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Title: Keith Olberman on Rummy's Speech
Source: Dailykos
URL Source: [None]
Published: Aug 31, 2006
Author: Olberman
Post Date: 2006-08-31 11:18:33 by bluedogtxn
Keywords: None
Views: 852
Comments: 25

The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.

Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.

Mr. Rumsfeld's remarkable speech to the American Legion yesterday demands the deep analysis--and the sober contemplation--of every American.

For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence -- indeed, the loyalty -- of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land. Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants -- our employees -- with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration's track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life's blood of human freedom; and not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.

It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile it is right and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.

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 morality.

That government was England's, in the 1930's.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.

It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.

It knew that the hard evidence it received, which contradicted its own policies, its own conclusions -- its own omniscience -- needed to be dismissed.

The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew the truth.

Most relevant of all -- it "knew" that its staunchest critics needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile, at best morally or intellectually confused.

That critic's name was Winston Churchill.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

History -- and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England -- have taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty -- and his own confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the man, but that the office can also make the facts.

Thus, did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.

Excepting the fact, that he has the battery plugged in backwards.

His government, absolute -- and exclusive -- in its knowledge, is not the modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis.

It is the modern version of the government of Neville Chamberlain.

But back to today's Omniscient ones.

That, about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused is simply this: This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely.

And, as such, all voices count -- not just his.

Had he or his president perhaps proven any of their prior claims of omniscience -- about Osama Bin Laden's plans five years ago, about Saddam Hussein's weapons four years ago, about Hurricane Katrina's impact one year ago -- we all might be able to swallow hard, and accept their "omniscience" as a bearable, even useful recipe, of fact, plus ego.

But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own arrogance, and its own hubris.

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have -- inadvertently or intentionally -- profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer's New Clothes?

In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised? As a child, of whose heroism did he read? On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day to fight? With what country has he confused the United States of America?

The confusion we -- as its citizens-- must now address, is stark and forbidding.

But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and obscured our flag. Note -- with hope in your heart -- that those earlier Americans always found their way to the light, and we can, too.

The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and this administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City, so valiantly fought.

And about Mr. Rumsfeld's other main assertion, that this country faces a "new type of fascism."

As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he said that -- though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble tribute, I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist Edward R. Murrow.

But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew everything, and branded those who disagreed: "confused" or "immoral."

Thus, forgive me, for reading Murrow, in full:

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954. "We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law.

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular."

And so good night, and good luck.

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#1. To: bluedogtxn, justlurking (#0)

Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to Katrina, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to envelop this nation, he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies have -- inadvertently or intentionally -- profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.

And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the Emporer's New Clothes?

lol! Olberman treads that very thin line so carefully.

"If there’s another 9/11 or a major war in the Middle-East involving a U.S. attack on Iran, I have no doubt that there will be, the day after or within days an equivalent of a Reichstag fire decree that will involve massive detentions in this country."

- Daniel Ellsberg Author, Pentagon Papers

robin  posted on  2006-08-31   11:22:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#2. To: bluedogtxn (#0)

Outstanding. ERM bump.

Lod  posted on  2006-08-31   11:25:10 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#3. To: All (#0)

"We will not walk in fear, one of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men, not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were for the moment unpopular."

This is what needs to be said and said and said.

the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal bread.

bluedogtxn  posted on  2006-08-31   11:26:50 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#4. To: bluedogtxn (#0)

Wow. Looks like the demonization machine is going to have to run in overdrive today. If I was a bot I wouldn't want anyone reading this. Oberman is going to be a satan worshiping child molester by the time Rush comes on the are to scare the rubes away from the actual text.

.

...  posted on  2006-08-31   11:28:24 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#5. To: ... (#4)

Wow. Looks like the demonization machine is going to have to run in overdrive today.

That machine runs all the damn time anyway.

the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal bread.

bluedogtxn  posted on  2006-08-31   11:29:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#6. To: bluedogtxn (#0)

Wonder when Keith Olbermann will be joining Mike Malloy in the unemployment line.

"I woke up in the CRAZY HOUSE."

mehitable  posted on  2006-08-31   11:31:12 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#7. To: mehitable (#6)

Wonder when Keith Olbermann will be joining Mike Malloy in the unemployment line.

He won't. He'll be told by an editor or a producer to "lighten up a little", and he will. Then he'll become part of the puppet opposition like Colmes.

the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal bread.

bluedogtxn  posted on  2006-08-31   11:38:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#8. To: bluedogtxn (#0)

Cultish Churchill worship is bizarre, misplaced and ahistorical.

JohnGalt  posted on  2006-08-31   12:22:21 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#9. To: JohnGalt (#8)

so is the notion that everyone we grew up being told to admire was secretly a big dick

the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal bread.

bluedogtxn  posted on  2006-08-31   12:26:43 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#10. To: all (#0)

For your viewing pleasure:

Brian S  posted on  2006-08-31   12:32:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#11. To: bluedogtxn (#0)

That government was England's, in the 1930's.

