Ari Paul ratchets it up a notch, if such a thing were possible, in his column “U.S.A. uber allies,” in which he draws connections between the American right and the Nazi ideology of National Socialism. In it he skewers George W. Bush’s grandfather’s well documented connections to the Nazi government, and comments on the more totalitarian implications of the protestant work ethic:
“… Grand-papa Bush, Prescott’s, and papa Bush, George Herbert Walker’s, Union Banking Corp. was guilty of trading with Nazi Germany in 1942, and took some hard hits from the Federal Government for its treason. But it came out on top eventually. Years later, the Bushes would secure a fortune through financial ties to many Nazi institutions, like IG Farben, who supplied the regime with death gas.
Fordian capitalism fused with America’s Protestant work ethic has created a culture that forces us to put our work before everything else, and we are taught that nothing but a devotion to hard labor and seeking its rewards is what separates the happy from the miserable, the winners from the losers. It sounds almost too much like the proverb, “Work shall make you free,” which was inscribed on the gates of the Nazi death camp Auschwitz. …”
Although I think the whole effort could been made better from quoting the U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in Korematsu v. United States upholding the U.S. government’s detention of 400,000 innocent Japanese Americans in detention facilities. Yes, in American jurisprudence you can be punished for not showing up at a “relocation center.” I’m sure these words would ring ominous to Paul:
” … It is said that we are dealing here with the case of imprisonment of a citizen in a concentration camp solely because of his ancestry, without evidence or inquiry concerning his loyalty and good disposition towards the United States. Our task would be simple, our duty clear, were this a case involving the imprisonment of a loyal citizen in a concentration camp because of racial prejudice. Regardless of the true nature of the assembly and relocation centers — and we deem it unjustifiable to call them concentration camps with all the ugly connotations that term implies — we are dealing specifically with nothing but an exclusion order. To cast this case into outlines of racial prejudice, without reference to the real military dangers which were presented, merely confuses the issue. Korematsu was not excluded from the Military Area because of hostility to him or his race. He was excluded because we are at war with the Japanese Empire, because the properly constituted military authorities feared an invasion of our West Coast and felt constrained to take proper security measures, because they decided that the military urgency of the situation demanded that all citizens of Japanese ancestry be segregated from the West Coast temporarily, and finally, because Congress, reposing its confidence in this time of war in our military leaders — as inevitably it must — determined that they should have the power to do just this. There was evidence of disloyalty on the part of some, the military authorities considered that the need for action was great, and time was short. We cannot — by availing ourselves of the calm perspective of hindsight — now say that at that time these actions were unjustified. … “
Sounds familiar: hundreds of arab men from a select list of countries have been rounded up, detained, and expelled, in the name of ‘national security,’ and the authorities deny it’s racial or ethnic discrimination. I suppose it doesn’t matter to them the 9/11 attackers did their plotting in Germany, the shoe bomber was a British citizen, or the fact that Bin Lauden’s cohorts include a number of American citizens, including John Walker Lindh.