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Sunday, September 03, 2006

Frank Rich / NYTimes:

Donald Rumsfeld’s Dance With the Nazis

PRESIDENT BUSH came to Washington vowing to be a uniter, not a
divider. Well, you win some and you lose some. But there is one member
of his administration who has not broken that promise: Donald Rumsfeld.
With indefatigable brio, he has long since united Democrats,
Republicans, generals and civilians alike in calling for his scalp.

Last week the man who gave us “stuff happens” and
“you go to war with the Army you have” outdid himself. In
an instantly infamous address to the American Legion, he likened
critics of the Iraq debacle to those who “ridiculed or
ignored” the rise of the Nazis in the 1930’s and tried to
appease Hitler. Such Americans, he said, suffer from a “moral or
intellectual confusion” and fail to recognize the “new type
of fascism” represented by terrorists. Presumably he was not only
describing the usual array of “Defeatocrats” but also the
first President Bush, who had already been implicitly tarred as an
appeaser by Tony Snow last month for failing to knock out Saddam in
1991. link below >>>


What made Mr. Rumsfeld’s speech noteworthy wasn’t its
toxic effort to impugn the patriotism of administration critics by
conflating dissent on Iraq with cut-and-run surrender and incipient
treason. That’s old news. No, what made Mr. Rumsfeld’s
performance special was the preview it offered of the ambitious
propaganda campaign planned between now and Election Day. An
on-the-ropes White House plans to stop at nothing when rewriting its
record of defeat (not to be confused with defeatism) in a war that has
now lasted longer than America’s fight against the actual Nazis
in World War II.

Here’s how brazen Mr. Rumsfeld was when he invoked Hitler’s appeasers to score his cheap points: Since Hitler was photographed
warmly shaking Neville Chamberlain’s hand at Munich in 1938, the
only image that comes close to matching it in epochal obsequiousness is
the December 1983 photograph
of Mr. Rumsfeld himself in Baghdad, warmly shaking the hand of Saddam
Hussein in full fascist regalia. Is the defense secretary so
self-deluded that he thought no one would remember a picture so easily
Googled on the Web? Or worse, is he just too shameless to care?

Mr. Rumsfeld didn’t go to Baghdad in 1983 to tour the museum.
Then a private citizen, he had been dispatched as an emissary by the
Reagan administration, which sought to align itself with Iraq in the
Iran-Iraq war. Saddam was already a notorious thug. Well before Mr.
Rumsfeld’s trip, Amnesty International had reported the
dictator’s use of torture — “beating, burning, sexual
abuse and the infliction of electric shocks” — on hundreds
of political prisoners. Dozens more had been summarily executed or had
“disappeared.” American intelligence agencies knew that
Saddam had used chemical weapons to gas both Iraqi Kurds and Iranians.

According to declassified State Department memos detailing Mr.
Rumsfeld’s Baghdad meetings, the American visitor never raised
the subject of these crimes with his host. (Mr. Rumsfeld has since
claimed otherwise, but that is not supported by the documents, which
can be viewed online at George Washington University’s National Security Archive.)
Within a year of his visit, the American mission was accomplished: Iraq
and the United States resumed diplomatic relations for the first time
since Iraq had severed them in 1967 in protest of American backing of
Israel in the Six-Day War.

In his speech last week, Mr. Rumsfeld paraphrased Winston Churchill:
Appeasing tyrants is “a bit like feeding a crocodile, hoping it
would eat you last.” He can quote Churchill all he wants, but if
he wants to self-righteously use that argument to smear others, the
record shows that Mr. Rumsfeld cozied up to the crocodile of Baghdad as
smarmily as anyone. To borrow the defense secretary’s own
formulation, he suffers from moral confusion about Saddam.

Mr. Rumsfeld also suffers from intellectual confusion about
terrorism. He might not have appeased Al Qaeda but he certainly enabled
it. Like Chamberlain, he didn’t recognize the severity of the
looming threat until it was too late. Had he done so, maybe his boss
would not have blown off intelligence about imminent Qaeda attacks
while on siesta in Crawford.

For further proof, read the address Mr. Rumsfeld gave to Pentagon
workers on Sept. 10, 2001 — a policy manifesto he regarded as
sufficiently important, James Bamford reminds us in his book “A
Pretext to War,” that it was disseminated to the press.
“The topic today is an adversary that poses a threat, a serious
threat, to the security of the United States of America” is how
the defense secretary began. He then went on to explain that this
adversary “crushes new ideas” with “brutal
consistency” and “disrupts the defense of the United
States.” It is a foe “more subtle and implacable”
than the former Soviet Union, he continued, stronger and larger and
“closer to home” than “the last decrepit dictators of
the world.”

And who might this ominous enemy be? Of that, Mr. Rumsfeld was as
certain as he would later be about troop strength in Iraq: “the
Pentagon bureaucracy.” In love with the sound of his own voice,
he blathered on for almost 4,000 words while Mohamed Atta and the 18
other hijackers fanned out to American airports.

Three months later, Mr. Rumsfeld would still be asleep at the
switch, as his war command refused to heed the urgent request by
American officers on the ground for the additional troops needed to
capture Osama bin Laden when he was cornered in Tora Bora. What would
follow in Iraq was also more Chamberlain than Churchill. By failing to
secure and rebuild the country after the invasion, he created a
terrorist haven where none had been before.

That last story is seeping out in ever more incriminating detail,
thanks to well-sourced chronicles like “Fiasco,”
“Cobra II” and “Blood Money,” T. Christian
Miller’s new account of the billions of dollars squandered and
stolen in Iraq reconstruction. Still, Americans have notoriously short
memories. The White House hopes that by Election Day it can induce
amnesia about its failures in the Middle East as deftly as Mr. Rumsfeld
(with an assist from John Mark Karr) helped upstage first-anniversary
remembrances of Katrina.

One obstacle is that White House allies, not just Democrats, are
sounding the alarm about Iraq. In recent weeks, prominent
conservatives, some still war supporters and some not, have steadily
broached the dread word Vietnam: Chuck Hagel, William F. Buckley Jr. and the columnists Rich Lowry and Max Boot. A George Will column critical of the war so rattled the White House that it had a flunky release a public 2,400-word response notable for its incoherence.

If even some conservatives are making accurate analogies between
Vietnam and Iraq, one way for the administration to drown them out is
to step up false historical analogies of its own, like Mr.
Rumsfeld’s. In the past the administration has been big on
comparisons between Iraq and the American Revolution — the
defense secretary once likened
“the snows of Valley Forge” to “the sandstorms of
central Iraq” — but lately the White House vogue has been
for “Islamo-fascism,” which it sees as another rhetorical
means to retrofit Iraq to the more salable template of World War II.

“Islamo-fascism” certainly sounds more impressive than
such tired buzzwords as “Plan for Victory” or “Stay
the Course.” And it serves as a handy substitute for “As
the Iraqis stand up, we’ll stand down.” That slogan had to
be retired abruptly last month after The New York Times reported
that violence in Baghdad has statistically increased rather than
decreased as American troops handed over responsibilities to Iraqis.
Yet the term “Islamo-fascists,” like the bygone
“evildoers,” is less telling as a description of the enemy
than as a window into the administration’s continued confusion
about exactly who the enemy is. As the writer Katha Pollitt asks in The Nation,
“Who are the ‘Islamo-fascists’ in Saudi Arabia
— the current regime or its religious-fanatical opponents?”

Next up is the parade of presidential speeches culminating in what
The Washington Post describes as “a whirlwind tour of the Sept.
11 attack sites”: All Fascism All the Time. In his opening salvo,
delivered on Thursday to the same American Legion convention that
cheered Mr. Rumsfeld, Mr. Bush worked in the Nazis and Communists and
compared battles in Iraq to Omaha Beach and Guadalcanal. He once more
interchanged the terrorists who struck the World Trade Center with car
bombers in Baghdad, calling them all part of the same epic
“ideological struggle of the 21st century.” One more drop
in the polls, and he may yet rebrand this mess War of the Worlds.

“Iraq is not overwhelmed by foreign terrorists,” said
the congressman John Murtha in succinct rebuttal to the
president’s speech. “It is overwhelmed by Iraqis fighting
Iraqis.” And with Americans caught in the middle. If we owe
anything to those who died on 9/11, it is that we not forget how the
administration diverted our blood and treasure from the battle against
bin Laden and other stateless Islamic terrorists, fascist or whatever,
to this quagmire in a country that did not attack us on 9/11. The
number of American dead in Iraq — now more than 2,600 — is
inexorably approaching the death toll of that Tuesday morning five
years ago.
Thanks to Hoffmania. Check 'em out!


