NYT suckers KP by carving up Rumsfeld’s speech

posted at 4:38 pm on August 30, 2006 by Allahpundit

So I was over at Kirsten Powers’s blog, pining away, when I stumbled upon this bit of unwarranted snarkiness. Emphases mine:

The NYT’s reports on Rumsfeld’s latest broadside against those who are in touch with reality:

“Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday that critics of the war in Iraq and the campaign against terror groups ‘seem not to have learned history’s lessons,’ and he alluded to those in the 1930’s who advocated appeasing Nazi Germany.”

He really shouldn’t talk about Robert Novak, George Will, and William F. Buckley Jr. like that. Not nice at all. I may not agree with them on most things, but calling them appeasers is just not nice.

Yeah, it’s not nice. It’s also not what he said. Here’s the transcript. Quote:

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.

Note: not Baghdad or Fallujah, although I certainly would have included them on the list. And note: it’s not “critics of the war in Iraq” but “some” unspecified segment of the population he accuses of not having learned history’s lessons. Would Powers herself deny that that’s true? She’s a Lieberman supporter, for Christ’s sake. She knocked the nutroots “fringe” not five days ago for believing that the UK terror plot was concocted to distract the world from Little Neddy’s primary win in Connecticut. Has she changed her mind?

Or did she make the very foolish mistake of trusting the Times to represent accurately what Rumsfeld had said?

More from the Times article:

Mr. Rumsfeld’s speech on Tuesday did not explicitly mention the Democrats, and he cited only comments by human rights groups and in press reports as evidence of what he described as “moral or intellectual confusion about who or what is right or wrong.”

Here’s the passage that quote comes from. He’s talking about Haditha and the rape and murder of the young Iraqi girl at Mahmoudiya:

[I]n every army, there are occasional bad actors, the ones who dominate the headlines today, who don’t live up to the standards of the oath and of our country. But you also know that they are a very, very small percentage of the literally hundreds of thousands of honorable men and women in all theaters in this struggle who are serving our country with humanity, with decency, with professionalism, and with courage in the face of continuous provocation. (Applause.)

And that is important in any long struggle or long war, where any kind of moral or intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong, can weaken the ability of free societies to persevere.

I.e., just because we have some bad people in the military doesn’t mean we’re the bad guys, especially vis-a-vis this particular enemy. Would Powers disagree with that? Will she not at least acknowledge that Rumsfeld’s rhetoric about appeasement doesn’t accuse anyone of being unpatriotic or cowardly, as so many lefties often claim, but merely “confusion”?

I see now there’s a lot more work to be done here before KP joins us on the right. A lot more.

McQ caught the Associated Press doing the same type of hatchet job on the very same Rumsfeld speech; read it now if you missed it earlier on Instapundit. Meanwhile, the morons at “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” are planning a special commentary tonight on Rumsfeld’s speech; I’m on the mailing list (don’t ask) and received this hot bulletin a few hours ago:

Things have changed since we sent out today’s newsletter… worth noting.

Keith will have a commentary on Donald Rumsfeld’s “fascism” remarks.

It’s a must-see edition of Countdown.

No doubt it’ll be scrupulously fair to, and representative of, Rumsfeld’s actual remarks. Check in at Olbermann Watch later. I’m sure they’ll have the heavy artillery out for this.

Update: No doubt thanks in part to the attention McQ’s post has been getting, the AP has rewritten parts of its article about Rumsfeld’s speech.


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