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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Learning From History: Words Matter

There are certain words that, when you hear them, allow you to make reasoned judgements about a person's political leanings. One of those words is Nazi. It's synonym in today's world is Fascist. Recently, there has been an increased use of these words by the Left to describe George W. Bush. The use of these words show an appalling ignorance of history, and quickly and firmly shuts down any further discussion.

Comparing the current war to Hitler's monomaniacal pillage of Western Europe is obscene, and does a grave disservice to the dead, both those murdered by Hitler's SS, and those lost in the smoking rubble of 9/11. Comparing George W. Bush to Hitler shows a profound ignorance of both personalities. Look at Afghanistan and Iraq today, and compare these nation's fledgling democracies to the horrors experienced by Poland, France, Czechoslovakia, and the Occupied lands of the Soviet Union. in 1943.

In the interviews recently given by President Bush to Major Media Outlets, one phrase has continued to stand out:
....President Bush spoke often of his commitment to the spread of democracy, sometimes in startling terms. As he told the Wall Street Journal in an aside after the end of the formal interview, "I understand there are many who say 'Bush is wrong.' I assume I'm right. It's exciting to be part of stimulating a debate of such significance. It really is the philosophical argument of the age." I don't know which is the more remarkable: An American president who thinks in terms of "the philosophical argument of the age." Or that, well, yes, Mr. Bush is right, the question of the spread of democracy really is the philosophical argument of the age.
"The philosophical argument of the age." The President and his "cronies" as they are called by the Left, have not acted as Hitler did. In fact:
We could have dealt with our security concerns in both places very differently, at considerably less cost in blood and treasure, simply by smashing the Taliban and the Saddam regime and installing local strongmen in their stead, each having been sternly warned by the example of the demise his predecessor of the consequences of future misbehavior, either with regard to harboring terrorists or looking guilty on illicit weapons programs. But we didn't do that. Instead, we committed ourselves — however fumblingly — to the establishment of decent, democratic government in both places. And by "we," I mean pre-eminently George W. Bush. He rejected (if he ever entertained) the strongman solution as inadequate.
For the Left to criticize President Bush on his policies is certainly fair, and at times helpful to the ongoing war effort. Indeed, debate remains a cornerstone of the Checks and Balances which keep this Republic free. For those on the Left to make comparisons to the evil of Nazism, however, is offensive in the extreme, and is evidence of a shallowness of both history and thought that does a disservice to The Greatest Generation of WWII, and this Generation fighting and dying today in the clash of Philosophies.

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