, was the Americans who came to their country and treated the people like they were all ignorant peasants and used their big money to gain favor with the corrupt politicians in order to exploit the people.

That brings to mind another incident that happened to me the last time I was in Cuba. Only this lady wanted me to dance with her. (Sorry, I know I do digress.). Went there with Tony, a Cuban dance instructor from the Lucerne Hotel on Miami Beach. I had the photography concession and shot publicity photos for the Hotel and we became friends. We were in a night club in Havana, watching the show. One of the acts was a dancer, who called me on stage to dance with her, which was part of her act. I’ve seen it many times. They get someone on stage and then confuse them and the audience laughs. I followed her steps and put in some of my own which earned applause instead of laughter. After we were finished, she thanked me.

The last show at the Club Florida started at 5:00AM. All of the show people from the other night-clubs in Havana came to that club after work. The place was packed. I was inching towards the bar and that same dancer, who I danced with earlier that evening in another club, was inching her way towards the show room (she was dancing in the show there that night.) We greeted each other and she asked me if I would dance with her during her show? How could a ham like me refuse, an attractive lady, such a simple request?

Drink in hand, I inched (the place was packed.) my way back into show room and joined my friend. The lady came on to the small dance floor and did a couple of dances. Then the band stopped while she spoke to the audience. She told them she had an American, who was going to dance with her. I big roar went up. "No Gringo" were the words shouted. She insisted, I got up, and we danced. Speak of hostile, that was a tough audience. I strutted my stuff and had a good time. When it was over, everyone applauded, and a group of the Cuban protesters came up, patted me on the back, took me to the bar and bought me drinks. There is a lot more to that particular visit to Havana, but I will spare you.

Next question. How do we solve this hate for America all over the world? We all know war is not the answer. Hating them does not solve anything. Killing them only makes them hate us more. Ruling them is not the answer. I think it is quite obvious what needs to be done. The government cannot acknowledge this without alienating their "big business" buddies, but, until they do, we will have hate, terrorism and war. Innocent young Americans and innocent civilians will die for the right of American "big business" to exploit and rule these countries. Only a few benefit from all of this, the rest suffer. To say a morally wrong action is "just business," does not make it morally right. Get "big business" and our government out of those countries. That would be the first step towards a peaceful world. Peace starts with you.

Sam Younghans
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Interesting Information

When President Bush decided to invade Iraq, his spokesmen began comparing Saddam Hussein to Adolph Hitler, the most monstrous figure in modern history.  Everybody was therefore shocked when a high German bureaucrat turned the tables by comparing Bush himself with Hitler.  As to be expected, she (the bureaucrat) was forced to resign because of her extreme disrespect for an American president.  However, the resemblance sticks--there are too many similarities to be ignored, some of which may be listed here.

  1. Like Hitler, President Bush was not elected by a majority, but was forced to engage in political maneuvering in order to gain office.

  2. Like Hitler, Bush began to curtail civil liberties in response to a well-publicized disaster, in Hitler’s case the Reichstag fire, in Bush’s case the 9-11 catastrophe.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush went on to pursue a reckless foreign policy without the mandate of the electorate and despite the opposition of most foreign nations.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush has increased his popularity with conservative voters by mounting an aggressive public relations campaign against foreign enemies.  Just as Hitler cited international communism to justify Germany’s military buildup, Bush has used Al Qaeda and the so-called Axis of Evil to justify our current military buildup.  Paradoxically none of the nations in this axis--Iraq, Iran and North Korea--have had anything to do with each other.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush has promoted militarism in the midst of economic recession (or depression as it was called during the thirties).  First he used war preparations to help subsidize defense industries (Halliburton, Bechtel, Carlyle Group, etc.) and presumably the rest of the economy on a trickle-down basis.  Now he turns to the very same corporations to rebuild Iraq, again without competitive bidding and at extravagant profit levels.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush displays great populist enthusiasm in his patriotic speeches, but primarily serves wealthy investors who subsidize his election campaigns and share with him their comfortable lifestyle.  As he himself jokes, he treats these individuals at the pinnacle of our economy as his true political “base.”

