Good morning class! Seated… Seated… Please be seated…
Okay! Let us continue in our texts and let’s finish last week’s lecture on Parallels in American Politics from the Bush Presidency circa 2001 through 2008, shall we?
As we discussed the last time we met, we explored the parallels between the Bush Administration and an earlier dictatorship under Adolf Hitler.
Yes! Mr. Stoltz! Can you tell me about one Congressman’s views on the presidency as he saw it in the day…?
No? Can anybody tell me about Congresman Ellison and his importance in the roll of the American political spectrum of the time?
I can see we have a long way to go before we get ready for that upcoming quiz I was planning…
Let’s do a quick review from last week and study the words of a certain Congressman Kieth Ellison and his assertion that there is a sharp distinction between the Bush Administration and Adolf Hitler’s point of view…
In July 2007, Mr. Ellison appeared in front of a group of atheists and spoke clearly about the parallels to America’s tragic 9-11 horror and Germany’s Reichstag fire. Now before we look at what the Congressman actually said – let’s break down a few of the important facts that lead up to his speaking engagement in the first place.
Mr. Ellison was a professed Muslim. He was Minnesota’s first African-American elected to US Congress, he was also the first Muslim elected to Federal Office. And in a time where the United States president had waged an unprecedented war against the entire Muslim faith worldwide, we have this man Ellison appear in front of Atheists for Human Rights and make this analogy:
“It’s almost like the Reichstag fire, kind of reminds me of that. After the Reichstag was burned, they blamed the Communists for it and it put the leader of that country [Hitler] in a position where he could basically have authority to do whatever he wanted. The fact is that I’m not saying [Sept. 11] was a [U.S.] plan, or anything like that because, you know, that’s how they put you in the nut-ball box — dismiss you.“
Now – Mr. Ellison was highly criticized for his statement. In fact, his statement was lambasted by the politically and religiously conservatives of the time. But wasn’t that to be expected!? At the time, Ellison’s race as well as his religion was always in question by the conservative Christians in America.
From his own hometown newspaper, conservative columnist Katherine Kersten questioned the Congressman’s own religious knowledge on the topic of the Muslim faith in regards to an Athiest’s lack of religious faith. Who can tell me how the conservative columnist bungled her credibility as a journalist? Anybody? Yes! Ms Luchard!
The Congressman said in his speech that the atheists could always count on him, as a Muslim and as a Congressman to be in their corner… to protect them as Americas who happen to be atheists!. Katherine Kersten’s column snipped at the Congressman’s promise to them. She assumed that as a Muslim…his faith would object to having anything to do with atheists.
She mistakenly made the assumption the Muslim faith is nothing more than a religious- jihad against all other faiths, including non-believers such as athiests, diests and agnostics! Her assumption is another regurgitating lie that the Christian faith interjects at every opportunity until everybody believes it to be true.
Very good Ms. Luchard! And to prove your point?
Prove your point; Ms. Luchard. The Qur’an…Where does the Muslim faith receive their understanding about athiests and diests and…
Oh, Sorry. Umm; It’s everywhere in the Qur’an! It’s a basic tenant of the Muslim faith; be kind to strangers, give them shelter – care for the poor… Umm, Well, for example: The Qur’an states explicity that when you encounter someone with a different belief in God, it says: “If one among the non-believers ask thee for asylum, grant it to him so that he may hear the word of God; and then escort him to where he can be secure.”
Very good Ms. Luchard, and you’re absolutely correct. Now can you prove your point from the Christian perspective?
You made the claim Ms. Luchard that the Christian faith is guilty of propagandizing the lie that people of the Muslim faith are murderous monsters until the lie becomes a common stereotype. …Please offer an example of what you mean by that!
Can anybody help Ms. Luchard out with the proof she needs? Yes! Ms. Sykes!
The inactivity from the Catholic Church during the WW II Holocaust and that parallels with the Catholic Church in 2006. While in the middle of the American Iraqi War, Pope Benedict publicly stated that followers of Muhammad were evil and inhumane.
Excellent! Exactly! Pope Benedict, as you’ll see in the next chapter of your text on page 385 called followers of Muhammed… Well, go on ahead and read it for all of us Ms. Sykes…
“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached”.
Thank you! And so two days later, the Pope did what? …Anybody? He went out and apologized for the comment and admitted that he was reading text from the Medieval Ages and has no place in contemporary times.
It was a “double-bang for his buck” if you will: Run out and say something reckless, and then apologize for it two days later just to get your message across. It was twice the advertising while seemingly to be apologetic.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune reporter merely toed-the-line when an opportunity came up to smear a Muslim. Her column not only propagated a patented lie about the religion, she also took the opportunity to smear a fellow American…a Congressman no less… because of his or her religious views. Nothing could be farther from being a “true American patriot”. And as a self-professed “Christian”, Ms. Kersten fails herself in her own religion, fails herself as a journalist and she fails herself as an American.
