Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Civil Libertarian = Confused Fascist

If anybody finds the title offensive it’s not my fault, since I’m only paraphrasing what Donald Rumsfeld said at the American Legion’s national convention. Not that he actually uttered the “L” word, mind you; instead, he discussed the administration’s critics:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday accused critics of the Bush administration’s Iraq and counterterrorism policies of trying to appease “a new type of fascism.”

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.

When politicians use the word “appease” these days it usually foreshadows a Hitler analogy, and Rumsfeld sticks to that rule:
Rumsfeld recited what he called the lessons of history, including the failed efforts to appease the Adolf Hitler regime in the 1930s. . . . Rumsfeld recalled a string of recent terrorist attacks, from 9/11 to bombings in Bali, London and Madrid, and said it should be obvious to anyone that terrorists must be confronted, not appeased.

“But some seem not to have learned history’s lessons,” he said, adding that part of the problem is that the American news media have tended to emphasize the negative rather than the positive.

He said, for example, that more media attention was given to U.S. soldiers’ abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib than to the fact that Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith received the Medal of Honor.

“Can we truly afford to believe somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?” he asked.

You know, I work for the American news media myself (albeit a small, low-paying, mostly unknown piece of it), and I’m imagining myself torn between two possible stories, only one of which I have room to report today. First option: local police have been caught abusing prisoners. Second choice: another policeman with no connection to the others is getting an outstanding-service award.

Definitely the abuse story. Even if I had room for both I’d probably save the award for tomorrow, because if you run a hooray-for-the-cops story right next to a cops-are-abusive story it looks too much like deadpan commentary. Perhaps my editorial decision is appeasement. Not in the same league as helping us lose the war, but the only reason I haven’t done that is I’m pretty much confined to stories that take place within the tri-town area, which does not contain Iraq.

Anyway, Condi and the President are supposed to speak at the convention later this week. I doubt their speeches can top Rumsfeld’s, but I can always hope.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Alex said...

The people who say "focus on the good news" and then offer up an example of the good news always make themselves look pathetic.

"Sure, 20 people died in a car bombing today, but what about the soldier who got his home town to donate backpacks for an elementary school in the Kurdish area?"

5:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rumsfeld's comments, translated: All who question threaten our great motherland. Reporters who fail to be toadies for us should be purged.

7:17 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Anonymous was your friendly Number 6, btw.

7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not trying to pick a fight here, but maybe you should listen to the speech instead of the AP's hatchet job. The man said

"I recount this history because once again we face the same kind of challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism."

Nowhere in there does he say "our critics are fascist".

Q&O has a good write up on the whole cloth lie peddled by AP - http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?entry=4496

9:55 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Nowhere in there does he say "our critics are fascist".

No, they merely suffer from moral and intellectual confusion which makes them want to appease fascists.

11:28 AM  
Anonymous Wild Pegasus said...

It's always 1939.

- Josh

9:12 PM  

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