  1. Like Hitler, Bush envisages our nation’s unique historic destiny almost as a religious cause sanctioned by God.  Just as Hitler did for Germany, he takes pride in his “providential” role in spreading his version of Americanism throughout the entire world.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush promotes a future world order that guarantees his own nation’s hegemonic supremacy rather than cooperative harmony under the authority of the United Nations (or League of Nations).

  1. Like Hitler, Bush quickly makes and breaks diplomatic ties, and he offers generous promises that he soon abandons, as in the cases of Mexico, Russia, Afghanistan, and even New York City.  The same goes for U.S. domestic programs.  Once Bush was elected, many leaders of these programs learned to dread his making any kind of an appearance to praise their success, since this was almost inevitably followed by severe cuts in their budgets.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush scraps international treaties, most notably the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Biological Weapons Convention, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, the Convention on the Prohibition of Land Mines, the Chemical Weapons Convention, the Kyoto Global Warming Accord, and the International Criminal Court.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush repeats lies often enough that they come to be accepted as the truth.  Bush and his spokesmen argued, for example, that they had taken every measure possible to avoid war, than an invasion of Iraq would diminish (not intensify) the terrorist threat against the U.S., that Iraq was linked with Al Qaeda, and that nothing whatsoever had been achieved by U.N. inspectors to warrant the postponement of U.S. invasion plans.  All of this was false.  They also insisted that Iraq hid numerous weapons it did not possess since the mid-190s, and they refused to acknowledge the absence of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq since the early nineties.  As perhaps to be expected, they indignantly accused others of deception and evasiveness.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush incessantly shifted his arguments to justify invading Iraq--from Iraq’s WMD threat to the elimination of Saddam Hussein, to his supposed Al Qaeda connection, to the creation of Iraqi democracy in the Middle East as a model for neighboring states, and back again to the WMD threat.  As soon as one excuse for the war was challenged, Bush advanced to another, but only to shift back again at another time.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush and his cohorts emphasize the ruthlessness of their enemies in order to justify their own.  Just as Hitler cited the threat of communist violence to justify even greater violence on the part of Germany, the bush team justified the invasion of Iraq by emphasizing Hussein’s crimes against humanity over the past twenty-five years.  However, these crimes were for the most part committed when Iraq was a client-ally of the U.S.  Our government supplied Hussein with illegal weapons (poison gas included), and there were sixty U.S. advisors in Iraq when these weapons were put to use (see NY Times, Aug. 18, 1992).  U.S. aid to Iraq was actually doubled afterwards despite disclaimers from Washington that our nation opposed their use.  President Reagan’s special envoy Donald Rumsfeld personally informed Hussein of this one hundred percent increment during one of his two trips to Iraq at the time.  He also told Hussein not to take U.S. disclaimers seriously.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush takes pride in his status as a “War President,” and his global ambition makes him perhaps the most dangerous president in our nation’s history, a “rogue” chief executive capable of waging any number of illegal preemptive wars.  He fully acknowledges his willingness to engage in wars of “choice” as well as wars of necessity.  Sooner or later this choice will oblige universal conscription as well as a full-scale war economy.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush continues to pursue war without cutting back on the peacetime economy.  Additional to unprecedented low interest rates bestowed by the Federal Reserve, he has actually cut federal taxes twice by substantial amounts, especially for the top one percent of U.S. taxpayers, while conducting an expensive invasion and an even more expensive occupation of a hostile nation.  As a result, President Clinton’s $350 billion budget surplus has been reduced to a $450 billion deficit, comprising an unprecedented $800 billion decline in less than four years.  At the same time the U.S. dollar has steadily dropped against currencies of both Europe and Japan.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush possesses a war machine much bigger and more effective than the military capabilities of other nations.  With the extra financing obliged by the defeat and occupation of Iraq, Bush now relies on a “defense” budget well in excess of the combined military expenditures of the rest of the world.  Moreover, the $416 billion defense package passed last week by Congress will probably need to be supplemented before the end of the year.

  1. Like Hitler, bush depends on an axis of collaborative allies, which he describes as a “coalition of the willing,” in order to give the impression of a broad popular alliance.  These allies include the U.K. as compared to Mussolini’s Italy, and Spain and Bulgaria, as compared to, well, Spain and Bulgaria, both of which were aligned with Germany during the thirties and World War II.  As a result of their cooperation, Prime Minister Blair’s diplomatic reputation has been ruined in England, and a surprising election defeat has produced an unfriendly government in Spain.  The Philippines have withdrawn their troops from Iraq to save the life of a hostage, and other defections can be expected in the near future. 

