I'm republishing an article "Bush equal to Churchill equal to "good" vs. Hussein equal to Hitler equal to "evil" vs. All equal to bourgeois money-bags?" I wrote shortly before the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
With the imperialist invasion of Iraq looking to happen within the next few hours, bourgeois media is going into overdrive promoting how this invasion will bring "democracy" and "freedom" to the suppressed Iraqi people.
The bourgeois media are keen to play up everything to get popular support for this action. Various sections of the media have put up the idea of Hussein and Hitler being the "same" and Iraq being Germany the "same", mainly sparked by the US Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld drawing parallels between Churchill and Bush.
How accurate is this position?
Firstly we'll sum up some of the key historical points that all these leaders and their regimes are known for.
Hitler a ruthless representative of German capitalism and would-be imperialism.
Hitler first attended a meeting of the then German Workers' Party (later to become the National Socialist German Workers' Party) as a spy for the German army in 1919. After making an impressive speech against one of its members which he disagreed with he was asked to join, unwilling at first, he consulted his commander, who insisted on it. He quickly demonstrated his speechmaking abilities and quickly rose through the ranks, bringing many others from the German army into the party, including his commanding officer, which saw the party drift even further towards the right. By 1921 he became leader.
The popularity grew rapidly by the late 1920s and early 1930s, with massive support (not just spoken support, but campaign, media access and funds) of the capitalist class, not only in Germany, but Britain, France and America to name just a few, in the September 1930 election they received some 6.5 million votes, in the June 1932 election out polled other parties with 14 million votes, becoming the largest party in Germany. President Hindenburg in January 1933, called Hitler to the chancellorship to lead a coalition government of Nazis, conservative German nationalists and several independent parties. Shortly after the two main rivals of the Nazis, the Social-Democrats and Communists were "dealt with" as power became more and more centralised on Hitler in 1934 he officially became "leader" of Germany.
The main opposition to Hitler was from the communists, who were slaughtered in their thousands, if not more, at the delight of other western capitalists. Hitler stepped up his attacks on other sections of the working class, including blacks, Jews, homosexuals and anyone he deemed "impure".
In 1935 he abandoned the Versailles Treaty, the terms of surrender from the First World War, the cause of German economic collapse, mass unemployment and prevented Germany from having a worth-while military. Germany began a rapid program of re-armament, which brought the country out of depression. In 1936 he sent troops into the Rhineland (a demilitarised zone of Germany). In 1938 he moved his troops into Austria, at the support of many Austrians, later Germany claimed the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, which was mainly populated by Germans and Austrians. Next on Hitler's list was Poland, which was invaded on the 1st of September 1939, Britain and France, declared war on Germany two days later.
After Poland had been defeated the "phoney war" set in, with neither side doing anything. It wasn't until June 1940 that German forces entered the Low Countries, which fell within days and entered France, which surrendered six weeks later. British expeditionary forces in France, which were totally outmatched, fled to Dunkirk, to be quickly rushed back to Britain.
In 1941, Hitler made his mistake by invading the USSR, initially making rapid progress as Soviet forces were pressed back to Leningrad and Moscow. By October Hitler even proclaimed the USSR had been "struck down and would never rise again". Behind the German advance millions of "communist sub-humans" were killed. The winter of 1941/42 proved disastrous. The German forces were unable to take Leningrad or Moscow. Hitler blamed his generals and took personal command over all military actions in the USSR. In 1942 a fresh campaign in the south was launched, it's main objective to capture oil fields in the Caucuses, German oil demands were 75% higher then what they could import or produce in held territories, Stalingrad to the north-east became an essential city to capture, they failed, the Red Army successfully encircled the German forces in Stalingrad and destroyed an entire German army.
By this time it was clear that Germany would lose the war, Hitler began preparations for the "final solution" against the Jews and other "sub-humans". The Red Army after Stalingrad pushed German forces all the way back to Berlin and forced the German surrender.
Hitler's crimes against the working class are obvious.
