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Saturday, September 02, 2006

Rumsfeld's Head on the Block (Again)

Once again, Donald Rumsfeld finds himself facing calls for his head. What is this, the third round or the fourth? I'm having trouble keeping Rummy's career record under Bush straight. AP has this piece, titled Rumsfeld reaches out to Democrats:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reached out to Democrats late Friday, opening up the door for them to retract their stinging indictment of him as
Pentagon chief.

In a letter to Congress's top Democrats, Rumsfeld said recent remarks he made during a speech in Salt Lake City were misrepresented by the media, including by the Associated Press. Rumsfeld said he was "concerned" by the reaction of Democrats, many of whom called for his resignation and said he was treading on dangerous territory.

"I know you agree that with America under attack and U.S. troops in the field, our national debate on this should be constructive," Rumsfeld wrote Friday.

During his speech before thousands of veterans Tuesday, Rumsfeld said the world faces "a new type of fascism" and warned against repeating the pre-World War II mistake of appeasement. He alluded to critics of the Bush administration's war policies in terms associated with the failure to stop Nazism in the 1930s, "a time when a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among the Western democracies."

How many people will take Rummy's 'reaching out' seriously is anyone's guess - my guess is few. First, he gives the speech in Salt Lake City which suggests that no one should question the war, then, after he's called on it, he says, "our national debate on this should be constructive."

Rummy's right, of course, when he says his speech was 'misrepresented'. A check with the archived text at the Dept. of Defense shows that the speech was more offensive than the media portrayed. Here's what most of the media reported:

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.

Let's do a little historical de-revisionism here. The americans who first warned about the rise of fascism were communists and they were the first to try to do something about it. They fought Franco in Spain's civil war and faced Hitler's first blitzkreigs -- Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls is set during the spanish civil war. Those americans who wanted to appease fascism and 'ridiculed or ignored' warnings about it and Hitler were republicans. Which side do you believe original neocon Donald Rumsfeld would've been on -- anyone reading this think we'd be talking about 'Rummy the Commie'?

Here's more bullshit from Rummy's speech:

We need to consider the following questions, I would submit:

-- With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?
-- Can folks really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?
-- Can we afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply law enforcement problems, like robbing a bank or stealing a car; rather than threats of a fundamentally different nature requiring fundamentally different approaches?
-- And can we really afford to return to the destructive view that America, not the enemy, but America, is the source of the world's troubles?

These are central questions of our time, and we must face them honestly.

Here I thought Saddam was Hitler and appeasing him was going to be a bad idea -- now they're all Hitler, every single terrorist and terrorist wannabe in the world. Again, appeasing terrorists has historically been the province of republicans. Reagan traded arms for hostages and pulled troops from Lebanon to appease terrorist demands. And Donald Rumsfeld was the first to kiss Saddam Hussein's ass after he gassed the kurds (see photo) in 1983.

Can we negotiate with terrorists and achieve peace? Ask the UK and it's dealings with the political arm of the IRA, Sinn Fein. Given an opportunity to negotiate with the political arm of Hizbollah in Lebanon, the Bush administration refused. Where the british have had some success with Sinn Fein, we've ruled out any sort of a dialogue with Hizbollah.

Rumsfeld either doesn't actually know history, believes a fantasy history of his own construction, or -- most likely -- is just pulling stuff out of his ass to cover the administration's incompetence and inability to foresee anything other than the pie-in-the-sky results the neocon's had predicted. And its landed him in hot water once again.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "Secretary Rumsfeld's efforts to smear critics of the Bush Administration's Iraq policy are a pathetic attempt to shift the public's attention from his repeated failure to manage the conduct of the war competently."

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said, "If there's one person who has failed to learn the lessons of history it's Donald Rumsfeld." The democrats are preparing to push for a vote of no confidence, demanding that Rumsfeld resign.

According to AP, "'Thought and careful preparation went into what I said,' Rumsfeld wrote in the letter. 'It is absolutely essential for us to look at lessons of history in this critical moment in the war on terror.'"

That would be the same 'thought and careful preparation' that went into planning the fiasco in Iraq. Considering that unfortunate fact, there's no reason why Rummy couldn't be replaced.

It's not like it'd be hard to find someone who lives in reality.


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