Friday, September 01, 2006

Republicans almost lost WWII before it started:

On this the 67th anniversary of the German invasion of Poland, the event that began the European war that led to WWII, I thought it might be instructive to take a moment and go back a bit and see what exactly Rummy was talking about when he gave his little history lesson the other day in Salt Lake City. To hear Rummy tell it, today's 'anti-war/al-Qaeda types' are making the same mistake the appeasers of Munich made in 1938. I'm assuming he's talking about Neville Chamberlain and Hitler at Munich, but then again his historical analogy is so historically inaccurate it's difficult to tell.

Without any historical context to the administration's new disinformation campaign -- the "Islamo-Fascist" snow job -- one might get the notion that those who are advocating getting our troops out of the middle of a centuries-old sectarian bloodbath are repeating the mistakes that led to WWII.

Since I'm pressed for time today, I'd like to just highlight a few stories from the years directly leading up to WWII that belie Rummy's lies.

The president and his men are implying -- not so discretely -- that the Democrats are weak on dictators. The "liberals" are willing to let al-Qaeda take over Iraq to avoid fighting, the "liberals" are willing to allow Mahoud Ahmadinejad nuke Israel because they're appeasers.

I'd like to point out that Rebublicans of the New Deal era were almost soley bent on making sure FDR was stymied at every turn in his efforts to re-arm this country and assist the British against Hitler's war machine.

On June 20th, 1940 (the same day Hitler toured Paris) the Republican's began their nominating covention in Philadelphia. A commiittee of fourty men was set up to write a platform plank for the election campaign. After much wranlging day and night between those for and opposed to intervention in Europe the plank began like this:

"The Republican plank stands for Americanism, preparedness, and peace. We accordingly fasten upon the New Deal full responsibility for our unpreparedness and for the consequent danger of involvement in war."

Robert M. Ketchum writes in his excellent history "The Borrowed Years: 1938-1941: America on the way to war" that:

"It would not be stretching things, the New York Times suggested editorially, to brand the foreign policy plank a bold-faced lie, since a majority of the Republican spokesmen in the Senate had been doing their utmost for two years to defeat every effort to increase America's military strength, and since it was difficult moreover to see exactly what the Republican Party had done recently to advance the cause of peace. The foreign policy plank was H. L. Mencken sneered, is so written that it will fit both the triumph of democracy and the collapse of democracy, and approve both sending arms to England or sending flowers only.'"

The Republican had also opposed FDR's attempts to adjust the Neutrality Act to allow US munitions to go to the UK and lost by one vote in an attempt to completely dismantle the US Army in October of 1941. All but 19 Republicans voted against renewing the Selective Service Act of 1940.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Prescott Bush: trading with the enemy.Imagine that!

I just couldn't let this one go...

The NYT reports on Rummy's appeasment speech:

"In many previous speeches, including some before groups of veterans for whom World War II is a sacred memory, he has compared the government of Saddam Hussein, and the violent resistance since it fell, to the Nazis, and warned explicitly against appeasement there or in the broader campaign against terrorism, comparing it to the error of appeasing Hitler."

I'm just wondering what he has to say about the fact that W.'s grandfather, Prescott Bush, not only was an appeaser but also made part of his fortune dealing with Hitler. The Guardian reported in 2004 that his busnesses dealing with Nazi Germany were put to an end when "his company's assets were seized in 1942 under the Trading with the Enemy Act."

Doesn't sound like he probably thought much of either FDR or Churchill.

The evidence of Prescott Bush's dealings, according to the article: "has . . .prompted one former US Nazi war crimes prosecutor to argue that the late senator's action should have been grounds for prosecution for giving aid and comfort to the enemy. "

Sort of like when W. let the Bin Ladens fly out of the country on Sep. 13?

Weird, like grandfather like grandson.

Who let Rummy out of his cage?

Rummy was caught talking again, this time at the American Legion's national convention in Salt Lake City yesterday. According to the WaPo, Rummy likened his war on terror to WWII and the fight against the Nazis. [What planet is this guy on? If this was WWII it wouldn't it almost be over by now?]

Rummy warns: "Any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right and wrong can severely weaken the ability of free societies to persevere." [Kind of sounds like something Hitler would have said.] According to the WaPo, "aides said later that Rumsfeld was not accusing the administration’s critics of trying to appease terrorists." Of course, not! Where would anyone get that idea? Besides, the Republicans know all about appeasing Hitler since most of them back in the 30's supported him and loathed FDR. [Like Prescott Bush for instance.]

Rummy then went on to accuse the media of spreading "myths and distortions" about the war and our troops. He's partly right about that. Before the war the media spread all kinds of myth and distortions, coming mainly from the pentagon and him personally. Remember, when he said "We know where they are. [the WMD] They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."

Rummy assured everyone, though, that W. "remains the same man who stood atop the rubble of lower Manhattan, with a bullhorn, vowing to fight back." [If only he'd read that Bin Laden memo!) Unfortunately, he's also the same man who flew over the rubble of New Orleans, that's the problem Rummy.

Rummy then went on to quote the WWI French president, Georges Clemenceau, who said war was "a series of catastrophes that result in victory." That certainly describes what Rummy's two wars have looked like so far -- except for the 'victory' part -- but didn't Clemenceau's war also wipe out an entire generation of Europeans in a bloody holocaust of trench-warfare? Is Rummy sure he shouldn't have quoted Jacques Clouseau instead?

After Rummy was done with his Hitlarian rant, Condi followed up by saying: "The dream of some, that we could avoid this conflict, that we did not have to take sides in this battle in the Middle East, that dream was demolished on September the 11th." (Never miss an opportunity to pull that one out Condi!)

Which side we chose is obvious: Israel's! Which conflict she's referring to, though, is a mystery. Is it Iraq? Because we could have avoided that one pretty easily, all we had to do was not invade. Or is she talking about Iran? We can still avoid that disaster. I find it funny she used the word "demolished," so soon after presiding over the pulverizing of 15,000 buildings, hundreds of bridges and roads and power plants in Lebanon. Sadly, her strong backing for so many knuckle-headed polices have demolished a lot more than just dreams. Iraq and Lebanon are monuments to her blunders and mistruths.

Since Rummy brought the subject of Hitler up:

I thought it would be interesting to check out some quotes from Hitler and Co: (Pick a quote and match the neocon)

From William Shirer's the Rise and Fall of the Third Reich:

"I live only for the purpose of leading this fight because I know that if there is not an iron will behind it, the battle cannot be won." Hitler: 31 August 1944 [Rummy?]

"Certain unreliable elements seem to believe that the war will be over for them when they surrender to the enemy. Every deserter. . . will find his just punishment." Himmler 1945 [Rummy?]

Some notes from German Chief of the General Staff Franz Halder on Hitler before he was fired during the Russian campaign:

"The continual underestimation of enemy possibilities takes on grotesque forms and is becoming dangerous. Serious work has become impossible here. Pathological reactions to momentary impressions and a complete lack of capacity to assess the situation and its possibilities give this so-called "leadership" a most particular character.

Hitler’s decisions had ceased to have anything in common with the principles of strategy and operations as they have been recognized for generations past. There were the product of a violent nature following momentary impulses, which recognized no limits to possibility and made its wishdreams the father of its acts. . . "

[page 1198]

Once when a quite objective report was read to him [about the dire situation on the Russian front]. . . Hitler flew at the man who was reading with clenched fists and foam at the corner of his mouth and forbade him to read any more of such idiotic twaddle." [David Addington?]

When Hitler fired Halder he told him, "We need National Socialist ardor now, not professional ability. I cannot expect this of an officer of the old-school such as you." [Definitely Rummy to Shinseki]

"So spoke," Halder wrote, "not a responsible warlord but a political fanatic." [page 1199] [W.]

Monday, August 28, 2006

Is Joe Biden 'sucesh' in sheep's clothing?

I think Joe Biden might be a little too smart for his own good.

The Boston Globe reports today that he's not worried about being labeled a "Northeastern liberal" when he campaigns for the democratic nomination in the South.

"'Better than anybody else,' Biden said, when asked on 'Fox News Sunday' to rate his chances of winning Southern states. 'You don't know my state,' he said. 'My state was a slave state. My state is a border state. My state has the eighth-largest black population in the country. My state is anything from a Northeast liberal state.'"

'My state was a slave state?' What? What on earth is this man talking about? Yes, Delaware is just like South Carolina.

I'm just wondering how many Delawarians served in the CSA. I can't find any stats on that, but the Delaware state web site says:

"Delaware, especially considering its small size, provided a large number of fighting men to the Union cause during the American Civil War. The best sources within the State archives indicate that there were 11,236 white soldiers, 94 sailors and marine and a total of 954 black soldiers from the First State. That makes a grand total of 12,284 Delawareans who fought for the Union out of total state population (male and female) of about 110,000 total according to the 1860 census. This number includes all branches of service . . .artillery infantry, cavalry along with the marines and sailors. "

The University of Delaware says:

"In the years leading up to the Civil War, Delaware, in many ways, represented a microcosm of the country as a whole. As a slaveholding border state, Delaware's citizenry was sharply divided between the Northern and Southern causes; however, the overwhelming number of its citizens remained loyal to the Union. An astonishing proportion of the most prominent Delawareans were sympathetic to the South as the war opened--including Governor William Burton, Secretary of State Edward Ridgely, and the whole congressional delegation: senators James A. Bayard and Willard Saulsbury and Congressman William Whiteley. While there were strong southern sympathies in Delaware, and a few extremists fled to the Confederacy, thousands more joined the armed forces of the Union."

Maybe, Biden can find the decendants of those few extremists who fled to the South and start with them.
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