An argument can be made the West is much more susceptible to Hitler's efforts today than it was in the early 20th century.
Ninety-four years ago, Nazism was on the rise.
Hitler joined the German Workers' Party soon after its formation in 1919, quickly becoming its leader. His speeches created scapegoats for Germany's problems -- the World War I allies, the Communists and the Jews.
The party -- renaming itself the National Socialist German Workers' Party (Nazis) in 1920 -- was initially nationalist and socialist. But Nazism became a different ideology in 1925 when Hitler wrote -- while in prison for political crimes -- and published "Mein Kampf" ("My Survival"), which became Nazism's holy book.
Nazism was a form of fascism incorporating biological racism and anti-Semitism -- rolled into the Nazi Party's political ideology. It called for society's domination by the racially superior -- a master race of "Aryans." Inferior humans were to be eliminated as a threat to national survival, suggesting their elimination was more humane than wasting assets to support them.
Ultimate leadership fell to a "Fuhrer" to whom all others were subordinate, with his dictates having the force of law.
Hitler, unsurprisingly, promoted himself as Fuhrer.
Nazism encouraged rallying 'round the common bond of national unity. It preached, as a law of nature, a master race's requirement for "Lebensraum" (living space), with territorial expansion a part of its "historic destiny." Universal human rights were non-existent, with only Aryans entitled to them.
While the trigger for Hitler's anti-Semitism is uncertain, his book interestingly discusses his initial liberal and tolerant attitude toward Jews. However, by book's end, that attitude significantly changed.
The underlying political message of "Mein Kampf:" Nazi aggression against, and elimination of, non-Aryans.
Fast forwarding to 2013, different characters play the same roles.
Replace "Hitler" with "Muhammad" and "Mein Kampf" with the "Koran." Multiple Hitlers are involved as Muslim sects promote their own religious Fuhrers. For Shiite majority Iran, it is their "Supreme Leader;" for Sunni majority Egypt, it is their "Supreme Guide."
Muslim leaders call for followers to rally 'round the common bond of Islam -- the Koran mandating their historic destiny. It is one of territorial expansion to create a world free of borders and united by Islam --achieved by violent followers who eliminate all non-Muslims, confiscating their lands.
It is a world subject to Islamic law alone, known as "Shariah." It is a world by which Muslims are a "master race," with all non-Muslims either submitting to Islam or being put to death. Universal human rights are non-existent with only Muslim males primarily entitled to them.
The underlying political message of the Koran: Muslim aggression against, and elimination of, non-Muslims.
Like "Mein Kampf," the Koran initially suggests tolerance toward non-Muslims, only to later change its tune.
Just as Nazism became a political ideology, so too does Islam.
Had Hitler been born much later, establishing Nazism as a religion, he would have found so many more doors open for him today. In a world where Western concerns about political correctness have impaired our better judgment, we allow the Koran's violent undertones to permeate more and more of our culture because Islam's hatred for non-Muslims is promoted as a religion.
Those who haven't read the Koran maintain the illusion Islam is a religion of peace -- a theme unsupported by the holy book. We sleep at the wheel as the threat of Islamic law creeps deeper into our society. Shockingly, it has already been applied by judges giving it precedence over the law of our land.
We yield to Muslims -- who freely disparage Jews and non-Muslims -- claiming "Islamophobia" whenever we raise concerns Shariah infringes upon our way of life. We do so even after discovering in 2004 the Muslim Brotherhood's secret strategy to destroy the U.S. Constitution and impose Shariah upon Americans.
The Muslin Brotherhood's strategy involves using front organizations to promote its efforts, many of which are actively involved today in providing "guidance" to U.S. government agencies, from recruiting Muslim religious leaders within the military to how law enforcement can supposedly better communicate and get assistance from Muslim communities.
Interestingly, the Muslim Brotherhood's efforts all involve a compliant U.S. government simply standing aside as these organizations enlarge the Muslim Brotherhood's influential footprint.
Hitler could have thrived with such access!
During World War II, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill recognized the need to study "Mein Kampf" to better understand the German leader's mindset.
Churchill in his book "The Gathering Storm," compared Hitler's book to the Koran:
"All was there -- the program of German resurrection, the technique of party propaganda; the plan for combating Marxism; the concept of a National-Socialist State; the rightful position of Germany at the summit of the world. Here was the new Koran of faith and war: turgid, verbose, shapeless, but pregnant with its message."
Similar to "Mein Kampf's" message of violence against non-Aryans is the Koran's message of violence against non-Muslims.
Just as Churchill encouraged Westerners to study "Mein Kampf" to better understand the Nazi threat, U.S. President Barack Obama should encourage Americans to study the Koran to better understand Islam's threat. Only by reading the Koran, which should be X-rated for both its violent and sexual content, will the threat be clear. Such a read should leave non-Muslims questioning the basis upon which Islam asserts it is a religion of peace.
Had Hitler only had the foresight to call Nazism a religion, we might all be speaking German today. But failing to study the Koran today could well have us all speaking Arabic in the future.
(A retired U.S. Marine, Lt. Col. James Zumwalt served in the Vietnam War, the U.S. invasion of Panama and the first Gulf War. He has written "Bare Feet, Iron Will -- Stories from the Other Side of Vietnam's Battlefields," "Living the Juche Lie: North Korea's Kim Dynasty" and "Doomsday: Iran -- The Clock is Ticking.")
(United Press International's "Outside View" commentaries are written by outside contributors who specialize in a variety of important issues. The views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of United Press International. In the interests of creating an open forum, original submissions are invited.)