Home                                                           Weblog

Guy Herron <gherron@xmission.com> wrote:
Waiting for the Next Reichstag Fire

  On February 22 1933 a deranged communist, Marinus van der Lubbe, 24, from Holland attempted to strike a blow against capitalism by burning down the German Reichstag.  German Chancellor Adolph Hitler’s SA agents knew about his plan but instead of preventing him they were concerned that the fire he set wouldn’t be effective.  So while Marinus was upstairs setting his fire SA Storm Troopers under Karl Ernst, entered the Reichstag basement through a tunnel connected to Herman Goering’s residence and distributed enough gasoline and incendiaries around to ensure a good blaze.  After the Reichstag had burned and Van der Lubbe had been captured, an incensed Hitler told his nation “The German people have been soft too long.  Every Communist official must be shot. All Communist deputies must be hanged this very night.  All friends of the Communists must be locked up. And that goes for the Social Democrats and the Reichsbanner as well!"

  The next day he issued the following proclamation; "Restrictions on personal liberty, on the right of free expression of opinion, including freedom of the press; on the rights of assembly and association; and violations of the privacy of postal, telegraphic and telephonic communications and warrants for house searches, orders for confiscation’s as well as
restrictions on property, are also permissible beyond the legal limits otherwise prescribed."

  He went on to slaughter millions of dissidents, Jews, and other people that he didn’t care for and lead his country into a World War that ended in a bloody, disastrous, and humiliating defeat.

  On September 11, 2001 a group of religious zealots hijacked some airliners and flew them into the Twin Towers in New York and the Pentagon in Washington DC, killing about three thousand people including themselves.  Following this, President Bush asked for and received passage  of the ironically named USA Patriot Act, which contains the following

     Allows for indefinite detention of non-citizens who are not terrorists on minor visa  violations.    Since the
     Constitution doesn’t distinguish between citizens and non-citizens  this undermines Constitutional protections
     of all citizens.
     Allows the Attorney General and the Secretary of State to designate groups as “terrorist“  without specifying
     just what a “terrorist” is.
     Allows the government to conduct secret searches of homes and business.
     Allows for trial of suspected terrorists by secret military courts.
     Greatly reduces individual rights of privacy in communications.
     Creates the new crime of “domestic terrorism” which is so broadly defined as to include any dissident group.

  President Bush also took the opportunity to get a blank check from Congress to make war on any nation that “harbored terrorists” – blithely ignoring the fact that the CIA is demonstrably the biggest terrorist organization on earth and his own father, George Bush Sr. was at it’s head when it committed some of its most heinous crimes.  He then sent the entire weight of the American military against Afghanistan because it was harboring Osama bin Layden although there was no proof that bin Laden or Afghanistan had anything to do with the September 11 attack.  The attack was productive in other ways though; oil interests, to whom Bush has close ties, had long desired control of, and access to, the great oil and natural gas reserves in the Caspian Sea area, but this was prevented by a constant state of political turmoil.  One way to reduce the political problems is to bomb the population and infrastructure into a condition that wouldn’t allow them to  resist oil company domination.

  In the aftermath of the September 11 attacks some Americans feel that there are questions  that should have been
answered and aren’t receiving the attention they deserve.  One, is the  question of why the plane that hit the Pentagon
wasn’t shot down?  There was almost a full  hour between the attack on the first tower and the attack on the Pentagon, where was the Air  Force?  It is standard operational procedure to intercept and interrogate civilian aircraft  that are off course.   Any nation with a military establishment has secrets that it wants to  keep and even a civilian airliner can carry spy gear – or a bomb.  Some years ago the USSR  shot down a civilian airliner under such circumstances.  During the hour that elapsed between  the first attack and the last it had become obvious that we were under attack and all  civilian aircraft had been ordered grounded.  The lone airliner cruising through the thick  East Coast air defenses toward the Pentagon would have been easily detected.  Why wasn’t it intercepted and shot down?

  The FBI is displaying an unseemly reluctance to discover who did the anthrax mailings.  It  has been established that the weapons grade anthrax found in the envelopes was made in the  USA at the facility at Dugway Utah.  How did it find it way out of this high security area  into the envelopes that were mailed to leading Democratic Senators and news people?

  It also seems that American intelligence organizations were warned of an impending terrorist  attack by French, Israeli and Egyptian intelligence.  Why were these warnings ignored – or  were they?  These questions and many others concerning September 11 have not been  satisfactorily addressed by the Bush administration.

  Unanswered questions like these and the all out attack on civil liberties have caused a  certain stiffening of what passes for a spine among the corporate whores that infest Congress  and future increases of federal power at the expense of the Constitution may be more  difficult to push through.

  The Reichstag Fire had increased Hitler’s power and authority tremendously – but it still  wasn’t enough.  Hitler wanted total control.  With an election scheduled for March 5 1934 he  had an opportunity to take it.  Accordingly, the Nazis made an all out attempt to win a  majority in the Reichstag so they could get an ironically named “Law for Removing the  Distress of the People and the Reich” passed.  This act would confer on Hitler the  constitutional functions of the Reichstag including, the power to make laws, control of the  budget and the ability to make treaties with foreign governments.  Political enemies were  arrested by the thousands and put in hastily constructed prisons.  Old Army barracks and  abandoned factories were converted to this purpose and thus was begun the concentration camp  system.  Large donations were solicited, and received, from industrial organizations like  Krupp and I.G. Farben.

But in spite of an energetic and well-executed campaign the Nazis didn’t win the majority they needed to pass the act.  They were  undeterred however, and when the newly elected Reichstag convened in the Kroll Opera House on  March 23, they packed it inside and out with SA Storm Troopers.  And with Storm Troopers on  the outside chanting slogans like “Full powers – or else!  We want the bill – or fire and  murder!” and Hitler lying on the inside with statements like “The
government will make use of  these powers only insofar as they are essential for carrying out vitally necessary measures…”  and promises to promote peace with France, Great Britain and the Soviet Union; the measure  passed and Hitler became dictator of Germany.

  For Bush all of the pieces are in place.  An apathetic populace, completely under the spell  of the corporate media and so discouraged with the corrupt political processes that only  about half turn out for presidential elections; a degenerate Congress whose members are fit   only for toadying to special interests and lying to their constituencies; a huge military  establishment without a draftee in it and completely barren of democratic thoughts or ideals.    A large and growing prison system created under the phony War on Drugs.  And finally, the   newly created, heavily funded, Office of Home Security, ready to become his own personal   police force immediately after the next attack.  Everything is ready, and all he needs to  sweep away the last vestiges of a government “of, by and for the people” in America is the next Reichstag Fire.

  Guy Herron
  Salt Lake City, Utah

"The people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders... All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and
denounce the peacemakers for ... exposing the country to danger.  It works the same in any country."
-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg Trials