Comment on column on GWB's mental state
From: Sherwood Ross
Sent: Tuesday, December 12, 2006 10:45 PM
Subject: Response to your column on GWB's mental state
December 12, 2006
Dear Dean Velvel, pardon the long-winded comment inspired by your column. -- Sherwood
Your column questioning the sanity of George Bush is appropriate. Too often, those who support dictators do not recognize the man they admire is mentally unbalanced. Americans in the 1930s would listen to radio news excerpts of Hitler's rantings and think "that guy's crazy." They didn't understand Hitler's words made good sense to millions of his followers.
He was telling his public what many Germans wanted to hear: how Germany had been victimized in the peace settlement after World War I; how the German army could have gone on fighting except that it was "sold out" by the Socialists and Jews behind the lines. What Americans referred to as Hitler's "ranting," German listeners regarded as oratorical drama. Hitler's racial theories sound crazy to Americans today but Hitler was articulating what many Europeans, including large numbers of British and French, thought at the time. And what millions of Americans also believed at the time, and practiced. Anti-semitism had been virulent in Europe for centuries before Hitler. At the pulpit of a misguided minister it had but limited impact. In the damaged brain of a man who had been gassed and subjected to years of trauma in the trenches during World War One, it was a fixation that would become the "final solution." The brain-damaged politician may appear quite sane; he can be conversational and plausible in private yet fiery in public and his true believers will perceive him as dynamic. He can appear not to be too militant when campaigning for office, but once elected he will press his psychotic schemes forward. Recall that when Hitler became Chancellor in 1933 he did not immediately move to destroy Germany's Jewish population; he bided his time. Only after his dictatorial powers were consolidated, did Hitler carry out his plans to wipe out German Jewry. How was it that Americans could listen to Hitler and grasp he was a madman yet Germans could not? Is it possible that in the last two presidential elections much of the world could listen to the words of George W. Bush and recognize the man, like Hitler, was also brain-damaged (from alcohol and substance abuse), but 50-million Americans or so only heard him articulating their own views? Did Bush give any signal to the public before he was elected in 2000 that he intended to make war on Iraq? Yet some students of the president say he and his inner circle had long plotted the attack. Like Hitler, Bush did not give his plans away.
Those who believe a comparison between Hitler and George Bush is far-fetched might recall that, after six years in office, Hitler had wiped out 70,000 Poles. (He claimed in 1939 Poland attacked first, a lie; just as Bush claimed Hussein had WMD, also a lie.) It is characteristic of mentally unbalanced individuals to lie frequently and perhaps so often they can no longer tell truth from fiction. Bush has killed at least as many Iraqis as Hitler killed Poles, and perhaps as many as 600,000, depending on whose figures you accept. If Bush is not impeached and makes nuclear war against Iran, as he has threatened, the death toll during his term of office could reach millions, as the nuclear residue in the Middle East is carried by the winds around the world. Unfortunately for Americans, the president now has suffered rejection after rejection, deepening those feelings of inferiority long recognized in him by his own family, and he has become increasingly isolated. This is disturbing in a man who evinces little concern for others, as his stage appearance in New Orleans revealed. Hitler, of course, had no concern for others. He allowed teen age boys in 1945 to stand up to the Soviet tanks rolling into Berlin, just as Bush lets the bravest of American youth die every day in Iraq.
The United States of America has not been in such trouble ever before in its history because there is a mentally distressed individual in the White House possessing dictatorial powers conferred on him by Congress who has lost sight of any moral compass. Americans should recognize dictatorship does not necessarily appear in the same form in succeeding generations. Hitler went to war for "living room." A more sophisticated George W. Bush made his oil grab under the cloak of bringing "democracy" to Iraq even as he has aroused every civil liberties group in America for stripping our citizens of their inalienable rights. One business executive I respect who knows George W. Bush personally, and supports the Iraq war, told me what a wonderful man his friend the president is. Hitler, too had his admirers in the business community--- at first. That's because insanity can take many forms and have many levels of severity, and it may not be readily apparent. In sum, both Hitler and our president have experienced brain damage. That did not prevent either of them from being widely admired by their people. Perhaps the most ominous difference between them is that Hitler did not have his finger on the nuclear trigger. George Bush does and he has threatened to use it against Iran, an "evil" nation that spends $4-billion annually on arms, compared to our $400-billion and is threatening us by attempting to make one atomic bomb when we have 30,000. Is this the ranting of a lunatic or not? And, if it is, what are we, the people, going to do about it?