Thursday, September 22, 2005

Commonality

Digby has done a post about the recent revelations of a web site where soldiers are posting pictures of their "war trophies", so-to-speak, in exchange for free porn. Yes, you read right. The soldiers post their death pictures of Iraqis and in exchange get free porn!

I'm not going to post the link...if you want to see these disgusting pictures, check out google. I looked at one...a pic of an Iraqi guy who was hit with a .50 cal. round in the head.... and it is not at all pretty. Why post such horrible pics?

Digby thinks it fits in with this (and I agree):
Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics common to each:

1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism - Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.

2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights - Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause - The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial, ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.

4. Supremacy of the Military - Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.

5. Rampant Sexism - The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.

6. Controlled Mass Media - Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.

7. Obsession with National Security - Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.

8. Religion and Government are intertwined - Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.

9. Corporate Power is protected - The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.

10. Labor Power is suppressed - Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.

11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts - Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.

12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment - Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.

13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption - Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.

14. Fraudulent Elections - Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.

(Source: The Fourteen Defining Characteristics of Fascism, Dr. Lawrence Britt, Spring 2003, Free Inquiry)
Sure sounds a lot like the current government to me. And I'll add another trait....a very weak and ineffectual opposition party.

I've posted about this a number of times and keep coming back to it, mainly because it's such a frightening development. Recent poll results give me some hope, but I'll believe that Americans really reject this form of government when I see it. Namely, when Bush is removed or Democrats are returned to a majority in one house of Congress, I'll rest a little easier.

And god forbid there be another terrorist attack which I fear will send us even further over the edge.

Finally, I don't have a lot to add to Digby's treatment of the sado-masochistic sexuality that seem to be emerging from some soldiers in Iraq. It's consistent with Abu Grahab and Vietnam abuses....both situations where out-of-control governments sent very young people to senseless war.

Sickos have always, and will always be around. The problem is that the current administration (and the above political approach) has given these knuckleheads a green light to act-out like crazy (anyone remember the drug addicted, perverted sickos who were in Hitler's administration?). The bottom line is that our government is out of control, and will stay that way until there's accountability.

BTW: Garance is now finally waking up and smelling the coffee? I guess better late than never. The DLC'ers are a little slow. But maybe there's hope?

1 Comments:

At 7:08 AM, Blogger Marla said...

Scary, scary stuff. I watched a show on the History Channel MONTHS AGO about Adolf Hitler, and as I watched it, I came to realize exactly how many parallels there are between German Society of the 30's and 40's and American Society under the leadership of Bush. It almost makes me glad that I don't have children.

 

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