Civil Libertarian = Confused Fascist
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.”When politicians use the word “appease” these days it usually foreshadows a Hitler analogy, and Rumsfeld sticks to that rule:
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.
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.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.
“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.
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.