  1. Like Hitler, Bush is willing to go to war over the objections of the U.N. (League of Nations).  His Iraq invasion was illegal and therefore a war crime as explained by Articles 41 and 42 of the U.N. Charter, which require two votes, not one, by the Security Council before any state takes such an action.  First a vote is needed to explore all possibilities short of warfare (in Iraq’s case through the use of U.N. inspectors), and once this has been shown to be fruitless, a second vote is needed to permit military action.  U.S. and U.K. delegates at the Security Council prevented this second vote once it was plain they lacked a majority.  This was because other nations on the Security Council were satisfied with the findings of U.N. inspectors that no weapons of mass destruction had yet been found.  Minus this second vote, the invasion was illegal.  Bush also showed in the process that he has no qualms about bribing, bullying, and insulting U.N. members, even tapping their telephone lines.  This was done with undecided members of the Security Council as well as the U.N. Secretary General when the U.S.-U.K. resolution was debated preceding the invasion.  

  1. Like Hitler, Bush launches unilateral invasions on a supposedly preemptive basis.  Just as Hitler convinced the German public to think of Poland as a threat to Germany in 1939 (for example in his Sept. 19 speech), Bush wants Americans to think of Iraq as having been a “potential” threat to our national security--indeed as one of the instigators of the 9-11 attack despite a complete lack of evidence to support this claim.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush depends on a military strategy that features a “shock and awe” blitzkrieg beginning with devastating air strikes, then an invasion led by heavy armored columns.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush is willing to inflict high levels of bloodshed against enemy nations.  Between 20,000 and (more probably) 37,000 are now estimated to have been killed, as much as a ro-1 kill ratio compared to the more than 900 Americans killed.  In other words, for every U.S. fatality, probably as many as forty Iraqi have died.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush is perfectly willing to sacrifice life as part of his official duty.  This would be indicated by the unprecedented number of prisoners executed during his service as governor of Texas.  Under no other governor in the history of the United States were so many killed.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush began warfare on a single front (Al Qaeda quartered in Afghanistan), but then expanded it to a second front with Iraq, only to be confronted with North Korea and Iran as potential third and fourth fronts.  Much the same thing happened to Hitler when he advanced German military operations from Spain to Poland and France, then was distracted by Yugoslavia before invading the USSR in 1941.  Today, bush seems prevented by the excessive costs of the Iraqi debacle from going to war elsewhere if reelected, but not through any lack of desire.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush has no qualms about imposing “regime change” by installing Quisling-style client governments backed by a U.S. military occupation with both political and economic control entirely in the hands of Americans.  It is no surprise that Iyad Alawi, Iraq’s current temporary prime minister, was once affiliated with the CIA and has been reliably reported by the Australian press to have executed six hooded prisoners with a handgun to their heads just a day or two before his appointment a couple weeks ago.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush curtails civil liberties in captive nations and depends on detention centers (i.e., concentration camps) such as a Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, and any number of secret interrogation centers across the world.  Prisoners at the camps go unidentified and have no legal rights as ordinarily guaranteed by the Geneva Conventions.  They have also been detained indefinitely (for 2 ½ years already at Guantanamo Bay), though there is mounting evidence that many are innocent of what they have been charged--some, for example, having been randomly seized by Northern Alliance troops in Afghanistan for an automatic bounty from U.S. commanders.  Moreover, many Iraqi prisoners have been tortured, in many instances just short of death.  Recent U.S. documents disclose that as many twenty have died while being tortured, and twenty others have died under unusual circumstances yet to be determined.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush uses the threat of enemies abroad to stir the fearful allegiance of the U.S. public.  For example, he features public announcements of possible terrorist attacks in order to override embarrassing news coverage or to crowd from headlines positive coverage of Democratic Party activities.  He also uses the threat of terrorism to justify extraordinary domestic powers granted by the Patriot Act.   Even the books we check out of public libraries can be kept on record by federal agents.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush depends on a propaganda machine to guarantee sympathetic news management.  In Hitler’s case news coverage was totally dominated by Goebbels; in Bush’s case reporters have been almost totally “imbedded” by both military spokesmen and wealthy media owners sympathetic with Bush.  The most obvious case is the Fox news channel, owned and controlled by Rupert Murdoch. Not surprisingly, recent polls indicate that the majority of Fox viewers still think Hussein played a role in the 9-11 attack.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush increasingly reduces the circle of aides he feels he can trust as his policies keep boomeranging at his own expense.  Just as Hitler ended up isolated in his headquarters, with few individuals granted access, Bush is now said to be limiting access primarily to Attorney General Ashcroft (who also talks with God on a regular basis) as well as Karl Rove, the Vice President, Karen Hughes, and a few others.  Both Secretary of State Powell and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld are now said to be out of the loop.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush has become obsessed with his vision of conflict between good (U.S. patriotism) and evil (anti-Americanism.  Many in contact with the White House are said to be worried that he is beginning to lose touch with reality--perhaps resulting from the use of medication that seriously distorts his judgment.  Possibly symptomatic of this concern is the increasing number of disaffected government officials who leak embarrassing documents.

