Monday, September 13, 2004

Rumsfeld, Bush, and the War on Terror
from the mind of  ME=mc^2.

Did anybody see Rumsfeld at the National Pres Club on Friday? There was one question/answer which was priceless. John Donnelly, a reporter with Congressional Quarterly and chairman of the Press Club Board of Governors, was moderating the questions:

DONNELLY: "The Financial Times today editorializes that it is, quote, 'time to consider Iraq withdrawal,' close quote, noting the protracted war is not winnable and it's creating more terrorists and enemies of the West. What is your response,
this questioner asks."

RUMSFELD: "Who put that question in? He ought to get a life. If he's got time to read that kind of stuff -- (laughter) -- he ought to get a life." (Scattered applause.)

"They've been saying things like that for months, and there have always been critics. There have always been people who say it's not worth it. And indeed, if you watch in any conflict in our history, there have always been people who said, 'Why? Why should we do that? Another loss of life. Another person wounded. Another limb off.' And -- you can't go to the hospitals at Bethesda or Walter Reed and see those folks and not have your heart break for them and the fact that their lives are going to be lived differently; or tomorrow, when we go to Arlington and recall all those who died on September 11th and lives not lived.

"But it is worth it. It is worth it. And those who suggest to the contrary are not only wrong, but they will be proved wrong.

"The -- Germany and Italy were fascist states -- and Japan -- during World War II. And throughout the entire Cold War those countries stood with us against the Soviet Union. How does that happen? How did they go from being fascist states to being democracies and to helping to prevent the Soviet Union from expanding across Europe?

"South Korea -- same people in the north, same people in the south. South of the DMZ: robust economy, vibrant democracy. Up north: darkness, starvation, concentration camps. They had to lower the height for getting in the military in North Korea to four feet, 10 inches for adults, because of starvation.

"Now think of those people. Think if we'd said, 'Oh! It's not worth it.'

"The extremists are determined to destroy states. They are determined to destroy free systems. They are determined to take their violence and spread it across this globe, and we can't let them do it. And The Financial Times is wrong." (Applause.)

This is one of the biggest reasons why it is so important that Bush get reelected: We are witnessing nothing less than the boldest and most ideological foreign policy since Truman and the Marshall plan. People living in desparate circumstances and with no hope for any change in the status quo tend to be easily seduced by extreme ideologies. Psychologically, it is far more attractive to blame others than to confront ones' own self-created pathologies. Pre-World War II Germany is a prime example: The disasterous economic situation of Germany in the early 1930s allowed the Nazis to successfully peddle their dispicable agenda and to easily convinced large numbers of people that their problems were the fault of another group -- the Jews. Likewise, the Wahhabis have convinced large numbers in the Arab/Islamic world that the West and Israel are somehow responsible for their own desparate circumstances, and in particular, the situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. This conclusion requires no introsepction or self-criticism, and avoids the messy problem that governments in the Arab/Islamic world consist only of medieval theocracies, tribal monarchies, Soviet style dictatorships, or one-election thugs.

On the other hand, people with a realistic and genuine hope for a better tomorrow and better circumstances for their children, even if they do not themselves enjoy all the comforts that the world has to offer, rarely if ever feel driven to the barricades. The combination of democracy and a free market economy is the only arrangement which consistently provides this hope to significant numbers of people in a society.

The only long term solution to Islamofascist terror -- the only way to stop creating more terrorists and enemies of the West -- is to drag the Arab/Islamic world kicking and screaming into the 21st century, use military force to implant consensual governments and free market economies as was done during World War II in Germany, Italy, and Japan, and thus defeat and discredit the extremist ideas of Wahhabism. We have tried appeasment and it lead from the Iran hostage crisis to the bombing of the Marine Barracks to more hijackings and hostages to the first attack on the World Trade Center to the Khobar Towers bombing to the African embassy bombings to the U.S.S. Cole and finally to the September 11 attacks.

Rumsfeld's answer to that silly question at the National Press Club on Friday demostrates that of the two candidates for president, Mr. Bush is the only one who understands this historic truth.


Blogger M@ said...

Well said...I watched that myself and found myself once again glad that Rummy is who he is. I guess I got too used to the Clinton years, when no one said anything backed by much conviction except "I did not have sexual relations..."


11:32 AM  

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