While selling his attack on Iraq, Bush often draws an analogy with Hitler’s Germany. He likens the threat posed to the world by Saddam today to the threat posed by Hitler in the mid 30s. The point that he tries to make is that it would cost the world much more to tackle Saddam later if he is not tackled now, just as it would have been less wasteful to stop Hitler when he just began his aggressions over Eastern Europe. While the analogy between Saddam and Hitler may be laughable, it is instructive, though frightening, to draw an analogy between Bush and Hitler and the threats posed by them to other nations and to world peace.
There is no comparison between the absolute and relative, offensive and destructive military power in Hitler’s arsenal and that available to Bush today. The US has more than 50% of the world’s military hardware including more than 10,000 nuclear weapons and enormous quantities of chemical and biological weapons. It can destroy the planet many times over and render it unfit for any form of life. It spends more on offensive military hardware than all the rest of the world put together. Compared to the military arsenal of the US today, Germany’s under Hitler was nothing. The lack of respect of the US for international law is evident not only in the number of occasions that it has engaged in unilateral overt military aggression over countries during the last 50 years, (China, Korea, Guatemala, Indonesia, Cuba, Congo, Peru, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Libya, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Panama, Iraq, Bosnia, Sudan, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan) but also from the number of occasions that it has vetoed unanimous Security Council resolutions which were passed to make Israel comply with international law. This lack of respect for international norms of civilized behaviour (which prompts Chomsky to call it a Rogue State) is most clearly evident in not just the refusal to sign the charter of the International Criminal Court but in its active campaign to torpedo it. Any doubt whatsoever about the willingness of Bush to trample upon all norms of international law, should have been dispelled by the manner in which Bush has been proclaiming his contempt for the United Nations. He has even hinted that if the UN does not back his plans to attack Iraq, it would become irrelevant and he might form a parallel international body with those who are willing to support him -"the coalition of the willing".
It is obvious by now that the real objective of the attack on Iraq is not to stop Saddam from acquiring and using weapons of mass destruction, nor even to change the regime in Iraq. The real objectives have to do with securing and controlling Iraq’s oil, which has the second-largest reserves in the world, and indeed to acquire strategic control of the entire Middle East. From the belligerence and arrogance exhibited by Bush and his top advisers, such as the Defence Secretary Rumsfeld, the White House spokesman Ari Fliescher, the National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice, the Under Secretary of State Wolfowitz and others, it appears that the objective is also to generate fear among other countries that the US would be willing to use its military might against nations which cross its path. The recently tested sub nuclear "mother of all bombs (MOAB)" by the US, and the open threat to use it, along with nuclear tipped deep penetration missiles, against Iraq, is not just designed to scare Iraq into submission, but also to put other countries to notice that the US will not hesitate to use weapons of mass genocide against countries which do not toe its line.
The US diplomacy in trying to bring around small-undecided nations to support its resolution to attack Iraq has been marked by threats and blandishments. The blandishments held out are a piece of the pie of the post-war reconstruction of Iraq. Imagine the sheer brazenness of it all. "Allow us to destroy Iraq", says Bush, "and we will give you multimillion-dollar contracts for rebuilding what we would have destroyed". An invitation for a veritable feast of vultures! A subsidiary of Halliburton, a scam tainted company of which Cheney was the Chief Executive Officer for six years till he became vice president, has already been short listed by the US Agency for International Development for $900 million contracts to control oil fires in post-war Iraq. It may be noted that Halliburton was the largest contractor for the reconstruction of Kuwait after the first Gulf War. Dick Cheney made more than $25 million from this company during this time, and continues to hold stock options in it and receives a million a year from the company even now. The connections of Bush and his men with oil and arms companies are well known. These are the two industries, which hope to gain enormously from the war being planned by Bush. Thus the personal vested interest that Bush and his men have in this war is more than Hitler ever had in the wars that he planned.
But, it may be objected, that it would be unfair to compare Bush with Hitler, since Bush leads a democratic country, while Hitler had established a dictatorship. But even Hitler had come to power through a democratic election. It was only thereafter, that he used the Reichstag fire and the demonising of the Jews to generate mass hysteria and acquire absolute power. Hasn’t Bush also used the events of September 11 to carefully orchestrate his "war on terror" to generate the same kind of hysteria. He has used that hysteria to get the Congress to abdicate and cede many of its powers to him, particularly the all-important power of permitting attack on other countries under the cover of this war on terror. He has even got several draconian laws passed, including the infamous Patriot Act, which is being used to erode civil liberties and gradually take the US on the path of a Police State. Several thousand persons have been imprisoned by the government since September 11 without charges and without trial. Several thousand others are being held in inhuman conditions in Guantanamo Bay without trial. Even though the US government holds them, the US courts have held that they have no jurisdiction to entertain petitions on behalf of such prisoners. The mass media in the US is so tightly controlled by big business and influenced by the oil/arms lobby, that even it has not been much of a sobering influence on the hawks that are ruling the country today. An analysis of the editorials of all the major newspapers of the US in the last six months shows that more than 90 percent have supported the aggression against Iraq.
Thus from every objective standard, Bush today poses a much greater potential threat to world peace and those countries which do not toe his line, than Hitler ever did. His military arsenal is far bigger and more lethal than any arsenal ever assembled in history. He has displayed an open contempt for the United Nations and International law and an easy willingness to use unilateral military force to even commit mass genocide by using weapons of mass destruction to achieve his ends. He has skillfully generated mass hysteria in the country to increase his own power by whittling down the power of the Congress, and eroding civil liberties. His personal commercial interests and those of his men are closely tied to oil and war and he has demonstrated that he will trample upon all international norms in the pursuit of those interests.
After he is through with Iraq, what is to prevent him from going after other countries? Not just Iran, Syria and North Korea (which he has called the axis of evil), but even Pakistan, India, (which possess nuclear weapons) and Saudi Arabia, Jordan etc (which have large oil reserves). And why would he not pursue countries like France, Russia and China thereafter? After all, they too represent potential threats to Bush’s strategic objective of dominating and controlling the world — an objective that was quite candidly articulated by his men (Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz among others) in a strategic document called "Project for the New American Century". Thus what Bush has been saying about Saddam is certainly true of him. He must be stopped now before it is too late. The threatened war on Iraq has laid bare the threat posed by the US as never before. It is time for the entire international community and also the people of the US to come together and confront this threat. The costs of not doing so now would be much greater later.