Churchill a ruthless representative of British capitalism and imperialism.
Well known among class conscious workers of his attacks against the proletariat and peoples of the world. A son of a British aristocrat, his right-wing ultra-conservative views stayed with him throughout his life.
During 1910 when he was Home Secretary ordered some six hundred police to restore "order" in the Rhondda and Aberdare Valleys where thirty thousand miners were striking for better conditions. The police went in, the workers and their families were attacked by the police, several were killed.
In the rail strikes the following year Churchill mobilised fifty thousand troops to crush the strike, they opened fire on the workers.
In 1918 Churchill strongly supported the British expeditionary forces that were sent into the fledgling workers' state in Russia. Which joined some nineteen other armies in their struggle to put down the October revolution. In the end the British troops refused to fire on their Russian comrades and withdrew. Nevertheless hundreds of thousands died, which Churchill was all too happy about.
In 1919 when he was Secretary of State for War he advocated the use of chemical weapons against what he called "uncivilised tribes" i.e. the Kurds, the first systematic bombing of civilians in history. Because they represented a "threat" to British imperialism in the region.
In 1926 during the general strike. Jimmy Thomas the railway workers' leader said about his meeting with Churchill "How strongly Winston felt over the General Strike I have every reason to know; I remember meeting him behind the Speaker's chair a few hours before that great event and he not only denounced the whole business, but did not hesitate to tell me that a little bloodshed would do no harm! I replied that I was quite sure he was ready to lead the tanks up Whitehall."
In the early 1930s Churchill praised Hitler's come to power and was delighted with his attacks on Marxism. In his typical selfish manner Churchill only opposed Hitler when he threatened the interests of British capitalism.
He ordered the carpet bombing of German cities, killing hundreds of thousands of German workers, even when the war was "practically over", he is also responsible for deliberately killing British prisoners of war several times, by ordering the attack on German cargo ships, which he knew carried British prisoners.
In 1945 he suffered a humiliating defeat in the elections, so desperate to hang on to power he even went as far as saying "voting Labour would pave the way for the Gestapo" in an attempt to scare the working class in Britain, it failed and Labour came to power with a landslide victory over the Conservatives and their most memorable achievement was the creation of the National Health Service, all at the protest of this "great war leader".
Hussein a ruthless representative of Iraqi capitalism and would-be imperialism.
Hussein started his political life as a teenager in response to British and western domination of the region, this was around the time he joined the Ba'ath Party. The monarchy of Iraq was overthrown in 1958. Hussein had plotted to assassinate the then Prime Minister of Iraq, but fled the country after the plot was discovered.
In 1963 after the Ba'ath Party came into power in Baghdad, however within a few months they had been overthrown and Hussein was imprisoned.
It was in 1968 with the "help" of the American CIA that the Ba'ath Party returned to power, Hussein was jostling for power within the Party and in 1979 he became Head of State. Dozens of his rivals within the party and in other opposition groups were killed.
In 1980 Iraq invaded Iran, they were expecting a short war, Iran proved a far tougher target, with the support of America, chemical and biological weapons as well as billions of dollars were delivered to Iraq, they carried on fighting. However in 1988 a ceasefire was agreed to, some one million people had died and Iraq seriously weakened. During this time numerous rebellions inside Iraq were put down, thousands of Kurds and Shiites were slaughtered by Hussein.
Quick recovery was expected, Hussein tried to increase oil prices, which would help rebuild the Iraqi economy, through negotiating with other Arab nations, this however failed. He invaded Kuwait as a bid to increase oil prices. Something the west would not be too happy about, for obvious reasons. Being able to support Hussein with his struggle against Islamic fundamentalism and "dealing" with the Kurds and Shiites was one thing, supporting him in his efforts to increase oil prices to speed up the recovery of Iraq, was something they could never do.
