Friday, August 17, 2007

American Fascists: How Prescott Bush, Charles Lindburgh and Henry Ford Sought a Fascist Dictatorship in America

The American right wing is defined by the lies it tells about American History, the American left, and, most importantly, is own troubling past. Recently, the right wing has tried to blame "leftists" for America's late entry into World War II. It was, in fact, American fascists who opposed a US role in World War II because most of them were either doing business with Hitler or because they desired to create a fascist state in America.

There was a fundamental difference between the Anti-war movement in the United States prior to our entry into WWII and the opposition to our entry into WWI, for example. Demographically and ideologically, the opposition to US entry into WWI was more akin to US opposition to Viet Nam. Both were movements based upon ideals of universal social justice, the rule of law, anti-colonialism, anti-fascism, and common humanity. The fascist, right wing opposition to US involvement in WWII shared none of those ideals. Those opposing the US entry into WWII were typified by Charles Lindbergh, an avowed Fascist, most certainly, a Nazi sympathizer.

From the end of the Civil War until World War I, America had been largely pacifist in nature. The Civil War had been a horrible memory that militated against armed conflict in general. To be precise, Americans rallied in response to Hearst's anti-Spanish propaganda in the run up to the Spanish-American War. Nevertheless, Woodrow Wilson won the White House based largely on his promises of peace' he was re-elected in 1916 with a popular slogan: "He kept us out of war."

While Americans in general opposed involvement in foreign wars, American industrialists were not inclined to turn down a quick buck.
On December 20, 1922 the New York Times reported4 that automobile manufacturer Henry Ford was financing Adolph Hitler's nationalist and anti-Semitic movements in Munich. Simultaneously, the Berlin newspaper Berliner Tageblatt appealed to the American Ambassador in Berlin to investigate and halt Henry Ford's intervention into German domestic affairs. It was reported that Hitler's foreign backers had furnished a "spacious headquarters" with a "host of highly paid lieutenants and officials." Henry Ford's portrait was prominently displayed on the walls of Hitler's personal office:

--Henry Ford and the Nazis

Opposition to US involvement in World War II is most often linked to Charles Lindbergh.
However, most AFC supporters were neither liberal, nor Socialist. Many simply wanted to stay out of the war. Since many also came from the Midwest, an area never as sensitive to European problems as the east coast, isolationist arguments was soon buttressed by more traditional prejudices against eastern industrial and banking interests. (Almost two-thirds of the Committee’s 850,000 registered supporters would eventually come from the Midwest, mostly from a radius of three hundred miles around Chicago.)[13] Many AFC supporters were certain industry and the banks wanted war for their own profit.[14] Many other supporters were Republicans who flocked to the AFC for partisan political reasons. Still others were covertly pro-German. Some were German-Americans whose sentimental attachments had not been diminished by the crimes of the Nazi regime. Others, whether of German origin or not, were attracted to Hitler’s racism and anti-Semitism.

--David Gordon, America First:the Anti-War Movement, Charles Lindbergh and the Second World War, 1940-1941, History Department, Bronx Community College / CUNY Graduate Center

Ideologically, Bush and Lindbergh have much in common. It is no stretch to imagine this faction welcoming a Hitler victory in Europe, perhaps plotting a Nazi coup d'etat in the US had that happened.
Lindbergh wanted Hitler to destroy the Soviet Union, and was willing to accept Nazi domination of Europe as the price.[118] His protests to the contrary are not convincing.[119] Long before most Committee members, he had come to believe the existence of the Soviet Union had made Hitler’s dictatorship necessary. The German invasion of Russia in June 1941 made the need to keep America out of the war greater than ever. As a result, the efforts of America Firsters to keep America neutral became more frenetic as German successes in Russia mounted, and Roosevelt’s efforts to enter the war increased.

--David Gordon, America First:the Anti-War Movement, Charles Lindbergh and the Second World War, 1940-1941, History Department, Bronx Community College / CUNY Graduate Center

Lindbergh opposed US entry into WWII for the same reasons the Bush family continued to do business with Hitler and the Nazis' after war had begun. The Bush family were Hitler's trading partners.
The debate over Prescott Bush's behavior has been bubbling under the surface for some time. There has been a steady internet chatter about the "Bush/Nazi" connection, much of it inaccurate and unfair. But the new documents, many of which were only declassified last year, show that even after America had entered the war and when there was already significant information about the Nazis' plans and policies, he worked for and profited from companies closely involved with the very German businesses that financed Hitler's rise to power. It has also been suggested that the money he made from these dealings helped to establish the Bush family fortune and set up its political dynasty.

