US President Trump’s declaration last
week before the UN to “totally destroy” North Korea
and his general ranting about American military
might is on par with the Nazi Third Reich’s
invocation of “Total War”.
The ease with which Trump and his
senior officials talk about “military options”
towards North Korea, and any other defiant nation,
is arguably not just a violation of the UN Charter
but also the principles of international law
established at the Nuremberg Trials of Nazi leaders.
Any use or threat of war that is not a clear act of
self-defense is “aggression”.
The United States under President
Donald J Trump is more than ever openly adopting the
self-declared “right” to launch wars. Its hysterical
claim of “self-defense” with regard to North Korea
is a cynical excuse for aggression. When Trump says
North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un “won’t be around
for much longer” the words are reasonable grounds
for the North Koreans to believe the US is
“declaring war” – especially in the context of
repeated military threats by the Americans of using
“all options on the table”.
Trump’s thuggish address to the UN
General Assembly was a shocking repudiation of the
world body’s official peace-building mission.
Trump’s bellicosity had some commentators making
comparisons with a Nazi-like oration from Nuremberg
rallies circa 1938-39.
writer Paul Craig Roberts summed
up grimly by
saying the US is now the Fourth Reich – meaning
successor to the Nazi Third Reich.
When someone of Paul Craig Roberts’
stature makes such a grave comment, one has to
listen. This is not mere hyperbole bandied about by
a novice. Roberts’ establishment credentials are
impeccable. He served as a senior member of the
Ronald Reagan administration during the 1980s, as
assistant secretary in the Treasury Department.
Roberts also worked as editor of the Wall Street
Journal and is an award-winning author. For such an
esteemed former government insider to declare the US
as the “Fourth Reich” is a measure of the Rubicon
that the country has crossed.
Truth be told, however, the US has
been way past the Rubicon into dark territory for a
long time. To compare US state power with Nazi
Germany is not merely a metaphor. There is a very
real historical connection.
year marks the 70th anniversary since the American
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was created in
1947 in the aftermath of the Second World and the
defeat of Nazi Germany. As American author Douglas
Valentine recently remarked,
the milestone for the CIA represents “70 years of
The CIA and US military leaders at
the Pentagon were in many ways the inheritors of
Nazi Germany. Thousands of senior Nazi military,
intelligence, scientists and engineers were
immediately recruited by the Pentagon and nascent
CIA after the Second World War.
Operation Paperclip approved by the
US Joint Chiefs of Staff in late 1945 was vital for
the adoption of Nazi missile technology. SS Major
Werner Von Braun and hundreds of other rocket
experts were instrumental in developing American
weapons, as well as the NASA space program.
Operation Sunrise overseen by Allen
Dulles and other early CIA figures (the organization
was known up to 1947 as the Office of Strategic
Studies) set up “rat lines” for top Nazi commanders
to escape justice and flee from Europe. Among senior
Nazi officers aided and abetted by the American CIA
were General Karl Wolff and Major General Reinhard
liaison between American intelligence and military,
and the remnants of the Third Reich, were formative
in the organizational creation and Cold War ideology
of the CIA and Pentagon towards the Soviet Union.
The Americans benefited not only from Nazi gold
stolen from European countries, they deployed the
same intelligence and covert military techniques of
the Third Reich. (See, for example, David Talbot’s
on the formation of the CIA.)
Major General Reinhard Gehlen after
his postwar induction in Washington set up the
Gehlen Organization with his many contacts among
Ukrainian fascists to conduct sabotage operations
behind Soviet lines in the decades following the
Second World War.
After the Second World War, the
United States’ power structure turned into a
dichotomy. On the one hand, there was the formal
government of elected Congress members and
presidents. On the other, was the real power holders
in the “secret government” comprising the CIA and
the US military-industrial complex.
The “secret government” or the “deep
state” of the US has been a law unto itself over the
past seven decades. The election of Democrat or
Republican politicians has no significant bearing on
government policy. The shots are called by the CIA
and the “deep state” who answer to the ruling elite
of corporate power. Any president who does not
comply is dealt with like John F Kennedy,
assassinated in November 1963. Hence Trump’s craven
capitulation since election.
Funded with Nazi war loot,
Russophobia, and contempt for international law, the
CIA and the American military inevitably became a
five years after the Second World War, the Americans
went to war in Korea, allegedly “to defeat world
communism”. Much of the new military technology that
the Americans deployed during the 1950-53 Korean War
by the Nazi
engineers recruited through Operation Paperclip. The
genocidal destruction inflicted on Korea by the
Americans was no different from the barbarism used
by the Third Reich.
past seven decades, the US rulers have waged overt
wars, coups, assassinations and proxy wars against
dozens of countries around the world. The global
death toll from this American destruction is estimated at
20 million people.
When US leaders extol “American
exceptionalism” it is a euphemism for “supremacy”
and the “right” to use military violence to further
strategic interests. This is no different from the
supremacist thinking that the Third Reich invoked to
justify its conquest of others.
When Trump and his administration
threaten to annihilate North Korea the mindset is
not unprecedented. Almost every US leader since the
Second World War has promulgated the same unilateral
use of violence towards other nations deemed to be
“enemy states”. What Trump represents is simply a
more naked version of the same aggression.
In addition to the horrendous global
death toll from US violence, it should be noted that
the US currently spends about $700 billion every
year on military – 10 times what Russia spends, or
10 times what the next 9 biggest military-spending
nations allocate. The US has military bases in over
100 countries around the world. Over the past
quarter-century, it has been in a permanent state of
It is by no means an exaggeration to
say the US is the Fourth Reich whose direct
antecedent is Nazi Germany. The outgrowth of the CIA
and Pentagon from Nazi personnel and illicit funds
following the Second World War ensured that the US
rulers imbued the ideology of the Third Reich.
The legacy of the American Fourth
Reich is evident for those with open minds: wars of
aggression, genocide, proxy wars, coups, death
squads, mass surveillance of citizens, mass media
propaganda, and mass torture – all done with
impunity and self-righteousness.
By Finian Cunningham
Finian Cunningham has written
extensively on international affairs, with articles
published in several languages. He is a Master’s
graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a
scientific editor for the Royal Society of
Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a
career in newspaper journalism. He is also a
musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he
worked as an editor and writer in major news media
organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and
article was first published by
Strategic Culture Foundation