Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Keep CounterPunch ad free. Support our annual fund drive today!

Germany Shows the Way

by Wayne Madsen

Ironically, it is Germany that has pointedly shown the rest of the world that George W. Bush’s march to war and attendant post-9/11 totalitarian trends in the world can be blocked through an election process. The German Red-Green coalition fought off a challenge by Christian Democrat leader Edmund Stoiber of Bavaria, a right-wing bastion, which like many southern American states, is a home to intolerance, bigotry, xenophobia, and right-wing fanatical politicians. Stoiber even announced that if his party won, Germany wanted a final financial settlement from the Czech Republic for post-war German refugees from Sudetenland! (Yes, you are reading this correctly, it is the same parcel of territory that the Nazis used as justification to invade Czechoslovakia in 1938). The election success of Germany’s Social Democrat/Green coalition follows by weeks the election victory by Sweden’s Social Democrats. Democrats, moderate Republicans, and Greens in the United States should take heart from Germany and Sweden. The Bush-Rove attempt to capitalize on a future war with Iraq should mobilize progressives to turn out the vote in November and defeat the White House’s attempt to take the Senate, keep the House, pack the Supreme Court with fanatic fundamentalists, and further erode the Constitution of the United States.

However, Germany’s popular veto of American policy was not without its victims. After his thin election victory, German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder announced that his Justice Minister Herta Daeubler-Gmelin would not be back in his cabinet (although she will thankfully remain in the Bundestag). In an earlier campaign speech, Daeubler-Gmelin had likened Bush’s policies to those of Adolf Hitler. That incurred the wrath of Bush’s senior lieutenants, including the Soviet Union expert and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Of course, Rice’s ability to comprehend and analyze the post-Cold War world is problematic. As one Washington foreign policy sage put it, “having a Soviet expert as National Security Adviser is about as effective as having an expert on the Byzantine or Holy Roman Empires in that job.”

What happened to Daeubler-Gmelin was not much different than what befell Georgia Representative Cynthia McKinney. Last April, McKinney questioned what Bush knew about the September 11 terrorist attack beforehand. Not surprisingly, she was pilloried by the right-wing. However, McKinney was also left defenseless by fellow Democrats. But with the release of the much-awaited Senate-House Joint Intelligence Committee Staff Statement, McKinney has been vindicated. The bi-partisan committee concluded that one of the highest classified items of information still being withheld from the committee is Bush’s pre-knowledge of the 9/11 attack: “the President’s knowledge of intelligence information relevant to this Inquiry remains classified even when the substance of that information has been declassified.”

Daeubler-Gmelin’s job as Justice Minister gave her deep insight into the future plans of Bush and his fascistic Attorney General John Ashcroft. As Justice Minister, Daeubler-Gmelin has been intimately involved with Washington’s global plans for controlling the Internet; monitoring e-mail communications; and sharing intelligence on political, religious and social rights groups. These discussions, which have included Daeubler-Gmelin, have taken place between Justice and Interior Ministers under the aegis of the Group of Eight (G8) countries. The United States will soon have an Interior Minister at future meetings in the guise of the Secretary of Homeland Security. Daeubler-Gmelin had a front row seat in the discussions that will lead to Bush’s Orwellian and Kafkaesque “New World Order.” So when she likened Bush’s war rhetoric to that of Hitler’s, she had a unique insight. When Bush announced in his new national security strategy that the United States reserved the right to launch pre-emptive attacks on adversaries who threaten U.S. interests, Daeubler-Gmelin can be forgiven if she thought the rhetoric sounded like that from the dais of the Reichstag in 1938. After all, Hitler said Germany attacked defenseless Poland in 1939 because the Poles had “attacked” a German border outpost and Germany had to prevent a pre-emptive “Polish invasion,” Germany’s ally, Japan, used such reasoning in its attack on Pearl Harbor. It reasoned a pre-emptive attack on the American Pacific Fleet would give it time to consolidate its hold on its East Asian “Co-Prosperity Sphere,” Japan’s version of the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Daeubler-Gmelin’s comments were vilified just as those of Canadian Prime Minister’s comments about Western “greed”(e.g., Bush’s Big Oil friends) being responsible for breeding the type of anti-Western hatred that resulted in the September 11 attack. What the right-wing wants in the world is the same kind of self-censorship that people in Nazi Germany imposed upon themselves. It is absolutely true that Bush wants to rattle sabers to get the minds of Americans off of a shattered economy, ballooning deficits, Enron, and the “disappeared” being held incommunicado by Ashcroft’s Gestapo. The only problem with likening Bush to Hitler is that such a comparison might unfair to Hitler. Adolf Hitler wrote a book whereas it can be argued whether Bush ever completely read one.

