Sections:

Article

Trump's Hitler and Mussolini models were there from the beginning of 'Make Germany (er., America) Great Again...' and teaching them shouldn't be censored now that Trump is 'President Elect'...

Donald Trump's Mussolini snarls and profiles were not accidental.As we've noted in the pages of substancenews.net from the beginning of the Donald Trump candidacy, the slogans and methods of the now President-Elect of the United States were in many ways modeled and borrowed from the fascists and Nazi battles for power in the 1920s and 1930s. From those Mussolini profiles that Donald Trump kept throwing for the TV cameras to the "Make America Great Again" nonsense reminiscent of the slogans of Adolf Hitler in the 1932 German election (restore Germany's glory, etc.) it was an eerie re-run. And part of its success was based on the weakness of the elites that were opposing it then and now.

Like his earlier models, Trump mastered a craven media, and also the "new media" of his era -- radio. Hitler and Mussolini dominated radio during the early 1930s (as did some other fascists in the USA) and consolidated their power through their attacks on independent reporting and news, while promoting news as propaganda. Now that a California teacher has been suspended for noting the obvious fascist roots of Trumpism (even while noting the differences between Italy in the 1920s and 1930s and Germany in the 1930s), it's worthwhile discussing some of the historical facts.

Although the anti-Semitic roots of Germany Nazism were there from the beginning (in the full version of Mein Kampf), there was a systematic attempt to undermine the anti-Semitism of Hitler's regime even into the late 1930s. An abridged copy of Mein Kampf was published in the USA, leaving out the anti-Semitic parts, as part of a campaign in the USA in the late 1930s to continue to portray Hitler as just a strong leader. When Alan Cranston, then a young reporter back from Germany, published the full Mein Kampf to counter the claims of Hitler's apologists, Cranston was sued -- by Hitler -- for copyright infringement! Like Donald Trump, Adolf Hitler was careful to protect his brand, and he won his case against Cranston. As a result, some in the USA continued to apologize for the Nazi regime into the 1940s. And some would say that one of Hitler's biggest mistakes was declaring was on the United States two days after the Roosevelt administration declared war on Japan following the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

The full story about how Hitler defended his brand in a U.S. court is worth reprinting here. So here is an article from the 1980s, by which time the man who infringed Hitler's copyright was a U.S. Senator.

Also worth noting is how Hitler had used a divide-and-conquer tactic even within his own ranks. After he was helped to national power by the "SA", he organized the "SS" as the new armed force within his party. They he had the SS murder the leaders of the SA. Likewise, Hitler continued to play one faction of the General Staff off against others, until it was too late for them. Penultimate, and very famously, he utilized that same tactic against the other European powers as he slowly took over other piece of the European map -- all the way to the infamous takeover of Czechslovakia after his supposed compromise with Britain's Neville Chamberlain.

Finally, there was the unexpected Hitler-Stalin pact that allowed the destruction of Poland and the actual beginning of the European war of World War II in 1939.

But Hitler was also "brand conscious." In fact, he was careful to protect his copyright rights to the profits from "Mein Kampf," even suing to keep an unauthorized unexpurgated version from appearing in the USA during the years he was trying to stop people in certain countries from reading directly his imperial and Anti-Semitic designs, all of which were made clear in Mein Kampf.

Parallels are not prophecy, but as early as the beginning of all this one former wife of Donald Trump had warned that he was not a man who "didn't read" (as is currently the meme), but a man who read very selectively. And one of those that Trump studied was Adolf Hitler.

Court Halted Dime Edition of 'Mein Kampf' : Cranston Tells How Hitler Sued Him and Won

February 14, 1988, by ANTHONY O. MILLER, by United Press International

WASHINGTON — Nearly 50 years ago, a failed Austrian artist sued an American reporter in a U.S. court for publishing his book. The author was Adolph Hitler, the book was "Mein Kampf" and the newsman was Alan Cranston.

