Saturday, August 16, 2008

Re, France could have preempted Hitler in 1936

Saddam was not Hitler you say, Lydia? Neither are you or anyone else. Nevertheless he was a fascist dictator bent upon dominating the region in a Hitler-type fashion. I use here the common definition of Fascism found in the Encyclopedia Britannica: ". . . including extreme militaristic nationalism, contempt for electoral democracy and political and cultural liberalism, a belief in natural social hierarchy and the rule of elites, and the desire to create a . . . “people's community". . . in which individual interests would be subordinated to the good of the nation. . . ." That kind of fits modern day Iran, by the way, doesn’t it.

Saddam's government matched the Encyclopedia’s definition of Fascism. Furthermore, his desire to bring all the Arab nations into a single "ummah" (the Arabic term for "people's community") was not only well known, but he took steps to accomplish his goal. His Rhineland or Anschlus was the conquering of Kuwait. Instead of being faced by European nations content to appease him, he was faced by the U.S. who defeated him in the First Gulf War. Later, he violated a series of U.N. resolutions in much the same way that Hitler violated the treaty of Lucarno. However, once again, the U.S. (not following either European patterns or recommendations) held Saddam to account and removed him from office. [I’m not denigrating Britain in the War against Iraq, but I note that many Brits would have rather Britain behaved like France and left the U.S. to its own devices.]

What is Europe saying about this? That there was no precedent for dealing with Saddam? That there was no comparison of anything having to do with him or his regime to anything that had gone before? That Saddam's fascism bore no resemblance to any other dictator's fascism? That sanctions would have worked despite Saddam's Oil for Food scandal’s bypassing of the sanctions? That we don't remember what happened in 1936 in regard to the violation of the treaty of Locarno? That anything that happened in regard to the treaty of Locarno couldn't possibly have a bearing on anything occurring in the Middle East in modern times?

By the way, why don’t you know what happened in 1936? Why isn’t it taught in every course of British history that you could have stopped Hitler in 1936 but didn’t? The British Historian, Ian Kershaw says a single division of French (or British, presumably) would have stopped Hitler in 1936. Why isn’t that taught?

Lawrence Helm

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