...

Three sets of archives spell out Prescott Bush's involvement. All three are readily available, thanks to the efficient US archive system and a helpful and dedicated staff at both the Library of Congress in Washington and the National Archives at the University of Maryland.

The first set of files, the Harriman papers in the Library of Congress, show that Prescott Bush was a director and shareholder of a number of companies involved with Thyssen.

The second set of papers, which are in the National Archives, are contained in vesting order number 248 which records the seizure of the company assets. What these files show is that on October 20 1942 the alien property custodian seized the assets of the UBC, of which Prescott Bush was a director. Having gone through the books of the bank, further seizures were made against two affiliates, the Holland-American Trading Corporation and the Seamless Steel Equipment Corporation. By November, the Silesian-American Company, another of Prescott Bush's ventures, had also been seized. --

British Guardian: How Bush's grandfather helped Hitler's rise to power

By now it is common knowledge, verified in the public record, that in October of 1942, Prescott Bush was accused of "Running Nazi front groups in the United States". He was charged under the Trading With the Enemy Act as the US government shut down the operations at New York's Union Banking Corporation.

Bush's actions might have been considered high treason. They are interesting by virtue of the myriad connections about what is commonly referred to as the "Bush Crime FAmily" --Avril Harriman, the Rockefellers, Allen Dulles, James Baker III, Gulf Oil, Pennzoil, and ominously, Osama bin Laden. The connections are labyrinthine, involving a host of corporate connections, high ranking Nazis, the CIA and Allen Dulles.

More recently, we have learned of yet more Bush family treasons. It has been learned that Prescott Bush, the "President's" grandfather, was involved in a fascist coup attempt to overthrow the government of the United States.
The coup was aimed at toppling President Franklin D Roosevelt with the help of half-a-million war veterans. The plotters, who were alleged to involve some of the most famous families in America, (owners of Heinz, Birds Eye, Goodtea, Maxwell Hse & George Bush’s Grandfather, Prescott) believed that their country should adopt the policies of Hitler and Mussolini to beat the great depression.

--William Bowles, The Bush Family Saga

Certainly, opposition to the US entry into World War II was not essentially "leftist". It was, rather, the right wing that overtly supported Hitler's adventures in Europe. Their opposition was, in fact, an ideological opposition to the US opposition to Hitler. There is a stunning picture of American Nazis giving the Nazi salute as they filed past the coffins of German Nazis killed in the crash of the airship Hindenburg at Lakehurst, New Jersey.

Some recent history may be in order. Before their resurgence amid delicious vindication, the Dixie Chicks were vilified by the same crowd that attacked dissenters for daring to compare Bush with Hitler. In Europe, by contrast, the similarities were clear and irrefutable, quite beyond the power of Fox to spin or lie about.
one woman who is a translator and teacher of German-language literature – a woman who lived in Germany for ten years and has immersed herself in the German culture for twenty years said that among the people in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and among Holocaust survivors in the United States, she hears the parallels between Bush and Hitler and the similarities between the United States now and Germany in the 1930’s all the time. ”She writes:”

“It's almost like this knowledge is a given--a basic assumption shared by everyone I know who is intimately familiar with the Nazi era (that is, 90% of my professional colleagues, clients, collaborators, etc.). It is like the unspoken known. Unspoken, and unspeakable"

--Lonna Gooden VanHorn, America's Hitler: Part V

The most recent right wing variation about WWII peaceniks had its origins in Bush's run up to war against Iraq. It goes like this: the allies had already done all the hard work because US "Peaceniks" did not want to go to war. Opposition to US entry into WWII did not resemble Viet Nam era war opposition much of which opposed war on principle. US Nuremberg Prosecutor, Justice Robert Jackson conceded that Europe had borne the brunt of war but it was not "leftist peaceniks" who wanted to keep the US out of the war.

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