I'm sorry, but I'm getting very annoyed by the comments on the two recent GWB articles on Gawker. I know a fundamental rule of comment sections is that invariably Hitler or the Nazis will be invoked at some point during an argument, but it's stupid and offensive.
Look, I'm no fan of Dubyah - Patriot Act, bans on stem cell research (which could, quite realistically, lead to a cure for a chronic disease that I suffer from), NCLB, continued bone-headed government promotion of abstinence only sex-ed, and so forth - but comparing him to Adolf Hitler because of the Iraq War is not only a betrayal of one's lazy intellect but also deeply, deeply offensive.
Yeah, I know 600,000 (maybe more) civilians and soldiers were killed as a result of Bush/Cheney's phoney war; I know Congress and the public were misled about WMDs; I know how the military-industrial complex got fat and the GOP got powerful because of the war-hawkishness.
I also know that over 6 million Jews, along with over 8 million Slavs, Romani , POWs, disabled persons, and homosexuals were murdered - not killed in war, not as collateral lives lost in a destabilised region, straight up murdered - because of one man's ideals. 25 million young men (and occasionally women) left their homes and took up arms and lost their lives in the war started by one man. At least 25 million innocent civilians were bombed, shot, burned, suffocated, poisoned, and starved to death in the war started by one man.
A whole race of people - including over 99% of all the Jews in Poland - were first segregated, then imprisoned, then murdered in accordance with the mechanised, calculated process of extermination, based on the ideals of one man. They were branded - first with yellow stars, then with numbers tattooed to their bodies - as unfit to live in the world envisaged by one man.
Every side - every combatant nation - had it's worst self exposed as they fought each other. The Japanese forces invaded and massacred and enslaved; UK air forces carpet bombed civilian centres as a form of psychological warfare; as the Red Army swept westward they torched towns and murdered prisoners; in the deadliest single day of the war, the US air force dropped 9,300 tonnes of bombs on Tokyo, with as many as 300,000 innocent civilians burned alive in the resulting inferno.
As the guns fell silent across the world, 85 million people lay dead. 4% of the world's population dead, because of the ideals of one man and his party. Poland lost 16% of its people, Germany lost 12%, Japan 4%, France 2%, the UK 1%. A whole generation of young men went off to war - many never made it home, and those who did bore the scars of death and destruction on their bodies and minds. Cities were scorched from the Earth, and Europe was divided for almost 50 years, during which time millions more people went to war or were arrested and shot or starved to death. All resulting from one man's vision and his ascension to power in 1933.
So the next time you decide to flippantly compare someone, even someone like George W. Bush, to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party, for the sake of an internet argument, think about what you are really comparing them to.