So led to the invasion of Kuwait by allied forces, the once "friend" of the west was now the "bad guy", Iraqi forces were slaughtered tens of thousands of Iraq solders who were fleeing were shot to pieces by the allied invasion. Even after a cease fire was declared American forces still attacked Iraqi soldiers.
Hussein managed to hang onto power, where he has overlooked the destruction of Iraq and the deaths of millions of civilians by UN sanctions. However his days appear numbered, unlike the suffering of the Iraqi people which appears far from over, as they about to be smashed into a new age of a US dominated Iraq, just like with Afghanistan, where the US installed a pro-US dictatorship, that wouldn't last 24 hours without the US military, the workers in Iraq await the same fate.
Bush a ruthless representative of US capitalism and imperialism.
The American capitalists like to point out this idea that Iraq is a "threat" and that it posses weapons of mass destruction (of which none have been found, after several months of inspection). Of course nobody in the media points out that the American capitalists themselves have more weapons of mass destruction then the rest of the world combined and have even used nuclear weapons, when completely unnecessary, in Japan which had been trying to surrender for weeks before Hiroshima and Nagasaki were wiped from the face of the Earth, killing hundreds of thousands and causing suffering for decades after. But US imperialism ignored the requests to surrender, as they wanted to demonstrate the weapon they now possessed, wanted their rivals from around the world to know what would happen if they would dare challenge American capitalism. It was only due to the fact that the USSR quickly developed their own nuclear weapons that such atrocities were avoided in the future.
Then we have the issue in Iraq. Again the media fail to point out the fact that it was an American lead CIA coup that put the Ba'ath Party into power in Iraq. Fail to point out that it was US and other western companies that armed Iraq. Mr Rumsfeld went to Iraq as early as 1983 as part of a presidential envoy aimed at building further relationships between Washington and Baghdad. This was during a time when Iraq used chemical weapons (supplied by the US) almost daily, in the war with Iran, which the US government knew about. Iraq then was the "good guy" Hussein was defending US capitalism from Shiite extremism and Islamic fundamentalism.
The US government succeed in dragging the war between Iraq and Iran out for as long as possible, in an effort to weaken both nations to further ensure US domination of the region, when it looked like Iraq was getting the upper hand, the US would give some aid to the Iranian military. Some one million people died in this war, which lasted for far longer then it needed.
Just after the 1988 attack on the Kurds at Halabja, which is now used as an example of Hussein's brutality. The US government gave the Iraqi government one billion US dollars in exchange for "trade deals", 21 batches of anthrax strains and hundreds of tons of sarin nerve gas, the US government was fully aware about his attack on the Kurds, because the Kurds had pleaded for help, a blind eye was turned as Hussein then was their faithful ally.
In the same way US capitalism also armed and financed al Qaida, as long as they were killing Russians, they could just turn their backs to it.
Just after the end of the Gulf War, the US encouraged the Shiites in Iraq to rise up and overthrow Hussein, but then due to Saudi Arabia's fear of growing Shiite power in Iraq, the US capitalists then stood aside and watched as they were slaughtered.
For the last 12 years, two Bush's and a Clinton oversaw economic sanctions carried out, which killed millions of civilians, collapsed the economy and left most of the population dependant on hand outs from the government.
Bush and Rumsfeld had been campaigning for a war to overthrow Hussein and establish a pro-US government since as early as 1998, a letter was written to Clinton the then president demanding action be taken against Iraq. Long before the so called "war on terror" (or more accurately, war on anyone who dare opposes the domination of US capital).
The horrific treatment of people imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay after the invasion of Afghanistan, who have been denied basic human rights, who have been imprisoned without trial, have been tortured and have suffered ill treatment. Of course the media has no problem with this because Bush calls these people "terrorists".