It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone England.

It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all treaties and accords.

I don't have all the necessary reference materials on hand at work, but this cannot be true. I can agree that Hitler in 1936, posed no true threat to Europe (it's a little too broad a thing to say, kind of like saying that nothing should have been done with Hitler because he couldn't take over the entire world), but a few years later, he definitely posed a threat, and but for Goering saying that the Luftwaffe could handle Dunkirk, the entire BEF would have been destroyed or captured in summer 1940.

Hitler was rearming. It was one of his stated goals. I've got a book at home called "The Roots of Blitzkreig" that talks about this, and the training that Von Seeckt and his successors were doing. Much of the training was done in the Soviet Union. In 1935, once Hitler repudiated Versailles, and renamed the Reichswehr the Wehrmacht, the rearmament proceeded faster, and openly. If not, how in the hell does Olberman think that the Wehrmacht was able to invade Poland in 1939 and France in 1940? The 100,000 man Reichswehr and no heavy weapons wasn't going to be able to invade either country.

I can agree with much of what he's saying, but to try to say that Churchill was the man who knew the truth and tried to keep England out of the war, while Chamberlain was pushing for war with Germany is absurd. From the below website:

http://www.spartacus .schoolnet.co.uk/PRchurchill.htm

"After Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party gained power in Germany in 1933, Churchill became a leading advocate of rearmament. He was also a staunch critic of Neville Chamberlain and the Conservative government's appeasement policy. In 1939 Churchill controversially argued that Britain and France should form of a military alliance with the Soviet Union."

Also from Ralph Raico on http://www.lewrockwell.com:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig/raico-churchill2.html

"But it is important to realize that Churchill had maintained a hard line against Weimar Germany, as well. He denounced all calls for Allied disarmament, even before Hitler came to power. Like other Allied leaders, Churchill was living a protracted fantasy: that Germany would submit forever to what it viewed as the shackles of Versailles. In the end, what Britain and France refused to grant to a democratic Germany they were forced to concede to Hitler. Moreover, if most did not bother to listen when Churchill fulminated on the impending German threat, they had good reason. He had tried to whip up hysteria too often before: for a crusade against Bolshevik Russia, during the General Strike of 1926, on the mortal dangers of Indian independence, in the abdication crisis. Why pay any heed to his latest delusion?"

And, later in the same article: "Though a Conservative MP, Churchill began berating the Conservative governments, first Baldwin's and then Chamberlain's, for their alleged blindness to the Nazi threat. He vastly exaggerated the extent of German rearmament, formidable as it was, and distorted its purpose by harping on German production of heavy-bombers. This was never a German priority, and Churchill's fabrications were meant to demonstrate a German design to attack Britain, which was never Hitler's intention. At this time, Churchill busily promoted the Grand Alliance that was to include Britain, France, Russia, Poland, and Czechoslovakia. Since the Poles, having nearly been conquered by the Red Army in 1920, rejected any coalition with the Soviet Union, and since the Soviets' only access to Germany was through Poland, Churchill's plan was worthless."

historian1944  posted on  2006-08-31   12:50:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#12. To: bluedogtxn (#9)

Churchill was the first to gas the Kurds, was the brave Rummy of his times at Galipoli, hated the German elite and was tolerant of the white trash corporal, destroyed the Conservative government by allying with Labor and its known Stalinist sympathies, bankrupted the nation, favored attacks on German civilians etc etc etc.

The more folks talk about Churchill and all these other Great Men, baptisezed in blood, the less we are talking about Cal Coolidge, Franklin Pierce, Fillmore, Cleveland, all those do-nothing footnotes in history that we should so admire.

JohnGalt  posted on  2006-08-31   13:08:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#13. To: historian1944 (#11) (Edited)

Hitler was rearming.

Yes of course. Olberman is stating what England's govt at the time was espousing as fact.

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 morality.

That government was England's, in the 1930's.

They were wrong, dead wrong. Churchill was correct.

Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.

Olberman's just having a little fun and this would have been more obvious with his sarcastic tone of voice.

"If there’s another 9/11 or a major war in the Middle-East involving a U.S. attack on Iran, I have no doubt that there will be, the day after or within days an equivalent of a Reichstag fire decree that will involve massive detentions in this country."

- Daniel Ellsberg Author, Pentagon Papers

robin  posted on  2006-08-31   13:20:20 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#14. To: JohnGalt (#12)

All the blather aside by the statist court historians about their "Great men", basically the "Greater" a "statesman" is- the bigger his pile of corpses.

Burkeman1  posted on  2006-08-31   13:21:49 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#15. To: JohnGalt (#12)

No analogy is perfect.

"If there’s another 9/11 or a major war in the Middle-East involving a U.S. attack on Iran, I have no doubt that there will be, the day after or within days an equivalent of a Reichstag fire decree that will involve massive detentions in this country."

