Friday, September 01, 2006

Rumsfeld: I said it, I meant it, period.

The Monk is a fan of SecDef Rumsfeld for a simple reason: he speaks plain truths without regard for diplomatic niceties that soften the blow. Recently he spoke at the Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion conventions and Democrat Senatorial leader Harry Reid took offense. As usual, Rummy is right. And Reid's moronic reaction indicates that Americans are getting dumber -- recent polls show that the Republican lead over Democrats on national security issues has nearly vanished.

In an op-ed today in the LA Times, Rumsfeld stands by what he told the conventions in recent weeks. Here are some of the key remarks by Rumsfeld.

In speaking to our veterans, I suggested several questions to guide us during this struggle against violent extremists:

• With the growing lethality and availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that vicious extremists can somehow be appeased?

• Can we really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?

• Can we truly afford to pretend that the threats today are simply "law enforcement" problems rather than fundamentally different threats requiring fundamentally different approaches?

• Can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America — not the enemy — is the real source of the world's troubles?

* * *
The last question is particularly important, because this is the first war of the 21st century — a war that, to a great extent, will be fought in the media on a global stage. We cannot allow the terrorists' lies and myths to be repeated without question or challenge.

We also should be aware that the struggle is too important — the consequences too severe — to allow a "blame America first" mentality to overwhelm the truth that our nation, though imperfect, is a force for good in the world.

Consider that a database search of the nation's leading newspapers turns up 10 times as many mentions of one of the soldiers punished for misconduct at Abu Ghraib than of Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the global war on terror.

Then there is the case of Amnesty International, a long-respected human-rights organization, which called the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay the "gulag of our times" — a reference to the vast system of Soviet prisons and labor camps where innocent citizens were starved, tortured and murdered. The facility at Guantanamo Bay, by contrast, includes a volleyball court, basketball court, soccer field and library (the book most requested is "Harry Potter"). The food, served in accordance with Islamic diets, costs more per detainee than the average U.S. military ration.

Rumsfeld was right, and still is.

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