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Friendly reminder: Not every conflict involving a dictator is analogous to Hitler and Nazi Germany

Nov. 27, 2013

For the sake of argument, let us assume the heretics are right– the earth is 5 billion years old, and modern man emerged approximately 50,000 years ago.

From 50,000 B.C. to 1933, there was 1 Hitler. 1 Hitler every 50,000 years.

Yet, in the past quarter-century, potential Hitlers abound…

  • Slobodan Milošević – “Greater Serbia.” “Ethnic cleansing.” Civilians transported in sealed buses and railway cars. And now, concentration camps. The chilling reports from Bosnia evoke this century’s greatest nightmare, Hitler’s genocide against Jews, Gypsies and Slavs.
  • Kim Jong-Il – North Korean Prison Camps Are ‘Like Hitler’s Auschwitz’.
  • Saddam Hussein – Like Hitler, His Enemy Is the World : Germany then, the Arab masses now, mirror one another in dynamics that can be turned to war.
  • Saddam Hussein (again) – In a speech to students on the eve of a two-day NATO summit, Mr Bush compared the challenge of the Iraqi President to the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, which led to World War II.
  • Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Pollster Frank Luntz also sparred with FNC’s liberal co-host Alan Colmes over whether it would be wise to meet with dictators like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Adolf Hitler, and got Colmes to admit that “I might” meet with Hitler.
  • Bashar al-Assad – Secretary of State John Kerry yesterday compared Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad to “Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein”.
  • That’s a 1 billion percent increase in the number of Hitlers in the last 25 years– which seems statistically implausible.

    It’s almost as if garden variety despots and megalomaniacal mass murderers– a staple of human history— are being intentionally misrepresented as the equivalent of Hitler, as a means of advancing political and financial agendas.

    But let us not be cynical.

    Let us assume this is unintentional– in which case, the issue seems to be that the criteria used to identify potential living embodiments of Hitler is far too broad…

    – Be a dictator or head of state
    – Say mean things
    – Kill lots of people
    – Be a threat to one’s neighbors

    By that standard– Alexander the Great, Attila the Hun, Crassus, Pompey, Julius Caesar, Augustus, Charlemagne, Genghis Khan, Tamerlane, the Aztec Empire, every single King of England, the Dutch, Napoleon, James Polk, Abraham Lincoln, and so on– are all Hitlers.

    Ironically, the attempt to paint every potentially hostile nation as an existential threat– is a tactic that Hitler and Goebbels themselves would have employed.

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