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Monday, February 26, 2007

And Must The Thing Go Its Course?

Arthur Silber is well at it with his series Dispatch from Germany, Summer of 1939, parts I, II, and III (via CrooksAndLiars). He is well-sensitized to what is happening regarding Iran, and I urge you to read his posts.

I want to focus on a quote from Milton Mayer's, They Thought They Were Free: The Germans, 1933-45, that Arthur includes in Part I (he does so here also). Mayer quotes one German, who said:
"You know," he went on, "when men who understand what is happening--the motion, that is, of history, not the reports of single events or developments--when such men do not object or protest, men who do not understand cannot be expected to. How many men would you say understand--in this sense--in America? And when, as the motion of history accelerates and those who don't understand are crazed by fear, as our people were, and made into a great 'patriotic' mob, will they understand then, when they did not before?

"We learned here--I say this freely--to give up trying to make them understand after, oh, the end of 1938, after the night of the synagogue burning and the things that followed it. Even before the war began, men who were teachers, men whose faith in teaching was their whole faith, gave up, seeing that there was no comprehension, no capacity left for comprehension, and the thing must go its course, taking first its victims, then its architects, and then the rest of us to destruction. ..."
[emphasis mine]

This is chilling to me because, while I have very intensive and probing conversations with some serious friends down at the pub, it sadly goes without saying that most people don't want to even hear about the immoral and destructive stance that our government is increasingly taking towards the rest of the world. Others will listen and, while not disagreeing, look at me strangely like I should get a life - hey, you want to see my new car? Did you see the game last night?

Must the thing go its course, citizens? Are you prepared to have the entire planet turn against us, just when our resources are strained? Do you think that our military, scattered across the globe in its imperial police-work, will manage so well as host country after host country casts its wary eye upon it? Do you think you will be free to speak and protest then? Hell, they're already slandering us in Radio Rwanda-style rants in some media. And we know how well that all turned out.

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