Sunday, September 23, 2007

The Face of Evil

Watching Ken Burns’ new production, “The War,” on PBS Sunday night, I was struck with a few thoughts. The ambitions of Hitler, Mussolini, and Hirohito were to rule the world in their own way: Hitler’s purge of “lesser races,” Mussolini’s dream to resurrect the Roman Empire, and the covetous Emperor worship of the Japanese, all combined into a perfect storm of destruction on every continent, save the Americas.

Ironic, don’t you think, that the very world these megalomaniacs wished to rule was methodically destroyed by their zeal for domination?

Just an hour before, I watched as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad danced around Scott Pelle’s intense questioning about motives and ambitions for Iran. He shrugged off direct questions about Iran’s supply of weapons to Iraqi insurgents, the implements of war that are claiming US military lives. Ahmadenijad’s cold, dark eyes that peered into the camera mirrored the same, manic gaze seen in Hitler’s face in the newsreels. The Iranian president’s smirk seemed to mimic the impudent expression on the face of Il Duce. And the Facist mantra echoes the chants captured in the soundtracks of Burns’ documentary on the evil architects of the Second World War.

Ahmadenijad cannot understand why the American people would be offended by his visit to the World Trade Center in New York this week, the site of the 21st Century equivalent of Pearl Harbor.

Wonder if Pelle was aware of the irony, seated across from a man who embodied the characteristics of all three Axis leaders, rolled into one.

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