Sixty-Six Years Later; The Unlearnt Lesson!
The soldiers hear that Hitler has been killed and there is a somewhat stunned, somewhat confused pause. Then one of the soldiers ask the question that everyone is wondering: “Is the war over?”
The answer, of course, is “No.”
Still, there was a feeling of, the tide has turned.
Not being a professional historian, I embark on the following composition with ridiculing levels of bravery and fortitude. The task at hand?…to illuminate on the death of Osama bin Laden but perhaps furthermore to shed light on the sheer brilliance exhibited by the infamous comparison drawn between that of Adolf Hitler and Osama bin Laden.
In their new issue which hit stands Thursday May 5th, 2011, Time has emulated their famous cover from May 7th, 1945 with a similar picture marking the death of Osama Bin Laden…a bit of stretch? I think not…
Adolf Hitler, has been often cited (and perceived) to immaculately serve as a brand for violence and torture; a name that continues to ignite the brain of all those who re-visit his time of reign. Even after his demise present day academia continues to project forth the vitality behind Hitler’s strategic execution and success in instilling fear within the masses. Could it be that some sense of glory and praise is exhibited when considering such academic formulations surrounding the existence and governance of Adolf Hitler?
Adolf Hitler or the incarnation of absolute evil; this is how generations will reflect on the all-powerful Führer of the criminal Third Reich. When compared, his peers Mussolini and Franco were novices. Under his hypnotic gaze, humanity migrated towards a threshold from which one could see the abyss.
When considering Osama Bin Laden he terrorized his adversaries, he knew how to please, impress and charm the very interlocutors from whom he wanted support (very much like Hitler). Diplomats and journalists insist as much on his charm as they do on his temper tantrums. Osama’s political and strategic ambitions have created a dividing line within this turbulent and tormented century which in itself is undeniable: there is a before and an after however. By the breadth of his crimes, which have attained a quasi-ontological dimension, he surpasses all his predecessors (almost).
To further continue, President Obama, in his address to the international community (confirming Osama Bin Laden’s death) provided an operative platform for his audiences to reflect on any imagery that could/can be related to that of the times of Hitler and Bin Laden. If one continues to operate on such a spectrum can it be suggested that Obama’s address confirms the very notion of a) The United States of America inevitably confirming to its fear of the symbol of that of Osama Bin Laden and b) that because the USA’s role in World War II was jingoistic in nature that in fact their role in the War against Terror (and specifically against Osama Bin Laden) was indeed pugnacious yet again?!
There are paramount differences however when considering the role of the US in the War against Terror and that of Hitler’s time. The US did not provide Hitler with weapons to fight. Osama Bin Laden never came close to genocide, the freedoms ‘lost’ through this process (or as some would put it the ones Bin Laden took away) will still be lacking and most important (for all imperialist bafoons hold your breath as the following might give you a nose bleed) Al – Qaeda is not done-yet!
On the topic of evil charisma (as so many put it) former New Jersey Governor Tom Kean, who was the co-chairman of the 9/11 commission said “I viewed him as a charismatic figure,” in an interview with New Jersey Network.
Mark Stern, professor emeritus of Iona College in New York and an expert in the psychology of evil and Messianic figures, believes bin Laden was similar yet difference from other evil charismatics, such as Adolph Hitler.
“He had more of a political world view — more like a desire to save the world than to destroy it and rebuild it in his image,” said Stern.
He was a “witness” to the fundamental cause. “The message found him,” said Stern. “He didn’t find the message.”
Former President George W. Bush called them the “evil-doers” — who wield mesmerizing power over their devoted followers and often possess qualities of grandiosity and charisma becoming agents of influence.
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel ruminated on the same question when he analyzed Hitler: “How did this unstable paranoid find it within himself to impose gigantic hope as an immutable ideal that motivated his nation almost until the end?”
“The fact is that Hitler was beloved by his people…who pledged to him affection, a tenderness and a fidelity that bordered on the irrational. Osama bin Laden was no different”
The Osama Bin Laden fiasco has become nothing more than an exhaustive list of avenues being resorted to for the perpetuation of ignorance amongst the masses and that of the ‘informed’ reader.
After over a decade-long search, the Obama administration is pompous over the murder of the Western world’s most wanted terrorist, Osama bin Laden, making him the third Reagan-supported criminal (after Saddam Hussein and Augusto Pinochet) to die since the turn of this century. As the United States gloats over the death of its staunchest enemy and steals the world media’s attention from the bloody protests in Syria and Yemen, the crackdown of the Israeli Blockade on Gaza, the flourishing of 21st century fascism and erosion of children/women rights in the Middle East (alluding to a very few of course!)
I end with the words of Mark Stern.
…Thousands will succeed him.”