Blogger chancuff said...

As most who attended the rally know, I was there. After the dust had cleared created by some moonbat among the bootmurtha crowd who called in a fake police report that a fight had broken out, Larry Bailey came out to speak with me.

I complimented him from the bottom of my heart for the contributions he has made to our country's national security while he was serving active duty in the US Navy.

He made it clear my request to speak would not happen. He then proceeded to suggest he has no memory of the email he wrote me on 8/20/2006 2:59:30 P.M. Eastern Standard Time stating that our current Commander in Chief made stupid mistakes in Iraq.

Larry then proceeded to illustrate stupid mistakes made in passed wars. After he mentioned 3 or 4 examples I interjected that there is a difference between those wars and this one.

In the past it took weeks, months, sometimes years for mistakes to be discovered and reported. Today is the information age where mistakes are reported within hours of their occurrence. I reminded him this war was still going on. I also reminded him of the glaring mistakes he had acknowledged President Bush had made in Iraq, and our respective use of the Internet to support our respective views and that is where our conversation ended.

I waited outside the Arena with a Johnstown police officer who had stayed behind after the bootmurtha hysterics caused 3 squad cars and a sergeant to arrive with sirens blaring. I was debating Steeler football with him when a motorcycle officer stopped by, who had been inside. When I asked how many were inside he said, "not many at all" When I asked "500?", he responded, "na ... well maybe 500, at most."

At the end of the event when Larry Bailey came out for a photo op next to the sign on the sidewalk outside the War Memorial Arena. I handed Larry the speech I had waited to deliver. He put it in his outside left coat pocket.

This is my speech Larry Bailey has in his coat pocket ... the words he was not man enough to let me say:

"Please join me in Prayer.

Heavily father we pray today for you to continue to protect the men and women of the armed forces of the United States and other countries who are in harms way in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other countries throughout the world. We thank them and their families for their sacrifices.

We pray for the souls of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in all wars. We pray for strength and courage for the POWs and MIAs and those held hostage.

We pray for protection and safety of relief workers helping those in need.

We pray for the protection of children and innocent civilians. Lord we especially pray for our nation and our leaders."

Below you will find the press release that went out on October 29th of this year.

CONTACT: Cliff Hancuff
September 29, 2006 (202) 247-1418

"American troops could be home now, except for critical mistakes made by our current Commander in Chief," charges Cliff Hancuff, Director of The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too.

"Media and right-wing bloggers are ignoring this fact. For weeks I have been challenging political activists and journalists to act with a minimum of ethical standards," continued Hancuff.

"I became involved when the Sun-Sentinel in Florida reported that Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) said the U.S. poses the top threat to world peace. I watched in dismay as the media and bloggers worldwide reported on this misquote."

"My involvement continued when I discovered Diana Irey, John Murtha's political opponent, had attacked Murtha using a fictional quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln."

"Larry Bailey of is continuing his three year blind support of our current Commander in Chief's incompetence in war. President Bush declared war in Iraq without the 4th Infantry, our most lethal, modern, and deployable heavy division in the world," added Hancuff.

This mistake lead to the atrocity of Al Qaqaa. Iraqi insurgents stole hundreds of tons of high explosives to be used as weaponry.

"These are the explosives being used by Iraqi insurgents and al Qaeda to perpetuate the war in Iraq."

"I am distressed that the same issues ignored by Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004 are being ignored again in 2006," said Hancuff adding, "Americans, American soldiers, and their families deserve better."

"Without these critical mistakes made by our current Commander in Chief, our American troops would be home with their loved ones, with honor, right now."

On October 1, 2006 Hancuff be at the Cambria County War Memorial Arena located in Johnstown Pennsylvania for Larry Bailey's Swiftboating of John Murtha rally. It is there Hancuff will continue his wait for Mr. Bailey to recall the values of honor and integrity taught him by our US Navy.

There is a video online at:

YouTube - Rovian Architecture Unplugged

The World of Journalism Is Flat, Too
(202) 247-1418


10/03/2006 11:22 PM  

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