A Tried and True Method

In International politics, Misc., US Politics on September 6, 2006 at 9:23 am

[The following was forwarded to us for posting by Brian Kremen. Good find, thanks Brian.]

From Ken Silverstein’s blog, Washintgton Babylon ( http://www.harpers.org/WashingtonEditor.html):

Gustave Gilbert, an intelligence officer and psychologist who spoke with Nazi POWs after World War II, interviewed Hermann Goering, the Nazi Reichsmarshall. An excerpt from Gilbert’s account of the talk:

We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

“Why, of course, the ‘people’ don’t want war,” Goering shrugged. “Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war… That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.”

“There is one difference,” I pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”

“Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

  1. Thanks for this, Brian. It highlights the madness and hypocricy of the current administration comparing ‘the enemy’ to Hitler and his contemporaries.

    On a related front of dangerously conflating terms… Democracy Now! pointed out this morning that in the new National Strategy for Combating Terrorism, introduced yetserday by Pres Bush before the Military Officers Association of America, Iraq was mentioned only 9 times in the 29 page report.

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