Hey, Glenn Beck: Is There a “Reichstag Fire” in Our Future?

I’m a reasonably faithful Glenn Beck Program listener, or, as you call us, a “sick, twisted freak.” There are many reasons why I became a member of your audience. In addition to being informative and thought provoking, you are often funny – LMAO, ROTFL funny. When you and your crew get a bit silly, the humor flows freely, and I love it.

I really appreciate you recommendation of The 5000 Year Leap as reading material, and I am about finished with my first pass through your modernized adaptation of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense.

I am currently preoccupied with one of the recurring themes of your program (at least the radio show, which I listen to on XM radio) that isn’t laughable. It is obvious that it is very important to you to discourage your listeners from any impulse to gather up the “pitchforks and torches” and descend upon the castle, demanding that the authorities hand over the monster. I understand it’s your way of admonishing us not to follow the example of Timothy McVeigh.

I take your point. One of many things I am not is a trained soldier. Another thing I am not is a cold-blooded murderer. McVeigh was both, and I do not regret his execution. I do regret that we did not have more time to interrogate him as to his accomplices, other than Terry Nichols. Did he have ties to Iraqi intelligence, as alleged by Jayna Davis in The Third Terrorist? Was his hatred of the US government his only motivation, or were there others? We may find out some day, but not from McVeigh. I agree with the quote from you I found on her Website, that we need a 9/11-style Commission on the Oklahoma City bombing.

Anyway, Glenn, I repeat: I take your point. I have not been recruited into revolutionary violence by Glenn Beck, or anyone else. I do not feel on the verge of becoming a serial killer, a guerrilla, a bandito, or a freedom fighter toting RPGs and EIDs.

Morality apart, you explain your practical opposition to “taking up arms”: it will give the Obama administration, sinking in the polls and facing disenchantment among the gullible, and new skepticism from unexpected directions, including among former friends – a pretext to leap right over the intermediate stage of socialism/corporate fascism, right into a dictatorship that has much more in common with the last century’s grand utopian experiments than with anything good that “hope and change” could bring about.

It is not just a very great leap from a “mandatory voluntary” Obama Youth Corps, the nationalization of health care and the giants of the auto and financial industries (except for a few close friends and generous campaign contributors), to the wholesale and explicit, rather than piecemeal and implicit, suspension of the Constitution – and to martial law.

The magnificent socialist utopian experiments of the 1900s killed more people and wasted more wealth and resources in a single century than all the socio-political systems tried in all the rest of recorded history (with the possible exception of the first thousand years of political Islam – accurate stats on that are hard to come by). There is no reason to believe that this latest bunch of unaccountable, self-righteous, arrogant ideologues would do any less damage than their failed predecessors.

That would not keep them from trying, of course.

But, Glenn, what makes you think an armed uprising among some serious believers on the right would be necessary to provide the pretext for dictatorship? Have you not read about the Reichstag Fire? One man could do it.

A lone Dutchman, Marinus van der Lubbe, was caught at the scene of the Reichstag fire, confessed, and described in detail his procedure for spreading fire in the old structure. British intelligence agent Denis Sefton Delmer, who wrote that he was on the scene at that fire in 1933, reports his conclusion that van der Lubbe was plausibly the lone arsonist responsible for the destruction of the historic German parliament building. Delmer says senior fire investigators reenacted the attack following van der Lubber’s detailed account, and found that one man could have quite easily done the deed. Other evidence gathered after the fire tended to support the “lone arsonist” theory.

The truth became less and less important, even before the smoke cleared. The Nazis pounced on the event to accuse the Communists of committing the attack as the signal to begin a concerted, premeditated terror campaign, including “dynamiting, incendiarism and mass murder” all over the country.

The Soviet Communists fabricated and spread legends to convince the public that in the immediate aftermath of the fire, the building had been found to be crawling with Nazi Stormtroopers, who were supposed to have spread the fire so quickly, and, implausibly, hung around to watch it burn. Delmer, under his cover as a reporter in that period before open conflict between Britain and Germany, asserts that he entered the building in the wake of Hitler and his entourage as soon as the fire was under control, and that there were no Stormtroopers in evidence.

None of the Communists’ efforts to capitalize on  the event  mattered, either, because Hitler and Goering, his adroit propaganda minister, successfully used the event to persuade the Germans to give the Nazis extraordinary authority over them — only for the duration of the emergency, of course – which his party used to round up the Communists and any other opposing political leadership, and to curtail free speech and opposition political activity nation-wide.

Hitler only had to invoke the Germans’ historic animosity toward Russia to justify his “conclusion” that the Soviet Communist political apparatus was on the verge of attempting a coup d’état. That van der Lubbe was a different brand of Communist – one with lasting hostility toward the Soviets – mattered not at all. The Germans reacted by allowing Hitler to stage his own coup d’état, without firing a shot. The Third Reich, and the War of Revenge, The Great Patriotic War, or World War II — depending on the version of history by which you choose to describe it – followed shortly.

History, as is often repeated, has a way of repeating itself. If the history presented by Mr. Delmer is accurate, one man, a small cadre, a group of government agents or, say, some “community organizers” could light the American Reichstag Fire, if the benefits seem to outweigh the risks, or – just for a bit of evil fun. The key factor in the succession of events isn’t the exact nature of the initial act, but the reaction to it by authority, and the willingness of the media to question or swallow the “official” explanation that best fits the political agenda.

With people such as Rahm Emanuel in positions of influence in the Obama White House, it’s unlikely that Emanuel’s maxim that, “[y]ou never want a serious crisis to go to waste” would be ignored for long.

All it takes is a crisis – real, imagined or staged. Is our Reichstag Fire smoldering at this moment?

Does it even have to be a “manmade disaster? Nope. How about a natural one that affects most of the country, like a New Madrid earthquake that crumbles every bridge over the Mississippi, or a huge solar flare that wipes out the national electrical infrastructure? Neither event would be unprecedented. Nature has served this continent both dishes before.

And, if nature won’t step up and provide a “serious crisis,” how about the Iranians, with their “peaceful” nuclear power, that, for some reason, requires the parallel development of Intermediate Range Ballistic Missiles (IRBMs)? Those wacky, nuclear North Koreans can’t be counted out, either.

If so, Glenn, then what? You, Rush and Sean will disappear from the airwaves, and we sick, twisted freaks will be on our own. It forces one to think the unthinkable, doesn’t it?

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