FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Our Ba’athists

by MICKEY Z.

“When the Second World War/came to an end/We forgave the Germans/And we were friends/Though they murdered six million/In the ovens they fried/The Germans now too/Have God on their side.” –Bob Dylan

In his inexhaustible quest to turn Operation Iraqi Freedom (sic) into another Good War, President (sic) Bush has taken a page from post-war Germany. As reported by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to the World Socialist Website (WSWS), the U.S. is installing former Ba’ath Party officials into positions of power throughout Iraq, i.e.

Zuhair Al-Noaime is Baghdad’s new police chief. Prior to this role, he joined the Iraqi police in 1966 and held the rank of general. According to the British Independent, the former informer networks of the Ba’athist political police, the Mukhabarat are now operating in Baghdad “neighborhood watches.” Fah Haran, the new mayor of the northern Iraqi town of Bayji, was a leading Ba’athist. Ghalib Kubba, appointed by the British to run Basra, is (according to the Los Angeles Times) “a partner of Uday Hussein [Saddam’s son]. It’s well known. All commercial people from the first class in Iraq, all of them are partners of Saddam Hussein.” “The Christian Science Monitor reported on April 21 that the Bush administration refused to endorse a proposal by exiled Iraqi lawyers for large-scale prosecution of Ba’athists” said James Conachy on the WSWS. A lawyer told the Monitor: “There is a bit of ambivalence [in the Bush administration] about moving ahead with it. There’s a fear that if they [the Iraqis] have an independent structure for the judiciary, it would interfere with political plans.”

Marine Lieutenant Colonel William Schafer summed up the situation for the Wall Street Journal: “You could say that everyone here worked for Saddam Hussein because if you didn’t, you didn’t survive. No one is totally clean, so you look at the levels of what people did.”

All this (and more) takes place as the U.S. media drones on about the successful model of German “de-Nazification.” To accept this premise, however, would be to ignore the fact that immediately upon the defeat of Germany, the United States went about recruiting Nazis to help with the next good war…against the USSR.

Besides higher profile criminals like Klaus Barbie and Reinhard Gehlen, some those “recruits” included: Alois Brunner (a.k.a. “Georg Fischer”): Sentenced to death (in abstensia) by the French government for crimes against humanity, he was known for his lack of compassion for Jewish children, labeling them “future terrorists” who must be murdered. SS officer Baron Otto von Bolschwing: A senior aide to the notorious Adolf Eichmann, von Bolschwing assisted in drawing up the SS’s “first comprehensive program for the systematic robbery of Europe’s Jews.” Under his orders, some of the many Jewish victims in a 1941 Bucharest pogrom were butchered in a meat packing plant, hung on hooks, and literally branded as “kosher meat,” while others-including a five-year-old girl-were skinned alive and left hanging by their feet like slaughtered livestock. Von Bolschwing himself stated that in 1945, “he volunteered his services to the Army CIC, which used him for interrogation and recruitment of other former Nazi intelligence officers.” SS Obersturmführer Robert Verbelen: Sentenced to death in abstentia for war crimes, including the torture of two U.S. Air Force pilots, after the war, Verbelen served in Vienna as a contract spy for the U.S. Army-which was completely aware of his background. Dr. Kurt Blome: The admitted leader of Nazi biological warfare research, a program that included experimentation on prisoners in concentration camps. In 1947, he was acquitted of crimes against humanity and then hired by the U.S. Army Chemical Corps “to conduct a new round of biological weapons research.” Dr. Arthur Rudolph: Blome’s colleague, Rudolph was accused “in sworn testimony at Nuremberg of committing atrocities at the Nazis’ underground rocket works near Nordhausen but was later given U.S. citizenship and a major role in the U.S. missile program.”

Investigative reporter Christopher Simpson explains another aspect of this model of “de-Nazification”: “Many leaders of Wall Street and of the U.S. foreign policy establishment had maintained close ties with their German counterparts since the 1920s, some having intermarried or shared investments. This went so far in the 1930s as the sale in New York of bonds whose proceeds helped finance the Aryanization of companies and real estate looted from German Jews…U.S. investment in Germany accelerated rapidly after Hitler came to power.” Such investment increased “by some 48.5 percent between 1929 and 1940, while declining sharply everywhere else in continental Europe.” These pre-war business liaisons carried right on over into the post-war tribunals. “The dominant faction of America’s establishment had always opposed bringing Germany’s elite to trial,” Simpson adds.

