Skip to comments.Condi's Phony History
Posted on 09/04/2003 8:50:03 PM PDT by Burkeman1
As American post-conflict combat deaths in Iraq overtook the wartime number, the administration counseled patience. "The war on terror is a test of our strength. It is a test of our perseverance, our patience, and our will," President Bush told an American Legion convention.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice embellished the message with what former White House speechwriters immediately recognize as a greatest-generation pander. "There is an understandable tendency to look back on America's experience in postwar Germany and see only the successes," she told the Veterans of Foreign Wars in San Antonio, Texas, on Aug. 25. "But as some of you here today surely remember, the road we traveled was very difficult. 1945 through 1947 was an especially challenging period. Germany was not immediately stable or prosperous. SS officerscalled 'werewolves'engaged in sabotage and attacked both coalition forces and those locals cooperating with themmuch like today's Baathist and Fedayeen remnants."
Speaking to the same group on the same day, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld noted,
One group of those dead-enders was known as "werewolves." They and other Nazi regime remnants targeted Allied soldiers, and they targeted Germans who cooperated with the Allied forces. Mayors were assassinated including the American-appointed mayor of Aachen, the first major German city to be liberated. Children as young as 10 were used as snipers, radio broadcasts, and leaflets warned Germans not to collaborate with the Allies. They plotted sabotage of factories, power plants, rail lines. They blew up police stations and government buildings, and they destroyed stocks of art and antiques that were stored by the Berlin Museum. Does this sound familiar?
Well, no, it doesn't. The Rice-Rumsfeld depiction of the Allied occupation of Germany is a farrago of fiction and a few meager facts.
Werwolf tales have been a favorite of schlock novels, but the reality bore no resemblance to Iraq today. As Antony Beevor observes in The Fall of Berlin 1945, the Nazis began creating Werwolf as a resistance organization in September 1944. "In theory, the training programmes covered sabotage using tins of Heinz oxtail soup packed with plastic explosive and detonated with captured British time pencils," Beevor writes. " Werwolf recruits were taught to kill sentries with a slip-knotted garrotte about a metre long or a Walther pistol with silencer. "
In practice, Werwolf amounted to next to nothing. The mayor of Aachen was assassinated on March 25, 1945, on Himmler's orders. This was not a nice thing to do, but it happened before the May 7 Nazi surrender at Reims. It's hardly surprising that Berlin sought to undermine the American occupation before the war was over. And as the U.S. Army's official history, The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946, points out, the killing was "probably the Werwolf's most sensational achievement."
(Excerpt) Read more at slate.msn.com ...
Other than that, I agree with you that there's no parallel between the de-Nazification of Germany and the de-Ba'athification of Iraq. After all the Iraqis don't speak German. Is that your point?
Did I miss Saddam's formal surrender, or that of any Baa'th official acting for the regime? And of course Post WW-II Germany had no counterpart of the hordes of "foreign" Jihadies who have streamed into Iraq after the majority of the conventional combat action was over, not to mention large numbers of them already in the country at that point. They are our enemies as surely as Saddam and were before the liberation of the Iraqi people.
Beside the fact that the Iraqis didn't do anything deserving invasion and the Germans did? No, not a difference at all.
The Germans had just engaged in an all out war that very well if they had won, would have changed the face of Europe immediately and presented a direct and present threat to these United States. Putting aside the fact that the atmosphere that allowed the rise of Hitler was created by Wilson, to occupy Germany could be argued was in defense of our nation of states. What were the Iraqis going to do, a year from now, five years from now, even ten years from now? Throw bags of beans at us from thousands of miles away? This all war, all the time is getting old. And the PNAC's holy quest to 'spread democracy' is not outlined in the Constitution. It may be in Irving's version, but not any version I've ever read. And not in any version you have either
History TodayOct, 2000Minutemen of the Third Reich.(history of the Nazi Werewolf guerilla movement)
Author/s: Perry Biddiscombe
AS WORRIES INCREASE about neo-Nazi and skinhead violence in Germany, it is worth remembering that this type of terrorism is a nasty constant in the history of the German radical-right. A case in point is the Nazi Werewolf guerrilla movement founded by Heinrich Himmler in 1044, which fought the occupying forces of Britain, America and Russia until at least 1047.
The Werewolves were originally organised by the SS and the Hitler Youth as a diversionary operation on the fringes of the Third Reich, which were occupied by the Western Allies and the Soviets in the autumn of 1944. Some 5,000 -- 6,000 recruits were raised by the winter of 1944-45, but numbers rose considerably in the following spring when the Nazi Party and the Propaganda Ministry launched a popular call to arms, beseeching everybody in the occupied areas -- even women and children -- to launch themselves upon the enemy. In typical Nazi fashion, this expansion was not co-ordinated by the relevant bodies, which were instead involved in a bureaucratic war among themselves over control of the project. The result was that the movement functioned on two largely unrelated levels: the first as a real force of specially trained SS, Hitler Youth and Nazi Party guerrillas; the second as an outlet for casual violence by fanatics.
