Without Hitler, the U.S. military would collapse.
For 68 years, wars on poor countries have been justified by the pretended discovery of Hitler’s reincarnation. Each time it has turned out to be a false alarm. Every post-WWII war looks disastrous or at least dubious in retrospect to most people. And yet, the justification of the next war is always ready to hand, because the real, original Hitler remains alive in our memories, and he just might come back — who’s to say?
Actually, I think anyone vaguely aware of basic facts about the current world ought to be able to say that Hitler is gone for good.
How do I justify not going to war with Hitler, beyond explaining that Assad isn’t Hitler, Gadaffi isn’t Hitler, Hussein isn’t Hitler, and so on?
Increasingly, I believe we must start with the fact that we live in a different world. Colonization is gone. Empires of the old model are gone. No powerful nation is plotting that sort of global conquest. In fact, no powerful nation is seriously considering war with other powerful nations.
During these past 68 years of misidentifying new Hitler after new Hitler, there has in fact been no World War III. We haven’t just made it 25 years. We’ll hit the 75-year mark during the next U.S. presidency. Nuclear weapons, awareness of the costs, understanding of the lack of benefits, established norms against the seizure of territory, the utter unacceptability of colonialism, and the vast increase in understanding of the power of nonviolent action all work against the waging of wars among the wealthy, armed nations. Instead, we have proxy wars, wars of exploitation, and poor-on-poor warfare. And even those wars fail miserably on their own terms. Occupations collapse. Puppets grow legs and wander off.
~ from If Hitler Didn't Exist by David Swanson ~
In order for the leader of any nation to convince the people that a war is justified, a bogeyman needs to be created. It has been this way since the dawn of human civilization. As Swanson so aptly points out, the default bogeyman for the US is Adolf Hitler. Since World War II, almost any time the US Commander-in-Chief wants to sell the American public on a rationale to invade another country, the ghost of Adolf Hitler is dragged out of mothballs.
It was the same thing several weeks ago. Before the Russians pressed for a diplomatic solution, we were told by Team Obama and the war hawks in Congress that Assad was this generation's Hitler and that the US simply couldn't stand by and do nothing. We had a moral duty to bomb Syria to save the Syrians from their own brand of the Third Reich.
The other point made by Swanson above should cause you to take pause. The major powers don't fight each other militarily anymore. No, the major powers find weaker nations to attack. This allows the major powers to exercise their bloodlust without incurring very much damage or injuries to themselves. Of the major powers, the biggest bully of all is the US. These days we only pick fights (invade) nations that have no hope of adequately defending themselves.
That fact -- in and of itself -- is sad. It shows that, no matter how our leaders try to spin it, we are about as far away from the moral high ground as a nation could be!