How to make Hitler look good

Burt Prelutsky
Posted: Feb 13, 2006 12:05 AM
Even though I may not look it, I am essentially a pretty happy guy. Like most people my age, I get out of sorts when I consider the steady decline of art, culture and baseball. But so long as nobody puts a gun to my head and makes me listen to Hip Hop, and so long as I don’t have to watch MTV or suffer through yet another Jim Carrey movie, I don’t let myself get too perturbed by current trends. I don’t even object to the mud-slinging one associates with presidential campaigns. I just remind myself that nobody ever got to sling mud at Joseph Stalin or Saddam Hussein.

One of the few things that I do find truly depressing are Islamic fanatics and those Americans on the radical left who defend their atrocities. I can’t be the only person who finds it peculiar that the very same people who break out in a cold sweat over the slightest overlap of church and state in the U.S., who despise evangelical Christians and distrust orthodox Jews, have no problem arguing on behalf of people who saw the heads off civilian hostages, who treat their women like chattel, and who will happily conduct blood-baths over a few cartoons.

What I find most disconcerting about these Muslims is that they almost manage to make the Nazis look normal by comparison. This is not to suggest that Hitler and his butchers weren’t abominable. Hitler was an evil lunatic who wished to wage war on mankind, and thus turn “Deutschland uber alles” into more than a catchy slogan. But at least the world he set out to conquer was the world of the 20th century. You have only to look at Berchtesgaden, his palace in the mountains, to understand that the man loved excess. He may have been a vegetarian, but the little bastard was a hedonist at heart.

Der fuhrer and his cohorts appreciated art and music, architecture and film, beautiful women and shnapps. The only thing that makes the Nazis worse than the barbaric Islamics is that, being technologically advanced, they were more efficient killers.

The world of the mullahs is the world of the Dark Ages. It is an ugly place and it smells like a sewer. It is as enlightened as a cesspool. It turns its back on life and it celebrates death. Its heroes are suicide bombers. Its motto is, better a dead martyr than a living child. Who would choose to live in such a world? Only the hopelessly insane.

I say, whatever it costs to defeat this plague is well worth the price, just as the costs were justified to rid the world of the Third Reich.

At times, I confess, I get downhearted because it seems such an impossible task. The Muslim terrorists, after all, seem to be everywhere in the world, blowing up buildings, blowing up people. We bring down Saddam Hussein as we brought down Hitler, but still the fighting rages on in Iraq. How can we hope to defeat people who aren’t merely fighting for a leader or a nation, but because of their religion, because Muhammad gave them their marching orders fourteen hundred years ago?

Well, in spite of all that, I find reasons to be hopeful. For instance, think about the French Revolution. One day, the French were ruled by a despotic king; the next day, “Voila!” they weren’t.

One day, here in America, we had slavery; the next day, after two hundred years, we didn’t.

One day, Italy was being bossed around by a two-bit thug named Mussolini; the next day, he was in the town square, hanging upside down like a side of beef.

One day, the Soviet Union had a few hundred million Eastern Europeans under its brutal thumb; the next day it barely had a thumb.

But even more to the point, consider Japan. The Japanese who invaded China, Korea, Shanghai and Manchuria, and bombed the hell out of the American fleet at Pearl Harbor, thought they were on a holy mission on behalf of their emperor. Think of it as a jihad with a sake chaser.

Emperor Hirohito was more than a national leader; he was a god. He was as distant and mysterious as the great and powerful Wizard of Oz. When he went on the radio in 1945, after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to announce to the nation that the war was over and that they had lost, his countrymen didn’t know what to make of it. They had never heard his voice. Gods, for god’s sake, don’t talk on the radio.

Because Hirohito was regarded as a deity, dying on his behalf had been regarded as a holy act. The Japanese, as you may recall, had had their own version of suicide bombers; they were called Kamikazes. They were pilots whose sole mission was to fly their explosive-laden Zeros directly into allied battleships and destroyers. Next stop, they were told: Paradise. Sound vaguely familiar?

So ingrained in the Japanese was blind devotion to their emperor that, long after the war was over, isolated soldiers were found on South Pacific islands still defending their turf. They simply hadn’t heard God on the short-wave.

Who would have ever guessed that in no time at all, Japan would not only be a peace-loving democracy, but that its citizens would feel as free as the English to gossip about the royal family, and would revere baseball players above all other mortals?

In other words, what so often seems impossible to imagine only means that imagination is often lacking.

From all this, I find hope that the Islamic necrophiliacs will go the way of the Visigoths and the Huns, Napoleon and the Nazis.

I believe that we will destroy them because, having vowed to destroy all of us, even those who speak on their behalf, they really leave us no choice in the matter.

I am curious about one thing, though. When Arab terrorists speak about martyring themselves so that they can go directly to Paradise, is their vision of the place as desolate and as gruesome as the world they’re trying to foist on the rest of us?

Does it at least have indoor plumbing?