Hitler won the lawsuit, went to war and ended his own life in a bunker in Berlin. Cranston lost the suit, quit journalism, went into politics and now--almost half a century later--is a Democrat representing California in the U.S. Senate.

In the summer of 1934, Cranston, then a junior at Stanford University, visited Munich and found himself in the same room with Hitler.

"I saw this man with a glazed look of power in his face," he recalled.

By 1939, Cranston had served as a foreign correspondent in Ethiopia, Italy and Germany for the International News Service. He returned to the United States, "intent upon getting into politics, if I could."

"I quit journalism," Cranston said in an interview, "because . . . I was too concerned about events unfolding in the world with Hitler and Mussolini to spend my life just recording such events. I'd rather be involved in the action."

Abridged English Edition

"Early in 1939, I was in Macy's bookstore in New York and I saw a big display of 'Mein Kampf' for sale--the English-language version, which I had never seen. I'd read the German-language version."

"Mein Kampf" (German for My Struggle ), was Hitler's rambling, raging plan for the Nazi domination of Europe.

"As I picked it up, I knew it wasn't the real book because it was much less weighty, it was much thinner. It turned out it had been edited so that a good bit that Hitler wrote was left out," including sections that showed Hitler's plan for the world.

To get out the truth, Cranston said, he conspired with a "friend, Amster Spiro, who was a Hearst (newspapers) editor" to publish "an anti-Nazi version of 'Mein Kampf.' " Unknown to them at the time, two other publishers were doing the same thing.

"I wrote this, dictated it (from Hitler's German text) in about eight days, to a battery of secretaries in a loft in Manhattan," recalled Cranston.

Transcriptionists' Alarm

"One of these secretaries (a young Jewish woman) apparently thought, 'My God, what am I mixed up in?' . . . . She went to the Anti-Defamation League (of B'nai B'rith)" and Benjamin R. Epstein, later to direct the ADL for 30 years, soon was poking around the loft, asking questions.

"I was shocked," Epstein said, that Spiro, also Jewish, was involved in publicizing Hitler.

Then Epstein met Cranston. "Once I realized he was really on our side," he said, "I opened our files and we worked very closely together" to produce the full text. They started their own company, Noram Publishing Co. Inc., to market the book.

"We have slashed Hitler's 270,000 words to 70,000," they declared in their forward, "but nothing important is omitted!" The 32-page tabloid edition, copyrighted in 1939, was a "Reader's Digest-like version (showing) the worst of Hitler," said Cranston. He noted that the book contained illustrations and notes showing Hitler's "propaganda and distortions."

"It sold half a million copies in 10 days," at 10 cents apiece, Cranston laughed.

Authorized Version Pending

Meanwhile, Hitler's authorized American publisher, Houghton Mifflin Co., was "going to pay him a royalty and . . . make money off the book" at $3 a copy. Cranston's book pledged: "Not 1 cent of royalty to Hitler," and said that all profits would go to help refugees from Hitler's Reich.

By January, 1939, "Mein Kampf" was a best-seller in Germany and had earned the pauper-turned-dictator, once rejected by Austrian art schools, about $3 million.

Early that year, Cranston recalled, "The people representing Hitler--in effect, because they had his copyright--sued us, because we were obviously undercutting their market." Houghton Mifflin also sued another American bootlegger of "Mein Kampf," Stackpole Sons Inc.

Hitler was legally a man without a country when he wrote "Mein Kampf." He had lost his Austrian citizenship in 1918 for serving in the German army during World War I, and did not take up German citizenship until 1932, two years before he took over Germany as chancellor.

The Stackpole Sons' lawyer told a federal judge that because Hitler was "stateless" when he wrote his book, under U.S. copyright law it was in the public domain and Hitler had no rights to defend.

Copyright Disputed

Cranston said that his Noram Publishing Co. made the same argument, also noting that their 10-cent tabloid was hardly competition for the yet-incomplete, $3 Houghton Mifflin hardback.