  1. Like Hitler, bush takes pleasure in the mythology of frontier justice.  As a youth Hitler read and memorized the western novels of Karl May, and Bush retains into his maturity his fascination with simplistic cowboy values.  He also exaggerates a cowboy twang despite his C-average elitist education at Andover, Yale, and Harvard.

  1. Like Hitler, Bush misconstrues Darwinism, in Hitler’s case by treating the Aryan race as being superior on an evolutionary basis, in Bush’s case by rejecting science for fundamentalist creationism.

Of course countless differences may be listed between Hitler and President Bush, most of which are to the credit of Bush.  Nevertheless, the resemblances listed here are striking, especially since Bush’s first term in office must be compared with Hitler’s performance as German Chancellor through the year 1937, preceding the chain of events immediately preceding World War II.  In any case, George W. Bush seems the worst and most dangerous U.S. president in recent memory (for me since Roosevelt)--if not in the entire history of the United States. Edward Jayne is a retired English professor with experience as a '60s activist. He can be contacted at: edward.jayne@wmich.edu

Teacher Defends Bush-Hitler Comparison
DENVER, March 7, 2006

Overland High School students demonstrate March 2, 2006, in Aurora, Colo., to protest the school district's decision to put geography teacher Jay Bennish on administrative leave. (AP Photo/Aurora Daily Sun)

CBS/AP) A high school social studies teacher who was put on leave after comparing President Bush's State of the Union address to speeches made by Adolf Hitler defended his lecture on Tuesday, saying he was trying to encourage students to think.

"My job as a teacher is to challenge students to think critically about issues that are affecting our world and our society," Jay Bennish said in a television interview.

Bennish is on paid leave from Overland High School in suburban Aurora, Colo., while the Cherry Creek School District investigates whether his Feb. 1 lecture violated a policy requiring that balancing viewpoints be presented in classes.

A student recorded at least part of the lecture in Bennish's world geography class and took it to a Denver radio station, which played parts of it on a talk show.

Bennish told NBC's "Today" show that the excerpts broadcast weren't representative of the full lecture.

"This is 20 minutes out of a 50-minute class. The rest of the class provides the balance," he said.

On the recording, Bennish is heard telling the students that some of Bush's speech "sounds a lot like the things that Adolf Hitler used to say. We're the only ones who are right, everyone else is backwards and our job is to conquer the world and make sure that they all live just like we want them to."

Later in the recording, Bennish said he was not claiming Bush and Hitler were the same, "but there are some eerie similarities to the tones that they use."

Bennish said no parents — including the family of the student who recorded the lecture — have complained to him. He said all the students' parents had seen his syllabus and that school officials had approved it.

"My job as a social studies teacher is to argue alternative perspectives and viewpoints so that students are aware of those points of view. They do not necessarily reflect my own views. They are simply thrown out there to encourage critical thought," he said.

But Sean Bell, the student who played the audio tape on the radio, told CBS News station KCNC-TV that he still thought Bennish was wrong.

"I think he's a good geography teacher, if he would just teach geography, if he wouldn't teach personal politics," Bell said.

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