The Werewolves specialised in ambushes and sniping, and took the lives of many Allied and Soviet soldiers and officers -- perhaps even that of the first Soviet commandant of Berlin, General N.E. Berzarin, who was rumoured to have been waylaid in Charlottenburg during an incident in June 1945. Buildings housing Allied and Soviet staffs were favourite targets for Werewolf bombings; an explosion in the Bremen police headquarters, also in June 1945, killed five Americans and thirty-nine Germans. Techniques for harassing the occupiers were given widespread publicity through Werewolf leaflets and radio propaganda, and long after May 1945 the sabotage methods promoted by the Werewolves were still being used against the occupying powers.
Although the Werewolves originally limited themselves to guerrilla warfare with the invading armies, they soon began to undertake scorched-earth measures and vigilante actions against German `collaborators' or `defeatists'. They damaged Germany's economic infrastructure, already battered by Allied bombing and ground fighting, and tried to prevent anything of value from falling into enemy hands. Attempts to blow up factories, power plants or waterworks occasionally provoked melees between Werewolves and desperate German workers trying to save the physical basis of their employment, particularly in the Ruhr and Upper Silesia.
Several sprees of vandalism through stocks of art and antiques, stored by the Berlin Museum in a flak tower at Friedrichshain, caused millions of dollars worth of damage and cultural losses of inestimable value. In addition, vigilante attacks caused the deaths of a number of small-town mayors and, in late March 1945, a Werewolf paratroop squad assassinated the Lord Mayor of Aachen, Dr Franz Oppenhoff, probably the most prominent German statesman to have emerged in the occupied fringes over the winter of 1944-45. This spate of killings, part of a larger Nazi terror campaign that consumed the Third Reich after the failed anti-Hitler putsch of July 20th, 1944, can be interpreted as a psychological retreat back into opposition, even while Nazi leaders were still clinging to their last few months of power.
Although the Werewolves managed to make themselves a nuisance to small Allied and Soviet units, they failed to stop or delay the invasion and occupation of Germany, and did not succeed in rousing the population into widespread opposition to the new order. The SS and Hitler Youth organisations at the core of the Werewolf movement were poorly led, short of supplies and weapons, and crippled by infighting. Their mandate was a conservative one of tactical harassment, at least until the final days of the war, and even when they did begin to envision the possibility of an underground resistance that could survive the Third Reich's collapse, they had to contend with widespread civilian war-weariness and fear of enemy reprisals. In Western Germany, no one wanted to do anything that would diminish the pace of Anglo-American advance and possibly thereby allow the Red Army to push further westward.
Despite its failure, however, the Werewolf project had a huge impact, widening the psychological and spiritual gap between Germans and their occupiers. Werewolf killings and intimidation of `collaborators' scared almost everybody, giving German civilians a clear glimpse into the nihilistic heart of Nazism. It was difficult for people working under threat of such violence to devote themselves unreservedly to the initial tasks of reconstruction. Worse still, the Allies and Soviets reacted to the movement with extremely tough controls, curtailing the right of assembly of German civilians. Challenges of any sort were met by collective reprisals -- especially on the part of the Soviets and the French. In a few cases the occupiers even shot hostages and cleared out towns where instances of sabotage occurred. It was standard practice for the Soviets to destroy whole communities if they faced a single act of resistance. In the eastern fringes of the `Greater Reich', now annexed by the Poles and the Czechoslovaks, Werewolf harassment handed the new authorities an excuse to rush the deportations of millions of ethnic Germans to occupied Germany.
Such policies were understandable, but they created an unbridgeable gulf between the German people and the occupation forces who had pledged to impose essential reforms. It was hard, in such conditions, for the occupiers to encourage reform, and even harder to persuade the Germans that it was necessary.
By the time that this rough opposition to the occupation had started to soften, the Cold War was under way and reform became equally difficult to implement. As a result, both German states created in 1949 were not so dissimilar to their predecessor as might have been hoped, and changes in attitudes and institutions developed only slowly. Thanks partly to the Werewolves there was no German revolution in 1945, either imposed from above or generated from below.
You can either learn your history, or you can STFU, mister.
All of the doom & gloomers who would rather gather in a circle and do their best to figure out why the Islamofacist hate us and what we should do to make them like us, should suit up and head to Iraq and show us how the occupation of Iraq should be handled, instead of carping on the sidelines like little flea infested ankle biters.
The point of the remarks by Condi and Rumsfeld is not to make a direct comparison, but to point out that ousting a brutal terrorist regime as well as laying the ground work for a future represenative form of government is not something that happens overnite or comes without a cost. Even a brain dead liberal should be able to grasp that reality.
Freedom isn't free and our freedom is under attack by Radical Islam. If we don't take this war to them, it will come to us.
Also, I thought of another exact parallel between then and now. Hitler killed himself in May, 1945. But there was no ironclad proof of that until December, 1945. All those months, most Germans believed that Hitler was still alive and leading the resistance, and General Eisenhower was under a standing Order to "capture Hitler." Sounds sort of like the Saddam situation in Iraq, right now. You think?
As for the justification for the Iraq War, this President asked for and got a declaration of war from the Congress, as the Constitution requires. Feel free to claim that Congress was wrong -- John Kerry, who voted for the Resolution, is now claiming that it was wrong. But don't pretend that it never happened.