The impact these “former” Nazis had on shaping U.S. policy towards the USSR was vast. The number of humans who suffered and died because of the resultant Cold War is beyond calculation.

Today’s powerless and disenfranchised might wonder: What role will “former” Ba’athists play in the future of Iraq, the Middle East, and elsewhere?

MICKEY Z. is the author of The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet and an editor at Wide Angle. He can be reached at: mzx2@earthlink.net.

 

More articles by:

Mickey Z. is the author of 12 books, most recently Occupy this Book: Mickey Z. on Activism. Until the laws are changed or the power runs out, he can be found on the Web here. Anyone wishing to support his activist efforts can do so by making a donation here. This piece first appeared at World Trust News.  

November 21, 2017
Gregory Elich
What is Behind the Military Coup in Zimbabwe?
Louisa Willcox
Rising Grizzly Bear Deaths Raise Red Flag About Delisting
David Macaray
My Encounter With Charles Manson
Patrick Cockburn
The Greatest Threats to the Middle East are Jared Kushner and Mohammed bin Salman
Stephen Corry
OECD Fails to Recognize WWF Conservation Abuses
James Rothenberg
We All Know the Rich Don’t Need Tax Cuts
Elizabeth Keyes
Let There be a Benign Reason For Someone to be Crawling Through My Window at 3AM!
L. Ali Khan
The Merchant of Weapons
Thomas Knapp
How to Stop a Rogue President From Ordering a Nuclear First Strike
Lee Ballinger
Trump v. Marshawn Lynch
Michael Eisenscher
Donald Trump, Congress, and War with North Korea
Tom H. Hastings
Reckless
Franklin Lamb
Will Lebanon’s Economy Be Crippled?
Linn Washington Jr.
Forced Anthem Adherence Antithetical to Justice
Nicolas J S Davies
Why Do Civilians Become Combatants In Wars Against America?
November 20, 2017
T.J. Coles
Doomsday Scenarios: the UK’s Hair-Raising Admissions About the Prospect of Nuclear War and Accident
Peter Linebaugh
On the 800th Anniversary of the Charter of the Forest
Patrick Bond
Zimbabwe Witnessing an Elite Transition as Economic Meltdown Looms
Sheldon Richman
Assertions, Facts and CNN
Ben Debney
Plebiscites: Why Stop at One?
LV Filson
Yemen’s Collective Starvation: Where Money Can’t Buy Food, Water or Medicine
Thomas Knapp
Impeachment Theater, 2017 Edition
Binoy Kampmark
Trump in Asia
Curtis FJ Doebbler
COP23: Truth Without Consequences?
Louisa Willcox
Obesity in Bears: Vital and Beautiful
Deborah James
E-Commerce and the WTO
Ann Garrison
Burundi Defies the Imperial Criminal Court: an Interview with John Philpot
Robert Koehler
Trapped in ‘a Man’s World’
Stephen Cooper
Wiping the Stain of Capital Punishment Clean
Weekend Edition
November 17, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Thank an Anti-War Veteran
Andrew Levine
What’s Wrong With Bible Thumpers Nowadays?
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The CIA’s House of Horrors: the Abominable Dr. Gottlieb
Wendy Wolfson – Ken Levy
Why We Need to Take Animal Cruelty Much More Seriously
Mike Whitney
Brennan and Clapper: Elder Statesmen or Serial Fabricators?
David Rosen
Of Sex Abusers and Sex Offenders
Ryan LaMothe
A Christian Nation?
Dave Lindorff
Trump’s Finger on the Button: Why No President Should Have the Authority to Launch Nuclear Weapons
W. T. Whitney
A Bizarre US Pretext for Military Intrusion in South America
Deepak Tripathi
Sex, Lies and Incompetence: Britain’s Ruling Establishment in Crisis 
Howard Lisnoff
Who You’re Likely to Meet (and Not Meet) on a College Campus Today
Roy Morrison
Trump’s Excellent Asian Adventure
John W. Whitehead
Financial Tyranny
Ted Rall
How Society Makes Victimhood a No-Win Proposition
Jim Goodman
Stop Pretending the Estate Tax has Anything to do With Family Farmers
Thomas Klikauer
The Populism of Germany’s New Nazis
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail