Among the many instruments in the fiction writer’s toolbox is one
whose principal function is to re-imagine past events and personalities and present them in a reconstituted reality created in the writer’s mind.
The recent meeting of the UN General Assembly and the appalling speeches and conduct of many of its participants suggests just such a scenario.
What if the United Nations had been created in the thirties and one of the principal speeches was delivered by the then leader of Germany, Adolph Hitler in say, 1936? What would he have said and how would that have differed from what numerous speakers inflicted on the Assembly in 2009?
He would have pointed to Nazi economic policies with pride, citing that the profit motive was now regulated by the Nazi state in accordance with its needs. Copious use of taxes and subsidies was the policy of the state and he would brag about its progress. What he would not have said was that compliance was mandatory and based on terror. If you didn’t comply you were kaput.
But his principle point would be to extol the ethnocentricity of his regime and what he would term as the principle obstacle for creating that pure ethnicity, the Jew, and its alleged international cabal. While he might not have used the term Zionist, he would blame this Jewish cabal for Germany’s defeat in the First World War, the international financial depression of that time and all the other ills on the planet.
Even to the bitter end he was berating the Jews for engineering his downfall, notwithstanding that he had systematically exterminated most of the Jews in Europe in the most disciplined documented government sponsored killing spree ever devised.
He would have cited The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which continues to be a best selling book mistakenly categorized as non- fiction in Iran, Egypt and other parts of the Arab world. He would cite the contrived lies in that absurd book as exposing the truth of his assertion that the Jews were planning the takeover of the world and, in the context of his time, that the rise of the Bolsheviks was in accordance with that grand plan.
He would have cited the Arab Jihad as another necessary tool to eliminate the Jews and extol the logic of such a necessity. Indeed, it would be remarkably similar to the existential threat hurled by Iran’s sinister President Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. Is not its echo chilling? Hitler’s speech would certainly be eloquent and to most of the audience electrifying, soaring would be the operative description, inducing extensive standing ovations.
Most of the delegates would have remained in the auditorium since everyone was doing business with Hitler in those days despite his anti-Semitic rhetoric, including the United States.
Put it in the context of the recent speeches at the so-called United Nations and you would look hard to find any difference in subject matter of a number of the participants and speakers. After all, more than half of the UN formal condemnations have been about Israel’s alleged atrocities while real violators of human rights, too numerous to list here, have gone unmentioned.
One shudders to think of the future of our world dependent on such vapid and clueless leadership on display at the General Assembly. The posturing and absurdity of some of the speeches, particularly those of Ahmadinejad, Chavez and that Libyan clown as well as those whose speeches were filled with silly repetitive fatuous feel-good clichés about working together in peace and harmony, as if the bloody landscape of our contemporary world did not exist.
Just think of what some of these fools would do if they had at their disposal a weapon to wipe out civilization as we know it.
Perhaps, the faux geniuses of Hollywood have it right in presenting their doomsday scenarios that will soon flood the screens in a neighborhood theater near you. Imagine, too, what might have happened if that aforementioned and easily diagnosed psychopath Adolph Hitler had won the race to the atomic bomb. Indeed, the evidence of the UN General Assembly suggests that psychopaths continue to stand at its rostrum and spew their horrendous invective.
Worse, some of them, like the religiocentric Iranians, owing to the paralysis and lack of historical hindsight of those who have the ability to abort an impending horror, will soon have their own doomsday weapons. Considering that their religious convictions decree that they will get their reward in some after death pleasure palace, one should have little doubt that the use of these weapons will not be deterred by the fear of death or the concept of mutually feared destruction.
To those of us who have lived long enough to remember history beginning in the thirties and to those who study it, the idea that the past is a precursor of the future is a relevance that cannot be denied.
Remember that famous quote by George Santayana: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Indeed, the idea goes back even further. There is a passage in Deuteronomy in which, Moses urges the Israelites, to “ Remember the days of old, consider the years of ages past; Ask your father, he will inform you, Your elders, they will tell you.”
So the lesson of history was there from the beginning. Unfortunately not too many people paid attention.