Not only did the Nazis utilize the "stab in the back" legend to its advantage during its rise to power and of course in maintaining its grip on power, but our own right-wingers have been relying on the same basic approach since the Vietnam war ended. I'm sure if I had a nickel for every GOP politician who has used that strategy since the early 1970s, I could retire in style. The "stab in the back" legend has been most recently utilized by our own hardline nationalists in order to silence dissent regarding the Iraq debacle. These folks are bound and determined to spread the myth that shining a light on Bu$hCo's lies to get our military sucked into what is now Mess o'Potamia as well as shining a light on the debacle that the war has truly become is somehow a "stab in the back" to those unfortunate souls who got shipped over there. The true stab in the back to these men and women was committed by the very White House and Congress critters who had that jones comin' down for a war in the first place.
The Dolchstoßlegende or Dolchstosslegende, (German "dagger-thrust legend", often translated in English as "stab-in-the-back legend") refers to a social mythos and persecution-propaganda and belief among bitter post-World War I German nationalists, that lay blame for the loss of the war upon non-Germans and non-nationalists.
Many Germans who supported, fought in, or had otherwise known people lost in the enormously costly war, believed the causes for the German/Austrian involvement in the war were justified. They had hoped it would bring a restoration of past glory and a unified German nation-state. Instead, the war caused the deaths of 1,770,000 German soldiers and 760,000 German civilians, devastated the economy, and brought losses in both territory and national sovereignty.
Conservatives, nationalists and ex-military leaders sought others to blame. The common scapegoats were Weimar Republic politicians, socialists, communists, and "international Jewry" — a term referring to Jews with a perceived excess of wealth and influence. These "November criminals", nationalists alleged, had "stabbed them in the back" on the "home front," by either criticizing the cause of German nationalism, or by simply not being zealous-enough supporters of it. In essence the accusation was that the accused committed treason against the benevolent and righteous common cause.
Nevertheless, this social mythos of domestic betrayal resonated among its audience, and its claims would codify the basis for public support for the emerging Nazi Party, under a severely racialist-based form of nationalism. The anti-Semitism latent in Germany society was intensified by the Bavarian Soviet Republic, a Communist government which ruled the city of Munich for two weeks before being crushed by the Freikorps militia. Most of the Bavarian Soviet Republic's leaders were Jewish, a fact exploited by anti-Semitic propagandists to tar all Jews with the brush of Communist treason.
Due to the highly potent imagery of a "stab in the back", and the common perception amongst political conservatives that politically hostile homefronts defeat otherwise winnable wars, the stab in the back legend is a common legend in a number of modern societies. In particular, the stab in the back legend is often used by conservatives to explain the defeat of the United States in the Vietnam war. In the context of the US involvement in the Vietnam War the stab in the back legend is part of the Vietnam Syndrome complex.
Recent perpetrators of The Legend :
Rep Jean Schmidt (R-OH):
The fiery, emotional debate climaxed when Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Ohio, the most junior member of the House, told of a phone call she received from a Marine colonel.Over in blogtopia, a selection:
"He asked me to send Congress a message -- stay the course. He also asked me to send Congressman Murtha a message -- that cowards cut and run, Marines never do," Schmidt said.
Democrats booed and shouted her down -- causing the House to come to a standstill.
Rep. Harold Ford (news, bio, voting record), D-Tenn., charged across the chamber's center aisle screaming that it was an uncalled for personal attack. "You guys are pathetic. Pathetic," yelled Rep. Marty Meehan (news, bio, voting record), D-Mass.
And from the usual wingnut punditry:
And folks, the Legend is on high display.
Allow me to give you a few delightful quotes from our friends over at RedState.org...
America was stabbed in the back by the POT* By: francisurquhart
Vietnam was lost as a result of a stab in the back. The war was won on the ground. Had the state of affairs as of the signing of the Paris Peace Accords been allowed to continue, there would still be a free South Vietnam today - and there would have been no Cambodian genocide.
South Vietnam was defeated because the Democrats stabbed our ally, and by extention all patriotic Americans, in the back, causing our defeat - which was their aim dating back to the moment when the McGovernite left took over the party.
*POT = Party of Treason
Or here's another wonderful post, from an (appropriately named) blogger named nazgul12:
Now, I will admit that this is basically a grandiose experiment. There are a lot of things that can go wrong. Should the Democrats regain power, they may betray our Iraqi allies as they once did our South Vietnamese allies. Most liberals like to forget that South Vietnam held on it's own for 3 years after American troops had pulled out. The country only fell when Democrats in Congress pulled all funding that was being used to support our allies. Something similar might happen in Iraq. It is conceivable that we would pull out of Iraq but give monetary support to the government. The Democrats, not willing to give Bush a good legacy, might do the same thing they did when they wanted to prevent Nixon from having any sort of positive legacy.
No, I'm not cherrypicking these. This is literally what these people think. And it gets a lot worse if you venture into Little Green Footballs or Freeperland.
See a selection from this piece by none other than David Horowitz:
The leftward slide of the Democratic Party, which has made it an uncertain trumpet in matters of war and peace, may be said to have begun with the McGovern presidential campaign of 1972, whose slogan was "American come home" - as though America was the problem and not the aggression of the Communist bloc. The McGovern campaign drew in the rank and file of the anti-Vietnam Left, much like the anti-Cold War Henry Wallace Progressive Party campaign of 1948 and the Howard Dean anti-Iraq campaign of 2004. McGovern himself was a veteran of the Wallace campaign and, virtually all the leaders of the anti-Iraq movement, including most of the Democratic Party leaders who supported it, are veterans of the anti-Vietnam campaign.