September 23, 2002

NEIN!: Gerhard Schroeder was unfortunately

NEIN!: Gerhard Schroeder was unfortunately re-elected Chancellor of Germany on Sunday, after a flap in which a top minister in his cabinet, Herta Daeubler-Gmelin, compared President Bush to Hitler. Schroeder then issued a ridiculous and embarassing non-apology-apology in which he denied that the minister had actually made the Hitler comparison, but that if she had, she'd be very sorry. She should be- how can any German draw a comparison between Hitler and the president of the nation which freed her country from Hitler? The "apology" was technically correct, however, because that minister never actually used the word "Hitler," but in fact referred to the fuhrer as "Adolf Nazi." That, if you ask me, is even worse than any malapropism Dubya has made since becoming President.
Unfortunately, it's not just far-off Germans who are comparing Bush to Hitler over the Iraq question. Even normally sensible "Schlock and Roll" cartoonist Ward Sutton gets in the act here. (Well, maybe he just looks sensible sharing the Village Voice's letters page with that lunatic Ted Rall). I mean, come on now- wasn't "Holocaust rhetoric" considered beyond the pale until very recently? And shouldn't the recent upsurge in worldwide anti-Semitism make people think twice about such argumentative cheap shots? Did the Supreme Court strike down Godwinn's Law when I wasn't looking?
Let's get a couple of things straight: whatever you think about George W. Bush personally or politically, and whatever you think about his foreign policy, he hasn't put people in concentration camps, he hasn't expressed his desire for a "pure" Aryan race, and he's not about to appoint himself dictator-for-life. And most importantly, he's never made any effort to commit genocide, which is more than I can say for Iraq. Or, for that matter, Germany.

Posted by Stephen Silver at September 23, 2002 02:37 AM
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