The trials were among the oddest in American jurisprudence. Their arguments set precedents and provoked a spate of stories in newspapers, popular magazines and legal journals.

In June, 1939, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that Stackpole Sons indeed had infringed on Hitler's copyright. In July, the U.S. District Court followed suit and ordered Cranston's bootleg press stopped.

"Then we had to throw away half a million copies," Cranston said, laughing. But the truth had gotten out.

While the wheels of U.S. justice turned, Nazi troops marched across Europe in the war Cranston had warned was sure to come.

The facts of history are always relevant, and may be more important than ever today.

But there are also major differences, and they need to be studied and shared with a younger generation that has been allowed to ignore history and instead substitute a kind of sociological reality for historical facts.

Today, however, I'm struck by the importance of the following essay from Nick Turse, so let's share:

It did happen here by Nick Turse

“So is he going to win?”

The question washed over me as I slumped in my hard plastic chair. I had passed the day walking through a town where most homes lay in ruins and human remains were strewn across a field, a day spent looking over my shoulder for soldiers and melting in the 110-degree heat. My mind was as spent as my body.

Under an inky sky ablaze with stars, the type of night you see only in the rural world, I looked toward the man who asked the question and half-shrugged. Everyone including me, I said, thought Donald Trump was going to flame out long ago. And he hadn’t. So what did I know?

At that point, I couldn’t bear to talk about it anymore, so the two of us sat speechless for a time. Finally, my companion looked back at me and broke his silence. “It can’t happen, can it?” he asked.

I had no answer then — March of this year — sitting in that ruined town in South Sudan.

I do now.

I thought about that March night as the election results rolled in, as the New York Times forecast showed Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency plummet from about 80% to less than 5%, while Trump’s fortunes skyrocketed by the minute.

As Clinton’s future in the Oval Office evaporated, leaving only a whiff of her stale dreams, I saw all the foreign-policy certainties, all the hawkish policies and military interventions, all the would-be bin Laden raids and drone strikes she’d preside over as commander-in-chief similarly vanish into the ether.

With her failed candidacy went the no-fly escalation in Syria that she was sure to pursue as president with the vigor she had applied to the disastrous Libyan intervention of 2011 while secretary of state. So, too, went her continued pursuit of the now-nameless war on terror, the attendant “gray-zone” conflicts — marked by small contingents of U.S. troops, drone strikes, and bombing campaigns — and all those munitions she would ship to Saudi Arabia for its war in Yemen.

As the life drained from Clinton’s candidacy, I saw her rabid pursuit of a new Cold War start to wither and Russo-phobic comparisons of Putin’s rickety Russian petro-state to Stalin’s Soviet Union begin to die. I saw the end, too, of her Iron Curtain-clouded vision of NATO, of her blind faith in an alliance more in line with 1957 than 2017.

As Clinton’s political fortunes collapsed, so did her Israel-Palestine policy — rooted in the fiction that American and Israeli security interests overlap — and her commitment to what was clearly an unworkable “peace process.” Just as, for domestic considerations, she would blindly support that Middle Eastern nuclear power, so was she likely to follow President Obama’s trillion-dollar path to modernizing America’s nuclear arsenal. All that, along with her sure-to-be-gargantuan military budget requests, were scattered to the winds by her ringing defeat.

The dismal tide As I watched CNN, Twitter, and the Times website, what came to mind was that March night in South Sudan, after that exchange about Donald Trump, when the camp went quiet and I dragged my reeking body from my tent to the “shower” — water in a plastic bucket that I had earlier pumped from a borehole. I picked my way across the camp with a flashlight so tiny it barely illuminated one step at a time. It was like driving at night without headlights, a sojourn into the unknown, a journey into an airless, enveloping darkness.

All that seemed certain suddenly wasn’t. What would come next was a mystery. That March night, I was trying to avoid falling into an open pit that was to serve as a shelter if shooting started near the camp. As election night proceeded, a potentially more dangerous abyss seemed to be opening in the darkness before me.