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.

Madsen can be reached at:


More articles by:

2016 Fund Drive
Smart. Fierce. Uncompromised. Support CounterPunch Now!

  • cp-store
  • donate paypal

CounterPunch Magazine


Weekend Edition
October 21, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Wight
Hillary Clinton and the Brutal Murder of Qaddafi
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Trump’s Naked and Hillary’s Dead
John W. Whitehead
American Psycho: Sex, Lies and Politics Add Up to a Terrifying Election Season
Patrick Cockburn
13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future
Pepe Escobar
The Aleppo / Mosul Riddle
David Rosen
The War on Drugs is a Racket
Sami Siegelbaum
Once More, the Value of the Humanities
Mark Hand
Of Pipelines and Protest Pens: When the Press Loses Its Shield
Michael Hudson
The Return of the Repressed Critique of Rentiers: Veblen in the 21st century Rentier Capitalism
Brian Cloughley
Drumbeats of Anti-Russia Confrontation From Washington to London
Howard Lisnoff
Still Licking Our Wounds and Hoping for Change
Brian Gruber
Iraq: There Is No State
Peter Lee
Trump: We Wish the Problem Was Fascism
Steve Early
In Bay Area Refinery Town: Berniecrats & Clintonites Clash Over Rent Control
Peter Linebaugh
Ron Suny and the Marxist Commune: a Note
Andre Vltchek
Sudan, Africa and the Mosaic of Horrors
Keith Binkly
The Russians Have Been Hacking Us For Years, Why Is It a Crisis Now?
Jonathan Cook
Adam Curtis: Another Manager of Perceptions
Ted Dace
The Fall
Cathy Breen
“Today Is One of the Heaviest Days of My Life”
Susana Hurlich
Hurricane Matthew: an Overview of the Damages in Cuba
Dave Lindorff
Screwing With and Screwing the Elderly and Disabled
Chandra Muzaffar
Cuba: Rejecting Sanctions, Sending a Message
Dennis Kucinich
War or Peace?
Kristine Mattis
All Solutions are Inadequate: Why It Doesn’t Matter If Politicians Mention Climate Change
Jack Rasmus
Behind The 3rd US Presidential Debate—What’s Coming in 2017
Ron Jacobs
A Theory of Despair?
Gilbert Mercier
Globalist Clinton: Clear and Present Danger to World Peace
James A Haught
Many Struggles Won Religious Freedom
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Dear Fellow Gen Xers: Let’s Step Aside for the Millennials
Winslow Myers
Christopher Brauchli
Wonder Woman at the UN
James McEnteer
Art of the Feel
Lee Ballinger
Tupac: Holler If You Hear Him
Charles R. Larson
Review: Sjón’s “Moonstone: the Boy Who Never Was”
October 20, 2016
Eric Draitser
Syria and the Left: Time to Break the Silence
Jeffrey St. Clair
Extreme Unction: Illusions of Democracy in Vegas
Binoy Kampmark
Digital Information Warfare: WikiLeaks, Assange and the US Presidential Elections
Jonathan Cook
Israel’s Bogus History Lesson
Bruce Mastron
Killing the Messenger, Again
Anthony DiMaggio
Lesser Evil Voting and Prospects for a Progressive Third Party
Ramzy Baroud
The Many ‘Truths’ on Syria: How Our Rivalry Has Destroyed a Country
David Rosen
Was Bill Clinton the Most Sexist President?
Laura Carlsen
Plan Colombia, Permanent War and the No Vote
Aidan O'Brien
Mao: Monster or Model?