Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Bush admin’s word-a-day calendar

In separate speeches Monday, Vice President Cheney and Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld used the “A” word—appeasement—to malign critics of the Bush Administration’s “same shit, different day” Iraq war strategy. Rumsfeld reiterated these attacks on Tuesday.

While this is hardly the first instance of such phraseology—President Bush used similar in the run up to the invasion of Iraq in 2003—Rumsfeld’s most recent references are especially egregious. Speaking Tuesday before an American Legion Convention in Salt Lake City, Don of the Dead referred to the “rising threat of a new type of fascism,” and made it very clear that he equated those that questioned White House Iraq policy with those that advocated a negotiated settlement with Adolph Hitler.

This “new type of fascism” is, of course, a stone’s throw from another word in heavy rotation inside the right-wing echo chamber, “Islamo-fascists.” (In fact, Rummy borrowed another phrase from his pals in talk-show land, referring to those that proposed an alternative to his leadership as having a “blame America first mentality.”) And, many recent Administration emanations are attempts to somehow recast their “Global War on Terror” as the 21st Century equivalent of WWII. Of course, what remains to be revealed is if anyone—beyond the Boy King—really believes this.

It’s hard to decide which would be worse. If Rumsfeld and friends know that this comparison is utter horseshit, then this is cynical fear-mongering and mudslinging at its most base. But, if the man in charge of the Pentagon actually believes that a loose amalgam of non-state actors is the same thing as Nazi Germany, then he is nothing short of an idiot, and everything that follows—strategically and tactically—can only prove a complete disaster.

But why leave it there? Let’s take it a step further. In the Salt Lake City speech, Rumsfeld also warned that “moral or intellectual confusion” can “weaken the ability of free societies to persevere.” This sounds, to my ear, so close to Nazi critiques of Liberal Democracy—dismissing the Reichstag during the Weimar era as a “debating society”—that I am left to wonder who is really most comfortable with the foundations of fascist ideology.

Or, to sum up the Don’s remarks, I leave it to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV):

Secretary Rumsfeld's reckless comments show why America is not as safe as it can or should be five years after 9/11. If there's one person who has failed to learn the lessons of history, it's Donald Rumsfeld.

Me thinks Rumsfeld’s calendar is missing a few pages.


Post a Comment

<< Home