- On February 27, 1933, a mentally deranged Dutch Communist,
Marinus van der Lubbe, lit a few small fires in the German parliament building,
the Reichstag, in Berlin - not enough to set the building alight, but sufficient
to get him hanged as the sole perpetrator afterward. The happenings prior
to that fateful evening, and the events following it, carry some lessons
for those wanting to understand September 11, 2001, and the subsequent
- Van der Lubbe, a petty criminal and arsonist, hated the
Nazis, and had bragged about intending to set the Reichstag on fire while
having a beer in a pub. The Nazi SA, with ears everywhere, found out, and,
unbeknownst to van der Lubbe, an SA detachment entered the building through
a disused central heating tunnel. While the Dutchman was busy lighting
insignificant fires, using his shirt as tinder, the SA planted gasoline
and incendiaries, and within minutes, the Reichstag was burning out of
control. Why did the Nazis do this?
- At the time, Hitler had a problem. Based on the success
of the Nazi party in the previous election, Hitler had become Reichskanzler,
or Prime Minister, but he lacked a majority in both the government and
the parliament. Having no intention of playing second fiddle to his rivals,
a coalition of moderate parties, he needed a decisive victory in the March
5 election. He also was uncomfortable with the democratic process, and
wanted to proceed directly to Nazi supremacy and dictatorship.
- Hitler's solution was to eliminate the Communist party
and its 100 deputies, which would give his Nazis a majority in the remaining
parliament. By ensuring that van der Lubbe succeeded in destroying the
Reichstag, he could pronounce the fire a Communist conspiracy. By the next
morning he had secured the signature of the aging President, von Hindenburg,
on legislation that changed Germany from a democracy to a tyranny. The
one hundred Communist deputies were arrested, civil rights were abrogated,
and the country embraced Hitler as its Leader.
- In mid 2001, the Republican government in the United
States was having a problem. It was seen as merely presiding over a recession,
having accomplished nothing of significance, and it faced an uphill battle
in getting the largest peacetime defense budget increase approved in Congress.
The corporate sponsors of the Bush administration were, no doubt, getting
impatient: the stocks of the defense industry were still losing their value,
and, lacking a credible enemy, there were serious reservations in Congress
against spending more on defense.
- During the weeks prior to September 11, 2001, Muslim
terrorists made it known that they were going to hit some notable landmarks
in America, and hit them hard. These boasts surfaced on the Internet, much
the same as van der Lubbe's bragging in the Berlin beer hall. Much as in
Germany in the '30s, help was forthcoming, and for the same reasons.
- Fully aware of the threat to the nation's aviation from
slipshod security in US airports, the government did nothing to improve
it; in fact, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) top management intentionally
hid reported security weaknesses.
- On the morning of September 11, four large passenger
jets with full fuel tanks went off course over the US Northeast, and ceased
communicating with Air Traffic Control. Flight controllers overheard sounds
of a struggle from the cockpit of one plane. Passengers made cellular phone
calls from two of the flights, reporting that the planes had been hijacked.
Normally, when something like this happens, the US Air Force, which has
fighter jets ready to intercept troubled or suspicious civilian aircraft
on short notice, begins escorting the offending plane, and, if necessary,
forcing it to land, within ten minutes of being alerted by the FAA.
- But that day, each of the four planes was allowed to
continue off-course for as long as half an hour or more. Finally, after
the first one had hit the World Trade Center in New York, a couple of fighter
jets were scrambled from Boston, which ensured that they couldn't reach
New York before the second impact.
- Interestingly, in a TV interview on December 4, 2001,
Laura Bush let it slip that already back in July, the White House, knowing
that the country would be in mourning at the end of the year, had begun
redesigning the 2001 Christmas cards on a more somber note than usual.
- So far, the parallels with what happened in Germany in
February 1933 are evident. They become clearer still when we look at the
results of the attacks. Just as in Germany in 1933, the text of the new
US legislation abrogating constitutionally guaranteed civil rights was
ready at the time of the WTC and Pentagon attacks. Unprecedentedly, the
Federal laws needed were enacted within less than a month after September
11, without significant opposition or debate. Capitol Hill legislators
barely bothered to read the bills they approved. As a result, as if by
flipping a switch, anyone suspected of terrorism in America is now presumed
guilty until proven innocent. The authorities are free to accuse anybody
of being or supporting a terrorist. Conveniently, terrorism has not been
defined; however, it already has become clear that it includes exercising
one's First Amendment rights.
- Likewise, the record-breaking Federal defense budget,
along with an extra $20 billion for fighting terrorism, was approved by
December 8, 2001. The shares of the defense industry began rising sharply
and are rising still. Need it be added that Mr. Cheney came from a leading
position in the Carlyle Group, a large defense industry holding company,
where the Bush family has substantial interests? Need we be reminded that,
already in 1998, oil giant Unocal went to the US House of Representatives
to demand a "recognized" (read corruptible) government in Afghanistan,
so it could build a natural gas pipeline through that country and profit
from the booming energy market in the Far East? Could it be that the 4,000
Afghani civilians killed by US precision bombs just happened to live along
the proposed route of that pipeline, now conveniently cleared of homes,
schools, mosques, and hospitals that used to stand in its way? We'll be
watching Unocal and finding out.