Clinton’s foreign policy future had been a certainty. Trump’s was another story entirely. He had, for instance, called for a raft of military spending: growing the Army and Marines to a ridiculous size, building a Navy to reach a seemingly arbitrary and budget-busting number of ships, creating a mammoth air armada of fighter jets, pouring money into a missile defense boondoggle, and recruiting a legion of (presumably overweight) hackers to wage cyber war.

All of it to be paid for by cutting unnamed waste, ending unspecified “federal programs,” or somehow conjuring up dollars from hither and yon. But was any of it serious? Was any of it true? Would President Trump actually make good on the promises of candidate Trump? Or would he simply bark “Wrong!” when somebody accused him of pledging to field an army of 540,000 active duty soldiers or build a Navy of 350 ships. Would Trump actually attempt to implement his plan to defeat ISIS — that is, “bomb the shit out of them” and then “take the oil” of Iraq? Or was that just the bellicose bluster of the campaign trail? Would he be the reckless hawk Clinton promised to be, waging wars like the Libyan intervention? Or would he follow the dictum of candidate Trump who said, “The current strategy of toppling regimes, with no plan for what to do the day after, only produces power vacuums that are filled by terrorists.”

Outgoing representative Randy Forbes of Virginia, a contender to be secretary of the Navy in the new administration, recently said that the president elect would employ “an international defense strategy that is driven by the Pentagon and not by the political National Security Council... Because if you look around the globe, over the last eight years, the National Security Council has been writing that. And find one country anywhere that we are better off than we were eight years [ago], you cannot find it.”

Such a plan might actually blunt armed adventurism, since it was war-weary military officials who reportedly pushed back against President Obama’s plans to escalate Iraq War 3.0. According to some Pentagon-watchers, a potentially hostile bureaucracy might also put the brakes on even fielding a national security team in a timely fashion.

While Wall Street investors seemed convinced that the president elect would be good for defense industry giants like Lockheed Martin and General Dynamics, whose stocks surged in the wake of Trump’s win, it’s unclear whether that indicates a belief in more armed conflicts or simply more bloated military spending.

Under President Obama, the United States has waged war in or carried out attacks on at least eight nations — Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, Libya, and Syria. A Clinton presidency promised more, perhaps markedly more, of the same — an attitude summed up in her infamous comment about the late Libyan autocrat Muammar Gaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died.” Trump advisor Senator Jeff Sessions said, “Trump does not believe in war. He sees war as bad, destructive, death and a wealth destruction.” Of course, Trump himself said he favors committing war crimes like torture and murder. He’s also suggested that he would risk war over the sort of naval provocations — like Iranian ships sailing close to U.S. vessels — that are currently met with nothing graver than warning shots. So there’s good reason to assume Trump will be a Clintonesque hawk or even worse, but some reason to believe — due to his propensity for lies, bluster, and backing down — that he could also turn out to be less bellicose.

Given his penchant for running businesses into the ground and for economic proposals expected to rack up trillions of dollars in debt, it’s possible that, in the end, Trump will inadvertently cripple the U.S. military. And given that the government is, in many ways, a national security state bonded with a mass of money and orbited by satellite departments and agencies of far lesser import, Trump could even kneecap the entire government. If so, what could be catastrophic for Americans — a battered, bankrupt United States — might, ironically, bode well for the wider world. In his victory speech, Trump struck a conciliatory note. “I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all Americans,” he intoned. “Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential.” This stood at odds with a year and a half of rancid rhetoric that was denounced far and wide as racist, sexist and xenophobic. That said, racism, sexism and xenophobia have long been embraced by American presidents — anti-immigrant presidents, presidents who oppressed, forcibly displaced, imprisoned, or killed their fellow men on the basis of race or ethnicity, presidents who were dismissive when it came to a woman’s right to vote, or even owned women outright.

