There can be no graceful exit from Iraq … already “split into parts”. The fracture of Iraq is virtually complete, its chasms sucking in corpses at the rate of up to a thousand a day. -Robert Fisk
I know it’s exceedingly uncool to make any allusions to the Nazi era in Germany while discussing the current American administration. That is an uncoolness I have been guilty of more than once, and have been called on more than once.

But I’m not the only one you know. Just recently (Dec 1) Robert Fisk in The Independent made an unusual type of reference to Hitler with a very blatant Bush connection.

Here’s his headline:

Like Hitler and Brezhnev, Bush is in denial

And here’s the question.

More than half a million deaths, an army trapped in the largest military debacle since Vietnam, a Middle East policy already buried in the sands of Mesopotamia – and still George W Bush is in denial. How does he do it? How does he persuade himself … that the United States will stay in Iraq “until the job is complete”? The “job” – Washington’s project to reshape the Middle East in its own and Israel’s image – is long dead.

Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception … assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts. -Barbara Tuchman
Fisk lists several “deniers” from history.

History’s “deniers” are many – and all subject to the same folly: faced with overwhelming evidence of catastrophe, they take refuge in fantasy, dismissing evidence of collapse as a symptom of some short-term setback, clinging to the idea that as long as their generals promise victory – or because they have themselves so often promised victory – that fate will be kind.

He quotes a recent Bush remark, with his own response.

[Bush said] “there’s a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there’s going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq [but] this business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all.”
Indeed, it has not. There can be no graceful exit from Iraq, only a terrifying, bloody collapse of military power.

Iraq is already “split into parts”. The fracture of Iraq is virtually complete, its chasms sucking in corpses at the rate of up to a thousand a day.

Then, finally, the Hitler comparison.

Even Hitler must chuckle at this bloodbath, he who claimed in April 1945 that Germany would still win the Second World War, boasting that his enemy, Roosevelt, had died – much as Bush boasted of Zarqawi’s killing – while demanding to know when General Wenck’s mythical army would rescue the people of Berlin. How many “Wencks” are going to be summoned from the 82nd Airborne or the Marine Corps to save Bush from Iraq in the coming weeks?

No, Bush is not Hitler. Like Blair, he once thought he was Winston Churchill, a man who never – ever – lied to his people about Britain’s defeats in war. But fantasy knows no bounds.


It reminds me of Barbara Tuchman’s The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam.

[Folly:] the pursuit of policy contrary to the self-interest of the constituency or state involved.

Self-interest is whatever conduces to the welfare or advantage of the body being governed.

Two of her criteria of national folly were 1) the “injury to self-interest was recognized by contemporaries” and 2) “a feasible alternative course of action must have been available.”

Or, as she sums up later:

Wooden-headedness, the source of self-deception, is a factor that plays a remarkably large role in government. It consists in assessing a situation in terms of preconceived fixed notions while ignoring or rejecting any contrary signs. It is acting according to wish while not allowing oneself to be deflected by the facts.


Here’s a list of some of my prior transgressions in this Hitler-comparison matter – with titles like,
“The Nazi Conscience – and ReTraining the American Conscience”
“US Churches, Senators, and a Priest Under the Nazis”
“Hitler’s Respect for ‘My Lord and Savior Jesus'”
“Hitler Did Promote Christian Morality and Family Values”
and a couple on Dietrich Bonhoeffer.