Little Green Footballs

Monday, April 17, 2006

The overuse of the 'H' word

Glenn Greenwald writes excellently, accurately here describing the madness of the pro-war, pro-Bush right.

As Bush followers gear up for another election year campaign to start a war, they are using exactly the same rhetorical tactics and are revealing precisely the same mindset to which we were subjected during the 2002 campaign for the Iraq War. What is starkly apparent from this repetition is that their awareness of history and knowledge of the world is sadly confined to one singular event, which is all they know and which, rather bizarrely, they have a need to live over and over and over again.

To pro-Bush war supporters, the world is forever stuck in the 1930s. Every leader we don’t like is Adolph Hitler, a crazed and irrational lunatic who wants to dominate the world and who can’t be reasoned with. Every country opposed to our interests is Nazi Germany. From this it follows that every warmonger is the glorious reincarnation of the brave and resolute Winston Churchill.

And one who opposes or even questions any proposed war becomes the lowly and cowardly appeaser, Neville Chamberlain. For any and every conflict that arises, the U.S. is in the identical position of France and England in 1937-faced with an aggressive and militaristic Nazi Germany, will we shrink in appeasement and fear from the grand calling of history duties, or will we stand tall and firm and wage glorious war?

With that cartoonish framework in place, war is always the best option. It is the only option for those who are noble, strong, and fearless. Conversely, the sole reason for opposing a war is that one is a weak-minded and weak-willed appeaser who harbors dangerous fantasies of negotiating with madmen. Diplomacy and containment are simply elevated, PC terms for appeasement. War is the only tool that works.


The now well-known principle, Godwin's Law, holds "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler" increases and that once such a comparison is made, "the thread in which the comment was posted is finished and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever debate was in progress." That principle should be applied 100-fold to foreign policy choices, especially decisions about whether to start new wars.

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