Thursday, August 31, 2006

Keith's right, and he's wrong

This morning the left blogoshpere is all atwitter about Keith Olbermann's rebuke of Donald Rumsfeld, for the bespectacled Secretary of Duh'fense saying in a speech before the octogenarian dominated American Legion convention, in Salt Lake City, UT, Tuesday, "...we face similar challenges in efforts to confront the rising threat of a new type of fascism[.]" The Duh'fense Secretary also intimated that critics of the Iraq occupation were "appeasers" of "Islamo-fascism" in a way similar to that Neville Chamberlain at the Munich Conference of 1938, that handed over the Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia to Hitler's Germany.

Olbermann turned that on its head
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


That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.
I don't know, really, if Olbermann here is being ironic or not. The kinds of political attacks by a ruling party against its critics that Olbermann cites was standard operating proceedure in 1938 Nazi Germany, not Great Britian. But Neville Chamberlain has received bad press ever since.

Somewhere, and I can't find the source, I've read that due to the double-whammy of world War I and the Great Depression Chaberlain's Great Britian was in no shape to fight a war with Germany. Nor was Édouard Daladier's France in any better economic shape. The truth was, Chamberlain knew Hitler was a threat but the political climate in Great Britian at the time, and perhaps his own personal inclination, prevented more forceful action. After all when he waved the Munich Agreement above his head at Heston Airport the crowd cheered.

In playing the game of "what if," most agree had Chamerlain and Daladier stood firm against Hilter World War II, at least in Europe, might never have happened.

Neville Chamberlain never, as Olbermann claims,"...demonized Winston Churchill" as has the Bush administration of its critics.

But Olbermann is correct on this; Rumfeld and the entire Bush administration's new attack meme that opponents of their misguided "war on terror" and "war in Iraq" as appeasers is wrong. And more importantly it is they who are the fascists.

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