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August 22, 2006

Americans! Save Your Freedom And Your Lives!

Sometimes I get depressed when I think about the 12 zillion crazy people there are in America today. But then I remember there have ALWAYS been 12 zillion crazy people in America.

For instance, Hamilton Fish III. Fish, who lived to be 102 (1888-1991), was a longtime congressman and frothing lunatic. Before the 1980 election, he wrote the below book, called Americans: Save Your Freedom And Your Lives! I just found it in a box of old stuff. Here's a representative sample:

"I have written this book so that the people might know the truth which has been deliberately kept from them by the Carter Administration for the past three years. The main issue is the survival of the American people and our own country...There is no substitute for the truth to enable you to act in your own defense, before you are led as sheep to the slaughter in a Soviet holocaust."


• The Soviet Defense is Thirty Times Stronger Than Ours
• Trilateralism and the Panama Canal
• What Is A Conspiracy
• An Appeal to the Blacks to Return to the Party of Abraham Lincoln

BONUS CRAZY: Note that Fish was involved in the founding of the American Legion after World War I. Who are the American Legion? Well, they're many things. From the George Seldes Reader:

In an interview in January 1923, Commander-in-Chief Alvin Owsley of the American Legion not only endorsed Mussolini and Fascism, but announced his readiness to do what the Duce did...

"If ever needed," he said, "the American Legion stands ready to protect our country's institutions and ideals as the Fascisti dealt with the destructionists who menaced Italy...Do not forget that the Fascisti are to Italy what the American Legion is to the United States."

And here's something dug up by Billmon about them in the present day.

And here's Dick Cheney last February addressing their annual conference:

I am grateful to all of you for defending our country yesterday, and for standing behind our military today.
Posted at August 22, 2006 02:53 PM | TrackBack

Although I currently reside on the West Coast, I grew up in Poughkeepsie, NY. The Fish family was quite prominent, with the III's son, oddly referred to as Hamilton Fish, Jr., serving as my congressman for a time. I think he was perceived as less nutty than his father.

Bonus Legion Story:
I was in the Industrial Workers of the World for some years, which organizationally still nurtures bitter memories of IWW members ("Wobblies") getting lynched by American Legionaires. One of my Wobbly buddies had a grandfather who had also been a Wobbly back in the day. His other grandfather was an old American Legionaire. He recalls them staring at each other with murderous hatred over family gathering dinner tables.

Posted by: Rojo at August 22, 2006 05:33 PM

Organizations, just like people, grow, change, and move on. Before WWII a hell of a lot of AMERICANS and their organizations believed in Facism. Too many people look for reason and humanity in war, when there ain't any, you're always told there is, but it's just another sales pitch. I go to the Legion two or three times a year (I got close friends who go every week or else live there)to get drunk with them old war horses. Some of them, I guess that's all they got left. They DO BACK THE TROOPS, NO MATTER WHAT. A toast to the 75th Ranger Regiment and StratCom too.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at August 22, 2006 05:38 PM

I tried to read the Dick Cheney speech but I became ill after the third paragraph. You are so right Jonathan this country is full of weird people in fact if I were to write a book about it I would call it the twilight zone. Any one who could sit and listen to Cheney spew lie after lie and lap it up is living in a different though perhaps parallel universe. It is young Wild West all the way, fantasy after fantasy after fantasy. Being critical of government has nothing to do with supporting the troops it is just a way of changing the subject. Something people often do when they know they cannot win an argument on the merits of their opinions.

Posted by: rob payne at August 22, 2006 11:03 PM

Big Dick Cheney really DOES stand behind the military today. Unfortunately for them, he does NOT provide the common courtesy of a reach-around!

Posted by: JLaR at August 23, 2006 12:19 AM

Yet, the present Hamilton Fish is a leader of the Nation Advocates I think it's called, which financially helps support The Nation.

Posted by: John at August 23, 2006 07:55 AM

One of the 'Veterans for Truth' GOP front group, Wade ____ (can't remember last name), whose op ed last year was in the Washington Post and a good many other papers, is an employee at the Legion's national headquarters in DC.

Does the amount of fine baseball sponsored by the Legion over the last thirty-forty years mitigate their fascist origins at all?

Posted by: Nell at August 23, 2006 01:55 PM
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