Thursday, November 04, 2004

Don't mind me. I'm still pissed off about Tuesday.

So this quote was emailed to me, and it seemed too on-target to be true. So I took it to one of my favorite sites for fact-checking on the internet, Turns out it's a real quote from Herman Goering, Nazi, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, President of the Reichstag, Prime Minister of Prussia. Here's the email:

During the Nuremberg Trials, Gustave Gilbert, a psychologist was given access to the prisoners and kept a diary he later published as a book, the Nuremberg Diary. This is an excerpt from a conversation with Herman Goering:


"We got around to the subject of war again and I said that, contrary to his attitude, I did not think that the common people are very thankful for leaders who bring them war and destruction.

'Why, of course, the people don't want war,' Goering shrugged. 'Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don't want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.'

'There is one difference,' I pointed out. 'In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.'

'Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.'"


And for the "trust but verify" types out there, here's Snopes' page on it:

It's nice to see the old ways still hold true in the 21st century.