Jewish World Review March 10, 2003 / 6 Adar II, 5763
The new Nazis
It is absolutely eerie how closely the current Iraq situation
parallels the rise of The Third Reich 70 years ago. I
consider Saddam Hussein to be "Hitler lite" because he
has the same virulent anti-Semitism, the same callous
disregard for human life, and the identical lust for power
that Adolf possessed. The only difference between the two
villains is the size of the moustache.
Back in the 1930s, millions of people the world over simply
did not want to think about the evil Hitler was brewing up.
France and Russia were the chief appeasers, as they are
today on the Iraq question. Stalin ultimately signed a treaty
with Hitler making it possible for him to use most of his
forces to crush Europe, and France simply allowed Hitler to
violate the Treaty of Versailles, even more than the 17
times Saddam has violated current U.N. mandates. Britain
went along with France in the '30s, but now it seems the
United Kingdom has learned from its historical mistakes.
And then there's the Pope. John Paul II recently came out and said that any war
against Iraq would be "immoral." Back in the '30s, Pope Pius XII actually
supported Hitler politically, at least in the beginning of his rise when Pius was
stationed in Germany. The Third Reich was considered a bulwark against
Communism, which the Church greatly feared. Subsequently, Pius kept quiet about
the atrocities of Hitler's regime because he knew that the Vatican itself could easily
be vanquished by the Huns.
Today, John Paul deplores the violence that comes with any war but is at a loss to
explain how terrorism and the states that enable it should be dealt with.
Remember, the Pope did not approve of the military action against the Taliban.
Peace, of course, should be the goal of all civilized human beings. Millions of
Americans are against a war in Iraq today, and millions of us were vehemently
opposed to confronting Hitler as well. Back then the anti-war movement was led by
Charles Lindbergh and Ambassador Joseph Kennedy, who largely dismissed
accusations of Nazi brutality and weapons production as propaganda. In 1937, SS
Chief Heinrich Himmler was even on the cover of Time magazine. I have the issue.
The article criticized Himmler and hinted at barbaric behavior, but there was no
The failure to confront the obvious evil of the Nazis early, of course, led to the
deaths of more than 55,000,000 human beings in Europe. Millions of Jews were
stunned when they were led by German guards to the gas chambers. How could
human beings do this? Even after evidence of mass executions surfaced, many
the world over refused to believe it. Liberating American soldiers were horrified at
what they found in the concentration camps. Most had no idea of what they were
really fighting against.
Does anyone today believe that Al Qaeda or Saddam would not slaughter Jews
and, indeed, Americans if they had the power to do so? So what is the difference
between a dictator like Saddam and Adolph Hitler?
It continues to astound me that 37 percent of Americans, according to the latest
ABC News/Washington Post poll, do not support the removal of Saddam Hussein
unless other countries, which do not share our danger, sign on. I mean, why allow a
dictator who has weapons that would make Hitler salivate remain a threat to the
world? Does it make sense that Cameroon has to sign on before we neutralize this
If France, German, China and Russia would support the United States against
Saddam, he'd already be out of power. If France, Russia and Britain had marched
into Germany in 1933, there would have been no World War or Holocaust.
Nobody can predict the outcome and aftermath of any war. But we can learn from
history. Evil has a way of killing people; that's a fact. And the only way that evil will
be stopped is for just and courageous people to confront it.
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JWR contributor Bill O'Reilly is host of the
Fox News show, "The O'Reilly Factor," and author
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© 2001 Creators Syndicate