Bush's attacks against the working people in America itself have certainly stepped up a notch, to help fight the "war on terror". What has all this new legislation and reorganisation of government actually done for the workers in America? The gap between rich and poor is growing even faster then before, bin Laden is still free, there's still the threat of terrorist attacks. The Patriot Act and Homeland Security Department legislation is a very real threat to workers in America, The Homeland Security Department, some of it's most interesting freedom preserving lines are:
* Eliminate vital aspects of the Freedom of Information Act, allowing the government and private corporate contractors to operate completely in secret and beyond citizen oversight;
* Create something called a 'Total Information Awareness' program within the Defence Department. Conservative columnist and former Nixon aide William Safire summed up succinctly what this will do. "Every purchase you make with a credit card, every magazine subscription you buy and medical prescription you fill, every Web site you visit and e-mail you send or receive, every academic grade you receive, every bank deposit you make, every trip you book and every event you attend - all these transactions and communications will go into what the Defence Department describes as 'a virtual, centralized grand database.' To this computerized dossier on your private life from commercial sources, add every piece of information that government has about you -- passport application, driver's license and bridge toll records, judicial and divorce records, complaints from nosy neighbours to the FBI., your lifetime paper trail plus the latest hidden camera surveillance."
* Redefines the term 'Terrorism.' Before, 'Terrorism' involved explosions, murder, kidnapping and any activity that used violence to frighten civilians and change the manner in which a government functioned. Under the new legislation, the definition of 'Terrorism' is expanded. Now, 'Terrorism' is defined as an act that "Is a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State or other subdivision of the United States," or "Appears to be intended to intimidate or coerce a civilian population." Protests against the government or against a private contractor involved with the government are intended to 'coerce' the civilian population. Loitering is a criminal offence. If you do either of these from now on, you may consider yourself welcomed into the ranks of international terrorism. Seriously.
* Deletes any possibility of an effective independent investigation into what went wrong on September 11th, thanks to the aforementioned FOIA restrictions.
(Quoted from http://www.truthout.org/)
How much longer will it be before our friends on the left in America start "disappearing"?
Every time Bush enters the spot light, when reports were made that Bush actually knew details about the attacks on the 11th of September, when they're trying to pass these legislations to fight the "war on terror", suddenly Osama bin Laden rises from the ashes of Afghanistan foretelling doom and destruction! When the spot light gets too hot for Mr Bush, suddenly the threat of "terrorist attacks" rises, coincidence?
In December 2002 Iraq presented before the UN a twelve thousand page document on it's weapons programme, the US government had the document confiscated. Apparently due to sensitive information needing to be edited, only around three thousand pages were left for non-permanent members of the UN security council. The real reason being that some one hundred and fifty US, British and other nation's companies had given Iraq all of it's weapons of mass destruction.
Now war is about to begin and another crime about to be unleashed upon the people's of Iraq.
These are just some of the actions that Bush's family or his friends in the US ruling capitalist class have been up to, the list just goes on and on. Total hypocrisy and damning attacks against the working class over the whole world.
I think it's fairly clear that comparing Hitler/Germany to Hussein/Iraq isn't a good one to make.
Firstly Germany had been the economic power of Western Europe since the beginning for the last century, this was the whole reason that the First World War came about, mainly British and French capitalists getting nervous about this new power emerging. That's the fundamental cause of that war, they're own domination of the Earth was at stake.
The brutal restrictions that Germany was forced into agreeing to within the Versailles Treaty, which had forced Germany to pay massive sums of money to all the "winners" Britain, France and the United States, as well taking cutting Germany up and purging of it's lands. No doubt led to the conditions in Germany that led to the rise of Hitler in the first place. Would not the average American, feel hatred towards the country that divided their nation up, plundered it of it's wealth? Nationalism and hatred expand in such circumstances.
Germany was a rival imperialist power; it could have won both the first and second world wars. Germany was a real threat to British, French and American capital and their imperialistic domination. Compare this to Iraq; does Iraq have any chance of destroying the imperialist powers in the world today? None, even the "terrorist" linkage with al Quida is laughable at best, even in the latest little clip that Washington claimed showed linkage, bin Laden called Hussein an "infidel" certainly the secular regime of Hussein has been fighting against Islamic fundamentalism since it's very beginnings. This as well as the leaked British intelligence documents detailing that there was no connection between Hussein and bin Laden. The only interest Iraq has to the imperialist nations around the globe is the second largest confirmed oil fields. Iraq is a materially poor country whose economy has collapsed and all production has effectively stopped due to UN sanctions, which has led to the entire population being dependent on government handouts.
