Sunday, November 19, 2023

Will the Next Adolf Hitler Please Stand Up: America's Peculiar Genocide Fetish from Manifest Destiny to the New Nakba

 Not to be rude but America really does love to get all hot and bothered about genocide. From the news to the Hill, there seems to be a constant hunt for the next big holocaust that only America can stop with all its omnipotent exceptionalism. Another "good war" to prove to the world that we're still really the good guys after all. With this quest in mind, every two-bit, tinpot despot seems to get hyped as the next Hitler on the brink of another Final Solution. Saddam Hussein must be stopped before he can gas the rest of the Kurds. Muammar Gaddafi must be stopped before he can turn Benghazi into Buchenwald. Bashar al-Assad must be stopped before Vladimir Putin must be stopped before Xi Jinping must be stopped... 

There are just so many goddamn Hitlers to be stopped and so little time. Just cut a fucking check to Raytheon already so we can save the world again! Don't get my sarcasm wrong, I'm not trying to say there aren't monsters out there. It just feels like certain Americans need a holocaust to stop a little too badly and all too often the result tends to be a lot of really stupid wars against over-hyped monsters that end up looking like rodents compared to the creatures we replace them with. And then there's Gaza.

Some 12,000 people annihilated in just over a month, most of them women and children. That is 1 out of every 200 people in the Gaza Strip or 0.5% of a population of 2.3 million impoverished people dead, wiped from the map in a blitzkrieg carpet bombing campaign that has reduced everything that moves in that tiny enclave to guts and rubble. Refugee camps, residential neighborhoods, apartment blocks, schools, bakeries, hospitals, mosques, churches... No target is off limits, and every last Palestinian is painted as a potential enemy of civilization. All while Benjamin Netanyahu, a flamboyantly racist gangster with an open disdain for democracy, consolidates his power and plots to push an entire race of people out into the wastelands of the Sinai Peninsula with a steam shovel or kill them trying.

Well, here it is America, here's your fucking holocaust giftwrapped like a holiday goose and complete with its very own Hitler and a clearly mapped out Final Solution. You wanna be the hero so goddamn badly? Here's your shot. Bibi's bombing babies and somebody needs to stop him before it's too late. We'll even let you wear the cape if it turns you on. 

There's just one little problem here. The campaign to erase Gaza from the face of the map may be the next big thing in genocide but it turns out that America-the-beautiful is the power behind the new Hitler making it happen. Every bomb, every bullet, every canister of white phosphorous that gasses the ghettos of Gaza comes directly from your pocket, and to make things even more confounding, all the usual assholes from the news to the Hill seem to be using the ghost of the Holocaust to justify committing another goddamn Holocaust.

The Israelis are Jews after all, and the Jews were the targets of genocide. There go, the Jews get to commit one free genocide against another stateless people even if they had nothing to do with the last genocide. By this bizarre logic, the Navajos should be allowed to wipe out the Basques and we should help them do it. It is a bastardly bewitching paradigm to fuck with but sadly, it is also far from a new one. In fact, this weird genocidal algebra is the voodoo that all modern western imperialism was built on.

An empire is an infernal machine that runs on a fuel called conquest and conquest requires two primary components to succeed, annihilation and justification. Nazi Germany and the original Hitler had the first in spades and they used America's conquest of the New World as a model for their plot to conquer the old one. Manifest Destiny was the first Reich, a savage campaign that successfully stole an entire hemisphere and turned that graveyard into a booming playground for a master race to reign over for a thousand years. 56 million indigenous people exterminated from Utqiagvik to Tierra del Fuego in just over a century flat.

This was the dream, the nightmare that Adolf Hitler aspired to. Contrary to popular mythology, there was nothing particularly special or even all that unusual about Nazi Germany. Fascism itself is just a colorful collection of excuses to elevate the state to take the place of God on the white man's mantle. The Third Reich was little more than an American copycat crime. Hitler just lacked the patience to pull it off. He tried to rush Manifest Destiny, killing 17 million civilians including about 6 million Jews in a decade before he could convince the world to let him get away with it. The Nazis failed because they committed their atrocities faster than they could justify them, which is half the game. 

America on the other hand succeeded because we used monsters like Hitler to justify our own atrocities. World War Two, the supposedly "good" war, became the template for this grift. America spent its first century and a half committing every single horror that Hitler copied twice and then we took our campaign global to stop him. With the fall of the Third Reich, America managed to reinvent itself as the only solution to every other final solution and it worked. 

It didn't matter that Hitler was actually done in by his fellow monster Stalin or that America vaporized entire cities like Dresden and Hiroshima just to steal his thunder, the mythology of America-the-indispensable-solution stuck and every time we get carried away with our latest massacre in Indochina or our latest quagmire in Babylon and our mask of sanity begins to slip, we just go right back to searching for another Hitler to stop.

All too often this quest has involved genocide too. America has used quisling thugs like Suharto and Muhammad bin Salman to slaughter over 200,000 people in East Timor and nearly 400,000 in Yemen, respectively. We wiped out entire tribes in Central America in the name of fighting communism, including 200,000 people in the tiny slave colony of Guatemala alone. And perhaps the sickest thing is that America has all too often used genocide to excuse genocide, whether we're killing Gypsy babushkas in Kosovo or starving half a million babies in Iraq.

Israel is just following our playbook because Israel is our playbook. The ovens of Auschwitz weren't even cool when we weaponized the anguish of the Jewish people and directed it at their fellow Semites in Palestine in order to build another European-style ethno-state on the doorstep of the Persian Gulf. And then there's Gaza. Sunrise, sunset.

America is right to seek the destruction of the next Hitler because as long as psychopaths have nation states and standing armies to hijack, there will always be another Hitler. But America doesn't need to travel far and wide to find him. They need only to search their bathroom mirrors. America is the next Hitler because America was the first Hitler, and we can put a stop to a thousand genocides from Papua New Guinea to the Gaza Strip just by bringing the war home and confronting the enemy within.

Peace, Love & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: songs that influenced this post

* We Care a Lot by Faith No More

* Nazi Punks Fuck Off by Dead Kennedys

* Youth Against Fascism by Sonic Youth

* Kick Out the Jams by the MC5

* Rambozo the Clown by Dead Kennedys

* Cult of Personality by Living Colour

* The American Ruse by the MC5

* I Against I by Bad Brains

* Wolf Like Me by TV On the Radio

*Problem with It by Plains

No comments:

Post a Comment