"The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do." ~ Eric Hoffer
Every Government Employee Is a 'Little Eichmann'
The war party is in full fulmination over Colorado professor Ward Churchill's "little Eichmanns" remark. But a closer examination of the statement would indicate he is partly correct.
Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann was a bureaucrat in Hitler's government who arranged for the roundups of targeted demographic bases, and the train transportation for them to a given destination. He was, in effect, a travel agent for the concentration camps. The fact that the demographic bases were mostly Jews, and the destinations were death camps, played no part in his mind. He was just "doing his job. Following orders." He did not kill anybody himself, but he carried out the policies of murder and extermination that were handed down to him. It was the POLICY that was evil--the official government POLICY of destroying people.
Hannah Arendt, who reported on the 1961 Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, called her book, "A report on the banality of evil," and commented on how "ordinary" Eichmann was. Good family man. Did his job. Came to work every day. Pushed papers. Patriotic. Loved his country. Followed the orders of his superiors. Never got in trouble with his bosses or the law. (Sound familiar?) He behaved like any government employee.
The World Trade Center, built in 1970-73, was constructed mostly with "government" money and originally housed primarily agencies of the State of New York. The people who worked there were mostly government employees.
The opening of the twin towers increased the available office space in Manhattan by so much that office rental prices fell, and an insufficient number of tenants showed up to fill the towers. It took several years for the WTC to fill up and become a prestige address.
One of the movers and shakers in the WTC project was David Rockefeller, president of the Chase Manhattan Bank, which held some of the mortgage paper on the towers. Fortunately for him and his bank, the governor of New York was his brother, Nelson Rockefeller, who conveniently moved several state government offices into the towers, paid ABOVE-MARKET RATES for the rent, and thus ensured the WTC owners could make their monthly obligations.
As time went by, and the capitalist segment of the economy improved, and even free-market thinking began to take hold in foreign countries, some PRIVATE companies'mostly financial industry companies and importers/exporters from around the world'began to move in.
By 9/11/01, the towers were occupied by both private and governmental offices. Government was close to half of the square footage, however, and the agencies represented were mostly agencies that conduct violence against peaceful people'IRS, DEA, CIA, FBI, BATF, Ex-Im Bank, NY State Dept. of Taxation, the SEC, US Departments of Agriculture-Commerce-Labor-EEOC and the Secret Service--operations whose entire mission is to violate somebody's rights.
Thus, Ward Churchill's statement that the WTC victims were receiving the same violence they had visited on others was about half right. The truly INNOCENT victims were the PRIVATE INDUSTRY entrepreneurs and workers who were building wealth for investors, inventors and other creators of genuine prosperity and had not violated the rights of anyone.
The sad truth is that all governments, including our own, are filled with "little Eichmanns"--ordinary people who "follow orders" to implement the policies as ordered, even when they personally disagree with the policies. (The IRS, for example, has over 100,000 bureaucrats whose ONLY function is to snoop into our lives and steal our money against our will. Every last IRS employee is an "Eichmann" and therefore, a moral criminal.)
The only way to end this madness is for the AMERICAN PEOPLE to wake up to their obligations and DEMAND CHANGES IN POLICIES by the "leaders" at the top.
Then we should follow the tenets of the Nuremberg Trial of 1946, arrest and prosecute the top policymakers and punish them appropriately. George Bush and the neocons, who have given us the Iraq war, are guilty of three of the four counts charged against the top Nazis at Nuremberg.* If the Nuremberg Trial has any moral or legal validity, the Bush regime is guilty of war crimes.
We are in desperate need of some True Patriots, in and out of government, who will blow the whistle on the current Bush policies of military aggression and regime change around the world. When our government stops meddling in the affairs of other governments, the war against terrorism will be over because nobody else will have a reason or desire to attack us.
*Ten of them were hanged. One of the hanged, Julius Streicher, was a publisher of anti-Semitic newspapers. The highest government office he attained was mayor of Nuremberg. He never held national office, and had nothing to do with Hitler's war. His "achievement" was to whip up hatred against the Jews among the general population and "spin" the idea of using government to persecute and eventually exterminate others. Modern day comparisons would be the decision makers at the major broadcast networks, particularly Fox, who helped whip the public into a frenzy of support for Bush's unconstitutional and immoral attack against Iraq.
The four Counts were: Conspiracy to wage aggressive war; Crimes against peace; War Crimes ' acts contrary to The Hague and Geneva Conventions; and Crimes Against Humanity (later identified as "genocide.") Source: "Justice at Nuremberg" by Robert E. Conot, c. 1983