There was a time some bristled when his name was thrown around so liberally. A time when Jerry Seinfeld received the finger of shame for pop fictions like "The Soup Nazi." Critics said it belittled who the Nazis were. It belittled the pain World War II caused. And it belittled the holocaust where so many Jews, millions of Jews died.
But the Adolf Hitler similes and metaphors came into full bloom this spring as President George W. Bush name checked the word "appeasement" in Israel. Discussing the status of negotiating with terrorists (and sovereign states), he made some none-to-subtle digs at a certain presidential candidates, then joined the chorus reducing Hitler, the boogyman of the Western World, the still reigning king of misery and Godlessness by comparing his killing machine to these run and gun, suicidal Jihadis who are basically deadly mosquitoes hoping to poke and blow up enough holes into the west to force a slow bleeding death, then allow it to collapse on it's own nuclear tipped sword.
Because we provide an assist to help Osama bin Laden and his motley Wahhabis destroy our empire. He doesn't have the man power alone to do it. This is passive-aggressive warfare, not the kind of war we were built to create, an aggressive-aggressive war. The war we prepared for and used to defeat Hitler.
Hitler's strategy was to invade a country, methodically, categorically and destructively, then taking a break from the massacres to painstakingly kill Jews and other undesirables. Killing people was a science Nazis, who were, quite possibly the most banal of evil geniuses, turning genocide into industry. They kept records of every individual down to the number of head lice on their head. And the size of those head lice.
Now you would think, why count head lice on people you're either going to work to death in death camps or just starve to death in concentration camps, but the Nazis were determined to murder with their famed German efficiency about it.
At the time of World War II the Germans had the most advanced military in the world. Not us. Not the British. Not the Russians. The Germans had the technology. That's why the Allies were getting slaughtered in the beginning. That's why overall 72 million people died in the war Hitler wrought. And there was no dealing with the German populace. The Nazis were elected to power. They were a sovereign country. They believed God was on their side. They believed their way was the right and only way. They were creating the Master Race and they were instituting the Final Solution.
And now, again, there are these comparisons between these head-lice accountants of systematic destruction to al-Qaeda.
It sounds brash. Even strange to say it. But when I hear such broad generalizations I want to cry: Stop insulting Hitler. Hitler almost took over all of Europe and was planning an invasion of the United States. And he would have pulled if off if he weren't so greedy. If he hadn't been so obsessed with the banal. With genocide and with bleeding his country dry in not wanting to admit defeat.
Saddam Hussien was not Hitler. Kim Jong Il is not Hitler. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is not Hitler. These are petty dictators, rouges and thugs. They can't even bask in the shadows of Pol Pot or Stalin. No one since Hitler has come close to Hitler. Of that 72 million dead included people of the Middle East, Northern Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Europe, America and Eurasia. He did more than capture some decimated dust bowl like the Taliban taking Afghanistan. Hitler took France. Hitler took Poland. He took what he wanted and he occupied what he desired. He was building an empire for the Third Reich, one that was supposed to last lifetimes.
Al-Qaeda can only daydream of such might so they are trying to break our will by breaking psychologically and financially. They are not coming in Sherman tanks and a fleet of ships. They are not coming with Russian MiGs or advance rocket fire. That's our game and if al-Qaeda contained such weaponry -- the mechanics of conventional warfare -- they'd all be dead now. Our military was built for conventional warfare. We are built to take on Hitler. We were made to take on Korea. We were designed for that great war that never happened between us an Moscow. America can and will destroy all in conventional warfare. We rule the seas and we rule the skies and we can dispatch an Army halfway across the world and not flinch. We are the last of the jingoist shitkickers. We are the only one who have ever dropped the bomb twice. We are the leaders of the "free world."
But we are not guerrilla fighters. We are not suicide bombers. We were not made to fight the war of a thousand cuts with an enemy who doesn't play by the rules of engagement.
We're grappling around like thugs in the dark, firing at whatever moves, learning as we go.
So appeasement? Dear President, you'd actually have to have a country to "appease" in order to "appease" someone, like how you are working with the North Koreans even though they sold Nuclear information and parts to Syria. Israel is trying to make peace with Syria but still doesn't trust them. So we write a polite note asking Kim Jong Il not to sell nuclear material to the enemies of our friends?
Bush is right in the sense that you cannot negotiate with al-Qaeda but not for the reason he says. You can't do it because al-Qaeda is a ghost. Like the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood which has lasted long since the death of its creator, Hassan al-Bannahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hassan_al-Banna. The Muslim Brotherhood is not a man, it is a movement. You don't need to know Osama bin Laden to follow the path that goes back as far as 1928 when al-Banna formed the organization to combat the secularism westerners brought to Egypt. The Brotherhood movement spread, later inspiring a young bin Laden.
Al-Banna died in 1949 yet his movement lives on. And when Osama takes his last breath al-Qaeda will live on, because we are not fighting men, we are fighting movements.
You can't compare this to Hitler. There were no ghosts of Nazis left to fight. Just ninety-year-old men near death hiding in the sanctuary of Argentina. In the Middle East groups radical and conventional have tried to kill the Israelis, they've tried to uproot them, but Israel has the strongest military in the Middle East. They rule the skies. They have the bomb. What they have left are ghosts of a movement, individuals with a dream that what was once there's will be there's again. What you have left are political parties/militant groups. Some who you can deal with. Some you cannot. But if we and the Israelis can't learn the difference, if we're still dragging out the ghost of Hitler to insult his killing machine with Hamas' homemade qassam rockets and weakened political structure, with their control of ... nothing, with their world where Israel can turn off the power and water, how are these people Hitler?
Who could turn off Hitler's power and water?
If you want to say it's hard to negotiate with terrorists and I can agree with you. Some folks can't be bargained with. But you can't lump everyone in the same box. You can't look in the face of every zealot, every enemy and see Hitler's ghost. Hitler's dead. Osama lives. Adapt and learn how to deal with the men and the madness that exists today.