Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Unamerican Century (and Rumsfeld Analysis)

Adbusters : The Magazine - #67 Culture of Life / Culture of Death / The Unamerican Century

This is a fairly concise synopsis on the nature of the target of this movement...and why getting rid of these folks in so vital to the health of our Democracy.
The Twentieth Century was the American Century, as Time publisher Henry Luce famously asserted in 1941. The son of a
Presbyterian missionary, Luce called on Americans to spread their
values throughout the world. As a student at Yale, he belonged to the
same elite fraternity that later welcomed George W. Bush, whose questionable election in 2000 dealt a grave blow to the democratic
process that was once the foundation of America’s powerful moral
vision. It was an ominous beginning to a new century in which the
United States has emerged as the world’s sole superpower with a view of
itself as a “benevolent hegemon” free to enforce its will while
spurning the international agreements and institutions it once helped
create.

All has not worked as planned. An over-reliance on
military force has seen American soft power, the cultural capital
accumulated over the course of a century, melt away faster than the
snows of Kilimanjaro. Like Kilimanjaro’s increasingly barren crags,
what remains is an abundance of hard power – the US accounted for half
of the record $1.12 trillion in global military expenditures for 2005 –
and a dawning awareness that bombs are no match for ideas.
There was a great deal of evidence for this "militarism or bust" attitude presented a couple days ago by Donald Rumsfeld.
Published: August 30, 2006

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said that critics of the war in Iraq and the campaign against terrorist groups "seem not to have learned history's lessons" and compared them to those in the 1930s who advocated appeasing Nazi Germany.

In a speech Tuesday to thousands of veterans at the American Legion's annual convention here, Rumsfeld sharpened his rebuttal of critics of the Bush administration's Iraq strategy, some of whom have called for phased withdrawal of U.S. forces or partitioning of the country.

Comparing terrorist groups to a "new type of fascism," Rumsfeld said, "With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?"
--
Senator Jack Reed of Rhode Island, a former U.S. Army officer and a Democratic member of the Armed Services Committee, responded that "no one has misread history more than" Rumsfeld.

"It's a political rant to cover up his incompetence," Reed, a longtime critic of Rumsfeld's handling of the war, told The Associated Press.
[full story]

It's not appeasement, but marginalization that is the goal. A reduction in a threat that has always existed, and will always exist. Trying to kill all terrorists is like trying to kill all bacteria. The best strategy for long term survival is to have a strong immune system (civil society), not to over-use antibiotics and bacterial soap (military invasion). Using disproportionate means only leads to the surviving, strongest and most dangerous bacteria (terrorists) having an open organism (country) upon which to prey unopposed.

The nakedly militant strategy on our side has only made the nakedly militant strategy from OBL and Co. more appealing. Cause and effect. Logarithmic progressions of violence based on perception of impending doom. Both sides of militants are using it to try and gain power. Rumsfeld's disastrous leadership has led to a need for him to "double down" the bet.

And yes, Rumsfeld is a "him" that needs kicking out.

UPDATE; More responsese....Yglesias and some Democrats.

Here's the video where Rumsfeld calls 65% of Americans morally and intellectually wrong and Nazi appeasers.

Recall, this is the man who said, "We know where [the WMD] are. They are in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad." March 30, 2003

--
UPDATE2: The Olbermann Response.
The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis—and the sober contemplation—of every American.

For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis. For in their time, there was another government faced with true peril—with a growing evil—powerful and remorseless.

That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the facts. It, too, had the “secret information.” It alone had the true picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s -- questioning their intellect and their morality.

That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.
It get better from there. Mr. Olbermann obvious believes, like I do, that the strategy we are using (militarism, IMHO) is flawed. Viciously flawed.

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