But the Christian faith routinely demonizes the Muslim faith as a paradoxical view of its ownself. The Christian faith declares Muslims to be raging and monstrous murderers, and so the Christian faith compels its followers to go after Muslims and become raging amd monstrous murderers as a result.
..AND BEFORE I CALL ON YOU MR. STOLTZ!!!! I would also agree with you that not every religious man or woman is so pure in heart that they would take their religion to an extreme. Any Muslim terrorist out there can point to any Christian “terrorist” and say the exact same thing.
For example; Timothy McVey was a terrorist! He was a very devout Christian who blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City. Is there anything different from McVey than say Khalik Sheik Mohammad?
Paul Jennings Hill, another Christian terrorist, killed John Britton and James Barrett because they were thought to be “abortion doctors”. In fact, Paul Jennings Hill said in his last words, before being put to death by lethal injection, encouraged everybody to stop abortion by saying: “do what you have to do to stop it.” Does that sound like something a terrorist would say right before they become a religious martyr in their own act of terror?
But what I want to discuss here is exactly how far off was Congressman Ellison’s statements in drawing a parallelism between Bush and the 9-11 Disaster and Adolf Hitler and the Reichstag fires?
Yes! Mr. Stoltz!
Professor; are we to criticize the Bush Administration for going after Muslims? Or are we to look at the Bush Administration’s actions to “find the Devil in the details” in order to call him another Hitler? It seems to me that the Congressman was sort of “shooting from the hip” while trying to wrestle up some votes from a handful of athiests. Isn’t all of this just a lot of theater and pandering to those who would still believe that Bush had the right idea all along?
The subject is about looking at parallel’s in American history. It is often said that if we don’t learn from our history, we are prone to repeat it. Did President Bush simply repeat history by conducting the same actions as did Adolf Hitler during the Reichstag fire?
Yes, Ms. Sandstrum!
I think I would agree. Hitler erased individuality out of the German citizens by taking away their fundamental rights. Likewise, President Bush and his colleagues from the Republican Party eliminated Habeus Corpus from the US Constitution. Like Hitler, it gave the President full authority to put anbody in prison without any fundamental right to see an attorney or even a judge for that matter.
I mean, didn’t I see in the chapter where the Democratically controlled Congress had held one of the President’s personal advisors in Contempt of Congress and President Bush simply made a “decree” that the US Department of Justice was no longer allowed to arrest any of his personal advisors?
The entire issue of torture alone is grounds enough to draw a parallel between George W Bush and Adolf Hitler without even trying! The US Supreme Court said he wasn’t allowed to torture, and yet he continued to do so until the Republican held Congress finally sat down for a “compromise” that he could be satisfied with…and in the compromise… they decided to let him continue torturing people!
Good Ms. Sandstrum! Very good! Were there other areas of torture within the Bush Administration being demonstrated? Yes, Mr. Wicks!
He ahh… He ignored his own American people who were living in New Orleans and he let them drown. He ahh… His Cabinet level staff didn’t bother even to show up until a week later after the hurricane and yet after two years -people were still left and forgotten.
Very good! And let’s not forget that two years after the hurricane, residents in New Orleans were still living in trailer-homes that were poisoning the inhabitents with formaldehyde while the Bush Administration did nothing. The parallelism between gassing the Jews and letting Americans be gassed by formaldehyde in their own homes is incanny.
As we can all see – those who were Bush sympathizers were very upset by Congressman Keith Ellison’s statements about President Bush because it was closer to the fact than it was to the fiction. Which, if you looked through the entire Bush Administration from 2000 to 2008, most of issues – if presented as fact, were discussed as fiction and those that were fiction – were almost always presented as fact!
Other areas that we didn’t touch on here today was in the case of privacy and personal rights. It was the Bush Administration who insisted he had the right to go through everybody’s personal mail. He bullied large internet search engine corporations with threats of subpeana’s in order to look through their search-records. He set up listening posts to evesdrop on the American people’s phone calls and charged his privately controlled corporations to build secret prisons where people were tortured many times to include death.
In the end, by the time Bush was succeeded in 2009, the political fallout from his presidency lasted for almost twenty years. Meanwhile, the Republican Party, embroiled in sex scandals, charged for taking bribes, voter fraud and child molestation charges, marginalized themselves to become a third tier political party. The downside to all of President Bush’s atrocities was the fact that it took the United States all of these years to patch up their image world wide and to restore those basic constitutional rights to its citizens.
. ..And that’s our time! BEFORE YOU GO…!! You need to remember that next week’s quiz will cover the material we discussed today as well as the material from last week!!
After the quiz, we’ll pick up the Parallels in American History by discussing Bush’s closest advisor Karl Rove and the suspicious activities surrounding his mother’s suicide and Heinrich Himmler’s suicide after being captured by the British.
Have a good week everybody!!