Gott mit uns: On Bush and Hitler’s rhetoric
September 1, 2004
President Bush told Texas evangelist James Robinson that “I feel like God wants me to run for President. I can’t explain it, but I sense my country is going to need me. Something is going to happen . . . I know it won’t be easy on me or my family, but God wants me to do it.”
With 49.3% of New York City residents in a recent Zogby poll believing that some people in our government knew of the 911 attack in advance and allowed it to happen, the President as right-wing evangelical prophet is under siege in his Madison Square Garden bunker. Convention watchers should take careful note of the theocratic nationalist rhetoric at the Republican convention this week.
When was the last time a Western nation had a leader so obsessed with God and claiming God was on our side?
If you answered Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany, you’re correct. Nothing can be more misleading than to categorize Hitler as a barbaric pagan or Godless totalitarian, like Stalin.
Both Bush and Hitler believe that they were chosen by God to lead their nations. With Hitler boldly proclaiming, before launching his doctrine of preventive war against all of Europe, that “I would like to thank Providence and the Almighty for choosing me of all people to be allowed to wage this battle for Germany.”
“I follow the path assigned to me by Providence with the instinctive sureness of a sleepwalker,” Hitler said.
Hitler stated in February 1940, “But there is something else I believe, and that is that there is a God. . . . And this God again has blessed our efforts during the past 13 years.” After the Iraqi invasion, Palestinian leaders reported that Bush told them, “God told me to strike at al Qaeda and I struck them, and then he instructed me to strike at Saddam, which I did . . . .” Bush spin doctors claimed that it was merely bad translation.
Yet, Pulitzer Prize winning Washington Post Editor Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame, reported that Bush told him virtually the same thing prior to the attack on Iraq. When Woodward asked him if he has consulted his father, the 41st President of the United States before ordering the invasion of Iraq, Bush commented that "He is the wrong father to appeal to in terms of strength; there is a higher father that I appeal to." The obvious implication is that Bush the Younger believes he is on a mission from God and a Holy Crusade in the Middle East.
Neither the similarity between Hitler and Bush’s religious rhetoric nor the fact that the current President’s grandfather was called “Hitler’s Angel” by the New York Tribune for his financing of the Fuher’s rise to power is lost on Europeans.
Pat Robertson called Bush “a prophet” and Ralph Reed claimed, after the 9/11 attack, God picked the President because “he knew George Bush had the ability to lead in this compelling way.” Hitler told the German people in March 1936, “Providence withdrew its protection and our people fell, fell as scarcely any other people heretofore. In this deep misery we again learn to pray. . . . The mercy of the Lord slowly returns to us again. And in this hour we sink to our knees and beseech our almighty God that he may bless us, that He may give us the strength to carry on the struggle for the freedom, the future, the honor, and the peace of our people. So help us God.”
At the beginning of Hitler’s crusade on April 12, 1922, he spelled out his version of the warmongering Jesus: “My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter.” Randall Balmer in The Nation, noted that “Bush’s God is the eye-for-an-eye God of the Hebrew prophets and the Book of Revelation, the God of vengeance and retribution.”
As Bush has invoked the cross of Jesus to simultaneously attack the Islamic and Arab world, Hitler also saw the value of exalting the cross while waging endless war: “To be sure, our Christian Cross should be the most exalted symbol of the struggle against the Jewish-Marxist-Bolshevik spirit."
Like Bush-ites, Hitler was fond of invoking the Ten Commandments as the foundation of Nazi Germany: “The Ten Commandments are a code of living to which there’s no refutation. These precepts correspond to irrefragable needs of the human soul.”
But if you ever wondered where Bush got his idea for so-called “faith-based initiatives” you need only consult Hitler’s January 30, 1939 speech to the Reichstag. The Fuhrer begins, “Amongst the accusations which are directed against Germany in the so-called democracy is the charge that the National Socialist State is hostile to religion.”
Hitler goes on to document how much “public monies derived from taxation through the organs of the State have been placed at the disposal of both churches [Protestant and Catholic].” Hitler gave nearly 1.8 billion Reichsmarks between 1933-1938 directly to the Christian churches. In 1938 alone, he bragged that the Nazis gave half a billion Reichsmarks from the national government and an additional 92 million Reichsmarks from the Nazi-controlled German states and parish associations.
Hitler made the intent of his faith-based initiative clear when he noted, “With a tenth of our budget for religion, we would thus have a Church devoted to the State and of unshakable loyalty. . . . the little sects, which receive only a few hundred thousand marks, are devoted to us body and soul.”
Bush’s assertion that “I trust God speaks through me. Without that, I couldn’t do my job” brings to mind God as a dull-witted, cognitively-impaired nationalist unable to utter a simple declarative sentence who spends his time preaching “blessed are the warmongers and profit-makers.”
Revised and updated October 17, 2004
Bob Fitrakis is the Editor of the Free Press (freepress.org), a political science professor, attorney and co-author with Harvey Wasserman of George W. Bush vs. the Superpower of Peace.
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