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The Asylum

Welcome to the Asylum. This is a site devoted to politics and current events in America, and around the globe. The THREE lunatics posting here are unabashed conservatives that go after the liberal lies and deceit prevalent in the debate of the day. We'd like to add that the views expressed here do not reflect the views of other inmates, nor were any inmates harmed in the creation of this site.

Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Monday, September 04, 2006

The 1930s And Today: Don Rumsfeld And The AP Account Of His Speech

I listened to Donald Rumsfeld's speech before the American Legion last week, But I did not read any of the criticisms of it. And according to the New York Sun, the AP supposedly did a job on him. The problem, according to the editorial staff of the New York Sun, is that the AP reports of his comments sounded a lot better than the secretary's comments during his speech.

Quite a brouhaha is erupting over exactly what Secretary Rumsfeld meant by what he said to the American Legion the other day about terror appeasers. The Associated Press initially characterized the speech as comparing modern opponents of the war on terror to naifs of the 1930s who failed to recognize the grave danger posed by rising fascism in Europe. The Pentagon now says that reporters read too much into Mr. Rumsfeld's remarks and that the secretary did not mean to compare today's appeasers to the appeasers of the 1930s. The AP has even recast its story to soften its interpretation of the relevant passages in Mr. Rumsfeld's speech. We liked the AP's first version better.

According to the first version of the AP story, Mr. Rumsfeld "accused critics of the Bush administration's Iraq and counterterrorism policies of trying to appease ‘a new type of fascism.'" What Mr. Rumsfeld actually said is different. After contemplating the failed history of appeasement in the 1930s, the secretary suggested that "We need to face the following questions: With the growing lethality and availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased? …" Mr. Rumsfeld raises a good point. However, he would have been entirely correct had he uttered the words with which the AP paraphrased his remarks.

The AP reporter wrote that "in unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the administration's critics as suffering from ‘moral or intellectual confusion' about what threatens the nation's security and accused them of lacking the courage to fight back." Mr. Rumsfeld did speak of how in the 1930s, "a certain amount of cynicism and moral confusion set in among the western democracies." He also spoke of the present fight against terror and Islamic fascism as a "‘long war,' where any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can severely weaken the ability of free societies to persevere."

By our lights, the AP's version is closer than Mr. Rumsfeld's more diplomatic locution to the realities of today's home front. The secretary may be seeking to play down the significance of his comments, but the fact remains that America is in the middle of a long war and, five years after September 11 and more than three years after the invasion of Iraq, it can be easy to lose sight of the goal, as well as the danger posed by the enemy, a pseudo-religious nihilistic death cult all too reminiscent of the fascists of the 1930s. To regain the political high ground from opponents of this war who draw faulty parallels to Vietnam, the president and his advisers will need all the straight talk they can muster about the 1930s.

That is precisely what our side has been doing. Regardless of what one thinks of this war, the parallels between the 1930s and right now are eeriely similar. The only difference I can see thus far is that Iran has not demanded any of its neighbors returned to their control, a la pieces of the former Persian Empire. the Munich Accords from '34 gave Hitler part of Chechoslovakia, and in '39 he simply took the rest, breaking the accords. But that has not happened yet.

What has happened, in the overall sense of the war, is that critics have grown tired of this war, tired of this president, and they want both to disappear. And within the next two years, the president will disappear. He will do so when he leaves office. But the war, as he stated fromt he start, will still go on. And it must continue until our enemy is destroyed and they have surrendered.

That is the only way this war will end. One side will give up. And for our sakes, we had better hope that we will not be the ones capitulating. The fate of this nation, and the free world, depends on us not giving in. Secretary Rumsfeld was right for calling out those that have been rabid critics of this war. Not because it is the politically expedient thing to do, but because it shows America that there are a number of people in this nation that just cannot deal with the fact that we are in a war we must win. This is not a peacekeeping mission. This is not a rescue mission. This is not a mission where the parameters for victory have been laidf out by the United Nations, as they were in the '91 Gulf War. The parameters for victory should be the death of all our terrorist enemies, or their inability to fight any longer thereby giving us our "unconditional surrender."

But fanatics rarely give up. Even Hitler did not surrender to the Allies in 1945. He knew what his fate would be in their handsHis neck was going to be stretched with the rest of his Nazi cronies. He surrendered to the inevitable, and committed suicide. A cowards way out, to be sure, but one far better than what the Allies might have done to him. Especially if any of those Allies were involved in the liberation of the concentration camps. Were I a soldier at the time, I doubt I would have had the restraint needed to take Hitler into custody. I might have wasted the bullet on him right then and there.

The point of Secretary Rumsfeld's speech was that we will not give up. We will not surrender. We will continue to fight our enemy, and we will defeat them. All we want is a little safety and security over here for the people who live in America. and we cannot have that if a group of Islamofascists have it out for us. We saw what they were capable of executing on 9/11, and that anniversary is right around the corner. Instead of the "feel-good" Left's interpretation of we-should-all-just-get-along rationale, we should use that anniversary as a reminder of what this war means, and that those that died that day should not have died in vain.



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