- Back in the thirties, Hitler proceeded to rearm Germany
and attack his neighbors on trumped-up charges of jeopardizing German interests
and mistreating German minorities. Germany became the bully of the decade
and started the Second World War. Although Germany lost the war and Hitler
committed suicide, her arms industry, including the German subsidiaries
of US car giants GM and Ford, profited handsomely. The profits due to Ford
and GM were paid out after the end of the war.
- Following the 9-11 attacks, President Bush readily stepped
up to the challenge and declared war on terrorism on the evening news of
September 11. His battle cry "If you're not with us, you're against
us" is a round statement by a world-class bully, much like the accusations
of treason Hitler liked to level at countries that attempted to preserve
their independence before the onslaught of the supposedly invincible German
- America has undergone a Fascist takeover, the beneficiaries
of which are the owners of big business. The system is rapidly being exported
all over the world, and it is intended to become permanent. To prevent
citizens from getting in the way of the massive enrichment of the already
rich, and to help them accept their new position as mere consumers and
sweatshop laborers without the right to uncorrupted political representation,
all objections to the process are labeled "terrorism."
- Here's a quote from Douglas Reed, writing about the loss
of freedom Germans experienced the night of the Reichstag fire.
- When Germany awoke, a man's home was no longer his castle.
He could be seized by private individuals, could claim no protection from
the police, could be indefinitely detained without preferment of charges;
his property could be seized, his verbal and written communications overheard
and perused; he no longer had the right to foregather with his fellow countrymen,
and his newspapers might no longer freely express their opinions.
- The Bush administration's 2001 antiterrorism legislation,
introduced using a similar ruse, effects the same changes in America, and
is being copied in every country that has a popular or ethnic opposition
to deal with. It is a well proven method: Roosevelt knew about, encouraged,
and facilitated the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941, sending
the Pacific Fleet there to act as a target, keeping the local military
commanders in the dark, and proscribing all defensive action. He then used
the public's outrage over the attack to draw America into WW II and provide
the American arms industry with its fair share in the proceeds of that
great conflict, along with its overseas competitors.
- You may ask: What, if any, are the differences between
Hitler and Bush? Not many, but one stands out: Hitler was elected to his
office democratically. Bush was installed against the will of the majority
of US voters, through the machinations of his brother, the Florida Governor,
and the Supreme Court judges appointed by his father. Another difference
may lie in the span of their reigns: Hitler killed himself after 12 years
in office, while Bush stands under the curse of Chief Tecumseh, and is
bound to die before his term expires in January 2005.**
- © Copyright 2002 All rights reserved by George Santayana
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- ** Chief Tecumseh's 20 Year Curse On The Presidency
- Extract from http://rense.com/general10/draws.htm
- Tenskwatawa, the brother of Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, recognized
as a "prophet," was said to have placed a death curse upon Gen.
William Harrison after being defeated at the 1811 Battle of Tippecanoe
in Indiana. Bergel said that Native American lore recorded that Tenskwatawa
decreed that "Harrison would one day be chosen as the Great White
Chief, but he would die in office, and after him, every Great White Chief
chosen every 20 years thereafter would die." Harrison became
president in 1840 and died the following year of pneumonia. Lincoln was
elected in 1860 and assassinated in 1865. James Garfield was elected in
1880 and assassinated the next year. William McKinley was elected in 1900
and assassinated the following year. Warren Harding was elected in 1920
and died of food poisoning in 1923. Franklin Delano Roosevelt was elected
in 1940 and died of a stroke in 1945. John F. Kennedy was elected in 1960
and assassinated in 1963.
- From J.A.
- Mr. Santayana doesn't seem to have learned much from
history or is obviously distorting it to serve his ends whatever that may
be. He is flat out wrong that the Nazis turned German 'democracy' into
a 'tyranny' by kicking out the Communists. Did I hear this right? The Communists
ran a democracy? Not on your life! Once again those who refer back to the
'30's not surprisingly know little or nothing of the time. Those Communist
'democracies' were puppets of the west and of their god Marx who systematically
starved millions of Germans to death, tore down Germany's economic infrastructure,
and instead of being called to justice were out the door even quicker than
they entered, just so another criminal communist puppet government could
be called in for another week or so to start the whole chaotic cycle once
- Up until the war, the Nazis did everything right, managing
by sheer miraculous power to turn a doomed nation into the most prosperous
and magnificent of its time. I do believe that if it were England or I
think also that I speak for most people today, who are so sick to the gills
hearing about what the Nazis did or these distortions of history to serve
some meaningless propaganda purpose parallel to the governments of today
that it has become so petty.
- I think also that I speak for most people today, who
are so sick to the gills hearing about what the Nazis did or these distortions
of history to serve some meaningless propaganda purpose parallel to the
governments of today, that it has become so petty.
- J. A.