The UN has tried it's best to come up with an excuse for war, the so called "weapons of mass destruction" which were all given to Iraq in the first place by the West. Which the inspectors themselves said in 1995 were all pretty much destroyed, as well as any ability to produce any. Certainly once the invasion begins they could well find weapons of mass destruction, no doubt placed their just five minutes before by US troops, we'll never know for sure now. Rival imperialist powers divided the UN and NATO, something that will only increase in the future, as they all squabble for the largest market share they can establish. US and British troops will be committing war crimes when they attack, we all know what happened to the Nazis who were just "following orders".
An excellent quote by Hermann Goering when he was on trial at Nuremberg "Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country." I think this brilliantly sums up the whole issue with the "war on terror" in America at the moment.
Certainly one can draw up many relations between that of Hitler and Bush, both tightened down on freedoms, even Hitler was more fairly elected into power then Bush was! Both bullied or attacked other nations when it suited them. Both were/are devout Christians. Both needed/need oil, Germany in the south-west of the USSR, America needs as much oil as it can get, to better ensure it's domination of other imperialist rivals around the globe; France, Germany, Russia, Japan and no doubt China will emerge onto such a stage in the future.
Isn't it interesting how Bush (the elder) is the founder of the Arbusto oil company, also a former shareholder in 7 Energy, yet another oil company and a former director of Harken Oil and Gas. As for Condoleeza Rice, a former director of Chevron Oil and Caspian Oil, she even had an oil tanker named after her. Vice President Cheney used to be the CEO of Halliburton Industries and is involved in Unocal, Exxon, Shell and Chevron, yet more oil companies! Perhaps the moral reason of why Hussein is "evil" and why we are going to war, lies in the fact that Hussein is sat upon that oil and not the US administration that is full of oil barons! They've been pushing for it since 1998 and before.
Bush's "war on terror" has been a very effective cover for assaults on workers' rights, Hitler's, Hussein's and Churchill's attacks on their own workers were more obvious, Bush seems much more keen on stealth assaults, by sneaking legislation through congress, as long as he gives it a nice name like the "Homeland Security" or the "Patriot Act" it sweeps through with no resistance, at an amazing speed.
If one would look at this from the bourgeois nationalist perspective, one can see a good vs. evil depending on which side they were on (the winners seemingly always the good side). However the workers themselves, must consciously be aware of there own existence as a totally independent entity, an entity that is not bound by puny nationalistic borders, no matter what country you live in, if it's one of the leading imperialist powers of the world, or a tiny colonial nation, our relationship is the same, we're all forced into a system of wage slavery, all forced into fighting stupid wars and seemingly never ending toil for the capitalist. No matter if one enjoys the freedom of a bourgeois-"democracy" where we're entitled to our own opinion, (but our capitalist rulers are entitled to the right to ignore us, as Blair so recently has pointed out). We all suffer the same fate and we all suffer the same destiny.
Bush, Churchill, Hitler and Hussein all have something in common, they all represent the class of employers, the capitalists and they're all money-bags who feast off our labour. They're all guilty of the most horrendous crime, supporting the exploitation of the working masses. Only when the class of employers, the capitalists and their system have been overthrown worldwide, will we finally have a chance to bring peace to everyone.
NO WAR BUT THE CLASS WAR!
REGIME CHANGE BEGINS AT HOME!
Paul A. Smith
19th of March 2003.
(Sources: The Daubing of Winston Churchill (Rob Swell), the In Defence of Marxism (http://www.marxist.com/) Manifesto on Imperialist War against Iraq (Alan Woods and Ted Grant), Truthout, BBC).