Was Goering right?
Commander-in Chief of the Luftwaffe and Hitler’s right-hand man, Hermann Goering was convicted of crimes against humanity at Nuremburg after the war. During the trial he explained his political philosophy to his lawyer.
Naturally the common people don’t want war, 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 . . . Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. This is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and for exposing the country to danger. It works the same in every country.
Goering was a
psychopath and mass murderer, but was he right?
His claim that democracy was no effective barrier for leaders
who have decided on war, provided they went about their business in the right
way, does appear all too credible after the
Or are they? The contempt for ‘the people’ expressed by Goering may not have been unique to the fat Reichsmarschal. Manipulation of public attitudes by leaders of democracies who, lawyer-like, put forward only one side of a case because they believe they know best – an attitude that does not sit well with democracy – is certainly possible, as has been proved by recent events.
recollect their belief that the invasion of
are our democracies? Despite a public rejection of his policies that has
resulted in lost Republican control of both houses of parliament, the
draft-dodging ‘war president’ Bush is contemplating sending an extra 20,000
troops to Iraq for ‘one last push’ for victory.
Can we prove Goering wrong?