You might remember General William “Jerry” Boykin. Boykin was one of Dubya’s boys during the Iraq fiasco (he became deputy undersecretary of state of defense for intelligence). Back in 2003 he was known for his incendiary comments to conservative religious groups but told NBC that he would curtail those, saying: “I don’t want to come across as a Right-wing radical.”
It’s always instructive to examine what a right-wing radical thinks sounds too right-wing radical.
Boykin is famous for such remarks as,
- Telling an Oklahoma congregation that Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein were not the enemy: “Our enemy is a spiritual enemy because we are a nation of believers. . . His name is Satan.”
Maybe that’s why Bush never found bin Laden. He was looking for the wrong guy. But I’m willing to cut Boykin some slack here; I don’t think anybody else could have found Satan either.
- Telling Baptists in Florida about a victory over a Muslim warlord in Somalia, who had boasted that Allah would protect him from American capture. “I knew my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real god and his was an idol,” Gen Boykin said.
- Telling an Oregon church that America could not ignore its Judaeo-Christian roots: “Our religion came from Judaism and therefore [Islamic] radicals will hate us forever.”
Actually, general, your religion came more from Paganism than from Judaism, but why quibble?
Oh, and of course, he said that it wasn’t the American people who elected George W. Bush to the White House, it was God: “Why is this man in the White House? The majority of Americans did not vote for him. He’s in the White House because God put him there for a time such as this.”
This right-wing radical who didn’t want to sound too right-wing radical has now said that President Obama is forming a “brownshirt” army under cover of his healthcare reform legislation. He came out with this claim in 2010 when the (now retired) general recorded a video for Rick Joyner’s Oak Initiative. He doubled down last month:
This army would be loyal only to Obama, he says. He also claimed that American Jews didn’t support the Republican Party because they had the wrong-headed idea that Hitler was on the political right when he was really “an extraordinarily off-the-scale leftist”:
We have incrementally moved towards Marxism and now I think it’s at an accelerated pace. There are lots of indicators as to exactly how we’re moving along the lines of the Marxist model – if you look back historically at how societies, what they’ve done as they’ve moved toward Marxism, we’re doing all of those things.
This is of course, not true and there is no evidence to show that the ultra-capitalist system in America is falling to Marxism. But that doesn’t mean you can’t say it’s true. That’s how Republican politics work, after all. As for Hitler,
One of which is, you look at Hitler – and one of the most disgusting things I hear is people who call Hitler “the extreme right.” The absolute opposite was true – it was the National Socialist Party, he was an extraordinarily off-the-scale leftist. But many Jews in America, for example, can’t identify with the Republican Party because they’re called the party of the right and they equate that to Hitler when in fact nothing could be further from the truth. So, that’s just a data point.
One of the things that Hitler did was he established the Brownshirts. The Brownshirts where his constabulary force to control the population because, as you’re making these radical changes, there has to be some entity that stands by you with the strength and the muscle to allow you to make these over the opposition and the protest of the sovereign, the people. So Hitler had the Brownshirts.
Boykin needs to study his history. Hitler did not establish his brownshirts after he was elected. The brownshirts, the stormtroopers, known as the SA (Sturmabteilung), were established well before Hitler ran for public office, even before his attempted overthrow of the government in 1923. What they were was a bunch of thugs who went around beating people up, including especially communist thugs, and anyone else who stood up to Hitler.
And of course, in fact, the National Socialist Party was not socialist at all. Hitler was pro-capitalist, pro-big business, and he betrayed his brownshirts and some said, his revolution, to get in bed with these industrial tycoons like Krupp, and Hermann Schmitz of I.G. Farben, who were given liberally to the Nazi cause. National Socialism was a right wing totalitarian movement.
In fact, the first thing Hitler did upon getting control of the government was not establishing the “brownshirts” but destroying them in 1934’s Night of the Long Knives. But let’s run Boykin’s diatribe up the flagpole and see how it looks:
Well, in the lead-up to the election, during the campaigns, our current president said very openly, and you can find it on YouTube, if I am elected President , I will have a national civilian security force that is as large as and as powerful as the US military.
For what? Why do you need a national civilian security force?
Now most people say, well we haven’t seen any signs of the administration doing that. Until you go back and read what nobody in Washington read, and that’s the health care legislation that lays out a provision for the commissioning of officers to work directly for the President in time of a national emergency.
Now what would bring about a national emergency? An economic collapse, a terrorist attack, a natural disaster – we talked about all those things here – which would then allow for martial law. The foundation has been laid.
Of course, both Glenn Beck and World Net Daily among others have made much of this speech of Obama’s, which you can indeed find on YouTube (Beck likens them not to the brownshirts but to the SS) but as MediaMatters puts it,
Conservative conspiracy theorists insist President Obama is determined to turn AmeriCorps into a “civilian national security force” akin to Hitler’s SS. The claim originates from a single speech then-Sen. Obama delivered emphasizing the need for Americans to serve their communities. Needless to say, the claim has been widely debunked.
Of course, to make their claims, people like Boykin selectively quote from Obama’s speech given July 2, 2008, in Colorado Springs. All the parts about volunteering to help your community, teaching, jobs, etc., are, of course, ignored.
So what we have here is not all that unusual: a conservative who invents facts to suit his agenda, who cherry picks the evidence to advance that agenda, and who doesn’t know his history, making any historical comparisons meaningless. And we have this conservative selling his well-packaged lies to an eager audience of equally uneducated but highly ideologically motivated conservative voters.
Unless General Boykin is himself as dumb as a box of hammers, we have to assume he intends to sell this nonsense to those who are. P.T. Barnum is credited with saying “There’s a sucker born every minute”. The Republican Party knows this as well as that circus promoter, and they’re counting on it in 2012. Ignorance, lack of education, gullibility and blinkered ideology of the voter base is really their only hope.