Sunday, September 3, 2006

Rumsfeld's attack on American Dissent

The Neocons badly need something to bolster the popularity of their failed war on terror. The war is without moral merit and is going extremely badly. They are failing at achieving the first goal, flipping Iraq to become a moderate Democracy, while at the same time the schedule dicttates they enter into an expensive and foolish war against Iran. The idiots are steering the world into believing Iran is an utterly evil and dangerous state which needs to be destroyed, just like four years ago they steered the world into believing Iraq was an utterly evil and dangerous state needing to be destroyed.

But we since learned that Iraq was a feeble state who had nothing to do with the September 11, 2001 attacks. Yet it was the spectre of that attack, and the spectre of mushroom clouds, which fogged the wisdom of the American people and led the U.S. into this folly of a war.

And, in this setting we have Secretary of State Rumsfeld insulting the Americans who disagree with his policies, calling us Nazi Appeasers. In Address at the 88th Annual American Legion National Convention: As Delivered by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, Salt Lake City, Utah, Tuesday, August 29, 2006 he talked to the American Legion about Mom and Apple Pie type issues, and in the middle of the speech he invoked memories of World War II saying:

It was a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among Western democracies. When those who warned about a coming crisis, the rise of fascism and nazism, they were ridiculed or ignored. Indeed, in the decades before World War II, a great many argued that the fascist threat was exaggerated or that it was someone else's problem. Some nations tried to negotiate a separate peace, even as the enemy made its deadly ambitions crystal clear. It was, as Winston Churchill observed, a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it would eat you last.

There was a strange innocence about the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. senator's reaction in September of 1939 upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed:

“Lord, if only I had talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided!”

I recount that history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today -- another enemy, a different kind of enemy -- has made clear its intentions with attacks in places like New York and Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow and so many other places. But some seem not to have learned history's lessons.

So, um, let's see if I get this straight. We're not allowed to practice dissent? If we practice dissent then we're appeasers of the ilk who allowed Hitler to become strong, who allowed England to become weak in the face of a growing military strength in Germany?

Well, gosh, I think it's dissent which makes this country strong. Especially when you have government leaders as inept as the ilk of Donald Rumsfeld and George W. Bush, who have lied to us at every turn, and who have totally mismanaged this war they foisted on us. Not only did they lead us into an illegal war, lying to us the whole way, their mismanagement of the war has cost untold grief and excess suffering of the Iraqi people. Further that excess suffering has only served the cause of the Islamic Militants, turning the people of Iraq against the U.S. because the people of Iraq see us as occupiers. What is the national duty of anybody who loves their country? To fight and drive out occupiers!

In any case, let me offer you a very potent critique of Rumsfeld (transcript youtube.com):

Rumsfeld's speech is simply part of a larger effort by the Administration to focus attention on the danger of "Islamic Fascism".

Republicans target 'Islamic fascism': Gives an interesting overview of various statements by political leaders about the danger of Islamic Fascism.

It's interesting to read some of these statements and ponder how they apply to the speaker just as strongly as it presumably does to these Islamic Fascists.

"The key is that all of this violence and all of the threats are part of one single ideological struggle, a struggle between the forces of freedom and moderation, and the forces of tyranny and extremism," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters traveling with Bush aboard Air Force One.

Uh... Let me see, the Bush Administration has been routinely tromping on the Freedom of the American people. How? Warrantless wiretapping, in violation of U.S. law for a start. And there's the increasingly invasive searches at airports, and in all other aspects of our lives.

Moderation? This administration is anything but moderate! They are more at the extreme conservative edge of American political life. They are the very definition of extremism, of the Christian Fundamentalist variety.

I think what we're facing is a war between two sorts of Fundamentalist religions. Namely, Islamic Fundamentalism and Christian Fundamentalism. Both seem to think they have a monopoly on The Truth, and that their religion and practices are clearly superior to everybody elses.

Discussing the emotional impact and strength of using the word Fascist, the article says this:

"It helps dramatize what we're up against. They are not just some ragtag terrorists. They are people with a plan to take over the world and eliminate everybody except them," Black said.

Uh... Let me see, the Neocons (Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz, etc) had published a plan in the 1990's through The Project for a New American Century. That plan? Well, their stated aim was that as the Worlds Primary Superpower, the United States had a moral obligation to create peace in the world. The form of that peace? It was to begin with the Middle of the Middle East, and reshape the Middle East to have Moderate Democracies rather than the extremism which has been growing popular there. They would, uh, begin with Iraq, and topple the government of Iraq. Then after being greeted with open arms and showers of flowers by the greatful Iraqi's, and after establishing a moderate Democracy in Iraq, they would move on to either Syria or Iran. The establishment of a moderate democracy in Iraq would prove enticing to the other countries in the Middle East, and between toppling governments and the allure of moderate democracy, the other governments of the Middle East would too join the ranks of moderate democracies.

Seems to me that is a plan to take over the world and to eliminate every ideology except their own.

And just who was it who concocted that plan? It was the Neocons, Rumsfeld, Cheney, etc.

The new GOP buzzword: Fascism

Tyrrell: The Rumsfeld Horripilation

Democrats raise Rumsfeld attacks to put GOP on defensive

UPDATE (Sep 4, 2006): Frank Rich, a columnist with the NY Times, wrote another scathing rebuttal along the same lines. (NY Times Select, Mother Jones reprint)

It's interesting, he notes, how Rumsfeld hit the nail on the head contrasting Neville Chamberlain versus Winston Churchill and how it relates to the current era. Neville Chamberlain pretty much ignored the rise of the German war machine, and prevented Great Britain from arming itself in response. Chamberlain wanted to appease Germany hoping that would prevent later wars. At the same time Churchill was a hawk, calling for Great Britain to prepare itself for war, etc. History showed Churchill to be more prescient.

Rumsfeld, in his speech, wants to place himself and the others in the administration in the role of Churchill. He wants to claim their position as being prescient, warning against this danger from Islamo-Fascism. He wants to call the rest of us appeasers who will allow the Islamo-Fascists to eventually destroy us.

But, as Frank Rich reminds ... there is an interesting juxtaposition to consider. In 1938 Neville Chamberlain was famously photographed warmly shaking Hitlers hand in Munich. In 1983 Donald Rumsfeld was famously photographed warmly shaking Saddam Hussein's hand in Baghdad. In both cases the governments in question knew very well the evildoings of the person in question, it being very well known that Saddam Hussein was a very nasty ruler with a lot of nasty deeds to his credit even at the time Rumsfeld met him. But did Rumsfeld do anything about those nasty deeds? No, Rumsfeld was there on a mission to reestablish diplomatic relations between Iraq and the U.S. so that Iraq would be aided in its disastrous war against Iran.

Who is the appeaser?

How can we trust the guys we have leading our country?