Such behavior is wired into the DNA of the United States. Indeed, these traits form the bedrock of a land born of the twin evils of settler colonialism and slavery. Progress since — rights movements, strides toward equal protections under the law, even the notion of the arc of the moral universe bending toward justice — may not ultimately be linear or even lasting. The high-water mark of the American experiment may well have already been reached. Looking out from this city on a hill, it may soon be possible to glimpse the spot where the wave crested, before it ebbed and headed back out to sea. So much that was fought for with such bravery may be swept away in the dismal tide and drowned in the depths.

Or perhaps not.

What was dragged under may struggle to the surface. Castaways clinging to a lifeboat in the tempest may, one day, find themselves aboard a sea-splitting ship — its sails full, its many-hued flags flying, its decks teeming; its crew poised to thunder ashore, securing a new American beachhead.

We simply cannot know.

It can happen here That dark, sultry night in South Sudan, I thought a great deal about rights and oppression, about what happens when the worst impulses of men are stoked and sharpened, about what it means when a government turns on its own people. There, in that ruined town, young girls and women had been kidnapped and gang-raped with regularity; men and boys had been locked in a shipping container to wither and die; homes had been razed; corpses abandoned to snarling, scavenging hyenas; and skeletal remains left unburied. It was a horrorscape, a place of suffering almost beyond imagining, one that puts the problems of America’s “forgotten men and women” and their “economic disenfranchisement,” as well as the “rage many white working-class people feel” into perspective.

At the time, I told my questioner just what I thought a Hillary Clinton presidency might mean for America and the world: more saber-rattling, more drone strikes, more military interventions, among other things. Our just-ended election aborted those would-be wars, though Clinton’s legacy can still be seen, among other places, in the rubble of Iraq, the battered remains of Libya, and the faces of South Sudan’s child soldiers. Donald Trump has the opportunity to forge a new path, one that could be marked by bombast instead of bombs. If ever there was a politician with the ability to simply declare victory and go home — regardless of the facts on the ground — it’s him. Why go to war when you can simply say that you did, big league, and you won? The odds, of course, are against this. The United States has been embroiled in foreign military actions, almost continuously, since its birth and in 64 conflicts, large and small, according to the military, in the last century alone. It’s a country that, since 9/11, has been remarkably content to wage winless, endless wars with little debate or popular outcry. It’s a country in which Barack Obama won election, in large measure, due to dissatisfaction with the prior commander-in-chief’s signature war and then, after winning a Nobel Peace Prize and overseeing the withdrawal of troops from Iraq, reengaged in an updated version of that very same war — bequeathing it now to Donald J. Trump.

“This Trump. He’s a crazy man!” the African aid worker insisted to me that March night. “He says some things and you wonder: Are you going to be president? Really?” It turns out the answer is yes.

“It can’t happen, can it?” That question still echoes in my mind.

I know all the things that now can’t happen, Clinton’s wars among them. The Trump era looms ahead like a dark mystery, cold and hard. We may well be witnessing the rebirth of a bitter nation, the fruit of a land poisoned at its root by evils too fundamental to overcome; a country exceptional for its squandered gifts and forsaken providence, its shattered promises and moral squalor.

“It can’t happen, can it?”

Indeed, my friend, it just did.

Nick Turse is the managing editor of TomDispatch (where this article first appeared), a fellow at the Nation Institute, and a contributing writer for the Intercept. His book Tomorrow's Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa recently received an American Book Award. His latest book is Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan. His website is NickTurse.com.Reporting for this story was made possible through the generous support of Lannan Foundation.



Comments:

Add your own comment (all fields are necessary)

Substance readers:

You must give your first name and last name under "Name" when you post a comment at substancenews.net. We are not operating a blog and do not allow anonymous or pseudonymous comments. Our readers deserve to know who is commenting, just as they deserve to know the source of our news reports and analysis.

Please respect this, and also provide us with an accurate e-mail address.

Thank you,

The Editors of Substance

Your Name

Your Email

What's your comment about?

Your Comment

Please answer this to prove you're not a robot:

1 + 1 =