Thursday :: Aug 31, 2006

Rumsfeld's Speech -Preparing Us for the Future?

by soccerdad

updated below

There has been much talk about Rumsfeld's speech to the American Legion Annual Conference. There was mention of WWI and II, appeasement, and Hitler.

There was a strange innocence about the world. Someone recently recalled one U.S. senator's reaction in September of 1939 upon hearing that Hitler had invaded Poland to start World War II. He exclaimed:

“Lord, if only I had talked to Hitler, all of this might have been avoided!”

I recount that history because once again we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism. Today -- another enemy, a different kind of enemy -- has made clear its intentions with attacks in places like New York and Washington, D.C., Bali, London, Madrid, Moscow and so many other places. But some seem not to have learned history's lessons.

There has been much talk from right discussing Iraq and the War on Terror and comparing it with the epic struggle against Hitler and Fascism. There has been a growing use of the term "IslmoFascism".

William Arkin opined:

Either Rumsfeld has delivered one of the most important speeches of the modern era, or he's gone crazy.

I think the latter, not just because I think the secretary is wrong on his intellectual characterization of terrorism, and not just because he is wrong about the media and its intentions, and not because he is so pugnacious, or because he has been wrong so many times before.

Mr. Arkin goes on to detail how it is Rumsfeld who has made error after error in the conduct of the wars.

From Bush:

''This nation is at war with Islamic fascists who will use any means to destroy those of us who love freedom, to hurt our nation,'' he said, his remarks carried live on television.

update: From Bush's speech to the veterans

"As veterans you have seen this kind of enemy before," Bush said. "They are successors to fascists, to Nazis, to communists and other totalitarians of the 20th century. And history shows what the outcome will be.

"This war will be difficult. This war will be long. And this war will end in the defeat of the terrorists," Bush said.

The themes of fighting fascism, comparisons to WWII, talk about the clash of civilizations, the concept of WWIII or IV depending on which neocon you listen to have been around for some time but they are picking up in intensity and being used more and more.

There has been another very disturbing recent trend, articles about whether the US has what it takes to win. Walter Williams had a paper entitled WILL THE WEST DEFEND ITSELF?

Does the United States have the power to eliminate terrorists and the states that support them? In terms of capacity, as opposed to will, the answer is a clear yes.

Think about it. Currently, the U.S. has an arsenal of 18 Ohio class submarines. Just one submarine is loaded with 24 Trident nuclear missiles. Each Trident missile has eight nuclear warheads capable of being independently targeted. That means the U.S. alone has the capacity to wipe out Iran, Syria or any other state that supports terrorist groups or engages in terrorism -- without risking the life of a single soldier.

Terrorist supporters know we have this capacity, but because of worldwide public opinion, which often appears to be on their side, coupled with our weak will, we'll never use it. Today's Americans are vastly different from those of my generation who fought the life-and-death struggle of World War II. Any attempt to annihilate our Middle East enemies would create all sorts of handwringing about the innocent lives lost, so-called collateral damage.

Such an argument would have fallen on deaf ears during World War II when we firebombed cities in Germany and Japan. The loss of lives through saturation bombing far exceeded those lost through the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Lets go back to Rumsfeld's speech again:

Not so long ago, an exhibit -- Enola Gay at the Smithsonian during the 1990s -- seemed to try to rewrite the history of World War II by portraying the United States as somewhat of an aggressor. Fortunately, the American Legion was there to lead the effort to set the record straight. (Applause.)

Why the increase in this kind of talk and why now. My first response was that it was simply trying to build support for the fiasco that is Iraq. Making the war seem more important, confusing people about what the war is really about etc. I have concluded that this line of reasoning is probably wrong.

The rhetoric from Bush, Rumsfeld, and the right wingers is aimed, not at diverting us from the past, but preparing us for the future. I am convinced, as I stated yesterday, that there will be an attack on Iran. The real reason for Iraq and now Iran is the quest for the resources in the area which translates directly to power in an energy starved world. The neocons, never having left the cold war, at least mentally, see this as a way to project American power against Russia and China. In their eyes to give up is to surrenders America's role of the lone superpower in the world. So they will go ahead. They will throw gasoline on the fire. It also needs to be remembered that the neocon's nihilistic view of the world places no value on human life. It is likely that they will use the low yield bunker busters thus making the US the only country to use nuclear weapons still.

The blowback will be horrific. It seems likely that the troops in Iraq will come under fire with substantial lose of life. There would likely be attacks here in the US, possibly by Iranians already here. The Bush administration will do nothing to stop any such attacks. Oil shipments will be slowed causing economic harm and Israel will come under attack.

Thus, we will then be at a point where all the talk by Bush and Rumsfeld about Islamofascists, clash of Civilizations, and WWIV will appear to have been prophetic. Rallying the populace against the Islamofascists will become easy. They are going for broke and their rhetoric is laying the ground work. They know what's coming and they are framing the context so as to be able to rally support.

Clearly this was never an inevitable path. In fact the neocons and this administration have purposely taken us down this path, risking everything, to further their hegemony. The irony is that at that point invoking Hitler will be appropriate as Bush will take his place among the elite of political warfare such as Hitler and Stalin, slaughtering millions for political gain.

soccerdad :: 5:36 PM :: Comments (32) :: Digg It!