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Posted Friday, November 28, 2003

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Friday, November 28, 2003

Hitler in Paris, Bush in Baghdad: Comparisons

by Eric Mueller

MuellerTHE contrast between George Bush's two-hour secret trip to occupied Baghdad in November 2003 and Adolf Hitler's visit to occupied Paris in June 1940 invites some interesting comparisons.

President Bush was in Baghdad for only two and a half hours (or two, depending on the report one reads). His presence there wasn't announced until after he had left. He never took so much as a step outside the US-occupied airport which is also the main US airfield in occupied Iraq.

I don't imagine that Hitler's visit to France was widely publicised in advance among the French people either, but he does seem to have enjoyed something of a tour of the French capital.

I am not in any way raising this issue in order to contrast the personal courage of Hitler and Bush, which is a complex and minor issue, but to contrast the two occupations.

During and since World War II we who live in the Allied countries have been given to understand that the French populace loathed the Germans and of course Hitler worst of all of them.

Yet somehow that supposedly unspeakable and unique and incomparable "barbarity" and "brutality" of the Germans elicited among the French nothing of the sort of massive popular armed resistance and mass visceral outrage that the US forces and their president have aroused among Iraqis.

Hitler could visit occupied Paris and see the sights. Bush had to sneak in and out of US-occupied Baghdad and dared not stay more than two or three hours, or venture outside the armed airport -- not even guarded and accompanied by the most powerfully equipped army on earth.

click imageIf the German occupation of France has been portrayed as almost an archetype of oppression and evil, how must we regard, and how will future generations regard, the US occupation of Iraq?


Click Hitler image for further
comparison; but note that this
photo is NOT during his Paris trip

The above item is reproduced without editing other than typographical

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