By Kyle K. Mann
It’s time to validate Mike Godwin. Not that he needs it, but with Obama’s obscene ramp up to the latest installment of the Endless War, or Long War as military types call it, progressives need to acknowledge the mind-frying truth: America is a fascist state.
For me, the nice thing about citing Godwin is that I am honored to know the man. Mike is a smart, gentle, knowledgeable attorney who back in the last decade I used to work with at the Wikimedia Foundation in San Francisco. In fact, he co-interviewed me for my humble position. Mind you, his pay grade was off the charts compared to mine (I was the world’s oldest intern) but he sat in the cubicle diagonal to me and we would chat. I learned a lot.
He’s known for many things, but perhaps most famously for Godwin’s Law (“As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1”). Point being, after Obama’s Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015 AUMF request, or Authorization for the Use of Military Force, it is time for the outraged among us to take the rhetoric to a more confrontational level. The USA is now functioning like Nazi Germany. Time to say that both on the Internet, and live.
Oh, Kyle that’s so off-putting. People will turn away from you, Kyle. They don’t want to hear that. You lose your audience if you threaten their worldview. You catch more flies with honey. Blah blah blah and to hell with that. If we aren’t Nazi’s what would you call us?
Kyle, that’s disrespectful to Holocaust victims. You diminish the magnitude of Nazi crimes by putting it that way. (According to Wikipedia, Godwin himself has apparently stated this.) Really? We killed a million in Vietnam and arguably another million in Iraq. We haven’t matched the sheer numbers of Nazi victims yet, but we are working on it. And I have had enough, and so should have you.
I haven’t been to the Middle East, but I have been to Vietnam and Cambodia, back in the 90’s. Sobering experiences, and radicalizing, if you like that term. I’d call it waking up. Fly by daylight into the former Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, and what do you notice? Round ponds, as far as the eye can see! It is considerably numbing to realize each pond was a bomb, dropped by U.S. warplanes. Many of those bombs killed innocent people. I call that Nazi-like behavior. Wouldn’t you?
You want fiendish experimentation? How about the mega tons of Agent Orange aka dioxin we polluted Vietnam with? The hideous mutations and birth defects that are common in the country are humbling and shameful. These are multi-generational war crimes, my fellow Americans. We have yet to truly acknowledge them, and to make meaningful reparations.
Then there is DU, Depleted Uranium. We have irradiated the Middle East for thousands of years with this horror! This is beyond Nazi behavior, because they hadn’t invented it back in the 40’s. Radiation is essentially forever: again, multi-generational criminality. I can’t begin to express my frustration with countrymen who are uninformed and/or unconcerned about this egregious misuse of military power. I’m sure the new war with ISIS will be using a lot of DU.
So as the war-hawk Republican Congress prepares to rubber stamp Obama’s AUMF to legitimize endless hostilities against ISIS or whatever enemy our own grisly efforts have created, the time is here for truly anti-war progressives to ramp up the dialog, and add a sharp edge to our polemics. If not now, when? If not you, who? Speak out against the madness. Tell debaters they support Nazi-like tactics and corporate/state fascism. They need to hear it. Today, and every day this criminal madness continues.
Yes, yes. ISIS victims, burning pilots, beheadings. Nothing compared to what we have done. Stop the cycle of killing. Give Peace a Chance. And no more using 9-11 as an excuse. Nothing justifies more everlasting conflict.
We need to cut the military budget, now bloated to 55% of total U.S. governmental spending, in half. Repeat: in half. Close many of the hundreds of military bases that cover the globe. And now. We need that money at home for other things. Get mad, and demand it. Say it repeatedly. These blood-crazed violence creators are killing and murdering, making enemies wherever they go. Which is, of course, what they want: The Endless War.
We may not get our citizenry back to the levels of outrage that led to massive street demonstrations in the 60’s and 70’s, and eventually help wind down the Vietnam War. But we have to try, because not to do so makes us like Good Germans in the late 1930’s, and we all know how that worked out.
So embrace Godwin’s law. Call sheep-like Americans what they are, virtual Nazi supporters. Shock them, and try to make them think. We gotta try.
It may be our last chance to do so.
(Note: Mike Godwin was not consulted during the writing of this article, and this article does not purport to accurately express his personal views in any way on this topic or any other.)
Kyle K. Mann