- Daniel Ellsberg Author, Pentagon Papers

robin  posted on  2006-08-31   13:23:03 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#16. To: bluedogtxn (#0)

Keith Olberman hates America and wants the terrorists to win. Give me a minute and I'll find a two bit one man blog that proves this. (And if I can't find one I'll write one up myself.)


(AKA Fun and Happy Balls.)

balls alert  posted on  2006-08-31   13:26:22 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#17. To: balls alert (#16)

You forgot to say WE ARE WINNING!

the law, in its majestic equality, forbids the rich as well as the poor to sleep under bridges, beg in the streets and steal bread.

bluedogtxn  posted on  2006-08-31   13:28:31 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#18. To: Burkeman1 (#14)

For when the ruler asked the man how he could justify making the sea a dangerous place, he answered, with defiant outspokenness, ‘In exactly the way that you justify doing the same to the whole world. But because I do it with a single paltry ship, I am called a robber; while you do it with a large navy, and are called an emperor.’

St. Augustine of Hippo

JohnGalt  posted on  2006-08-31   13:39:33 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#19. To: JohnGalt (#12)

The more folks talk about Churchill and all these other Great Men, baptisezed in blood, the less we are talking about Cal Coolidge, Franklin Pierce, Fillmore, Cleveland, all those do-nothing footnotes in history that we should so admire.

You have an excellent point there. I always thought the same thing about Napoleon. He's always been admired as one of the Great Men, and there are always TV shows and specials about him, but yet - why was he a great man? He brought death and destruction and misery to hundreds of thousands, if not millions. Yeah, he probably did some good things too, which I recognize, but he seems to be mainly admired as a militarist and egoist, rather than for any good he did humanity.

"I woke up in the CRAZY HOUSE."

mehitable  posted on  2006-08-31   13:41:55 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#20. To: mehitable (#19)

Napoleon

You have to admit he made one heck of a pastry.

I work hard, every day of my life, just stayin' alive.

Con Vallian  posted on  2006-08-31   13:50:44 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#21. To: mehitable (#19)

...and yet at least Napolean's contemporary and present admirers acknowledged him as a Great Conqueror, a Great Militarist. There is something honest about that perspective instead of dressing up butchers as great Humanists, or Great Statesmen, which is Luciferian, intellectually speaking.

JohnGalt  posted on  2006-08-31   13:53:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#22. To: balls alert, christine, bluedogtxn, brian s (#16)

Happy Fun Ball/Barf Alert/balls alert, would you please stay at LP! I'm doing my best to get you kicked off for violating posting rules. :^)

Your post a little while ago was ideal. You totally made up your own headline for an obscure blog.

If you hang out over here, how can I get you dumped over there?

Getting you destroyed here is no problem.

C'mon happy, stay in one spot long enough so I have a chance to destroy the worst forum poster on the planet!

"America" is nothing more than a collection of ever-growing federal employees with selectively enforced National Laws, their own Treasury, who possess residents-not citizens, a soon-to-be-obsloete currency, a displaced (foreign placed) National Military, a multi-lingual environment, an indeterminent culture, no real borders, a symbolic flag and a few sports teams.

add925  posted on  2006-08-31   13:59:27 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#23. To: bluedogtxn (#0)

This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.

Omnipotent, arrogant do-gooders is what we have running the show in DC.

Funny, this should be a characteristic of "conservatives" isn't it?

Fact is, its neither left or right.....its fascist and totalitarian.

The Executive Branch IS outta control.

"America" is nothing more than a collection of ever-growing federal employees with selectively enforced National Laws, their own Treasury, who possess residents-not citizens, a soon-to-be-obsloete currency, a displaced (foreign placed) National Military, a multi-lingual environment, an indeterminent culture, no real borders, a symbolic flag and a few sports teams.

add925  posted on  2006-08-31   14:04:14 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#24. To: bluedogtxn, add925 (#17) (Edited)

you gotta love ball's balls. :P

christine  posted on  2006-08-31   14:07:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


#25. To: JohnGalt (#12)

Churchill was the first to gas the Kurds, was the brave Rummy of his times at Galipoli, hated the German elite and was tolerant of the white trash corporal, destroyed the Conservative government by allying with Labor and its known Stalinist sympathies, bankrupted the nation, favored attacks on German civilians etc etc etc.

Well said. Churchill deserves no admiration.

It was Churchill who coined the phrase "Uncle Joe" to refer to the greatest mass murderer in modern Western history. Hitler's corpse numbers pale by comparison to that of Uncle Joe. That the "allies" victory in WWII is paraded around like some touchstone of high morality and courage is tragic. Churchill and FDR signed the death warrants of millions upon millions of Eastern Europeans when they aligned themselves with Uncle Joe, knowing full well what Joe would want as his share of "the victor's spoils."

scrapper2  posted on  2006-08-31   14:18:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  


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