Don Rumsfeld is Neville Chamberlain; Winston Churchill is John Murtha

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Want a lesson in real democracy — as the founding fathers meant it?
Watch this video clip of Keith Olbermann taking on the administration and Donald Rumsfeld in the most compelling oratory I have heard in some time.
Keith Olbermann deserves our thanks and praise for taking Donald Rumsfeld to the woodshed for undermining our democracy. Turning historical conventional wisdom on its head, Olbermann compares Rumsfeld to Neville Chamberlain — another pretender to omniscience– and by implication really argues that the historical equivalent to Churchill, whom Chamberlin harrassed, is John Murtha.
Here is the text of Olbermann’s awe-inspiring, profound commentary tonight — which I hope helps knock Rumsfeld out of his Pentagon perch:

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

This is one of those nights when one just hopes that all this public education and call to defend our rights and liberties might get some traction.
Sleep on this: “Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom.”
— Steve Clemons

Comments

41 comments on “Don Rumsfeld is Neville Chamberlain; Winston Churchill is John Murtha

  1. söve says:

    Not much for religion, söve but I really do pray that you guys söve are able to break the Republican hold on Congress this year, söve followed by a full court investigative and criminal söve charges press on this administration to hamper it söve to complete non-effectiveness, söve and rally for ’08 to bring some sanity back…

    Reply

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  3. Busia says:

    Would you please e-mail me with where I can find the speech Keith Olbermann gave on Countdown last night, Sept. 19. I went to msnbc but all they have is the video. I would like to read the text in its entirety. I found your site after much searching to locate this text as well as others. Thanks for posting the editorial speech on Rumsfeld. Can you tell me how to locate other of Olbermann’s speeches?

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  4. Alicia says:

    For Peter B with thanks for your post:
    Once to every man and nation,
    Comes the moment to decide
    In the strife of truth and falsehood,
    For the good or evil side;
    Some great cause, God’s new Messiah,
    Off’ring each the bloom or blight,
    And the choice goes by forever
    Twixt that darkness and that light.
    Though the cause of evil prosper,
    Yet ’tis truth alone is strong;
    Though her portion be the scaffold,
    And upon the throne be wrong:
    Yet that scaffold sways the future,
    And behind the dim unknown,
    Standeth God within the shadow
    Keeping watch above his own.
    James Russell Lowell

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  5. Peter B says:

    Hey Den,
    Very well said on section9 or whatever weirdness he likes to call himself.
    Fellow Canuck here to lend a foot.
    Gentlemen, get the hell out of Iraq, it is a
    killing field in the making and coming right up,
    the impending civil war is gonna be right fucking nasty, and those troops that you all support so wholeheartedly are sitting right in the middle of it.
    You broke it, you ARE gonna buy it, and by extension every other citizen in the western world is gonna have to buy it, one way or another, but pull the troops back, and do it now.
    Not much for religion, but I really do pray that you guys are able to break the Republican hold on Congress this year, followed by a full court investigative and criminal charges press on this administration to hamper it to complete non-effectiveness, and rally for ’08 to bring some sanity back…
    cheers
    P.

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  6. Den Valdron says:

    Thank you Mr. Hinrichsen,
    The truth is that the American media is something of a disappointment for a number of reasons. One of these is ownership. Practically all the media are owned by only five corporations. Corporations are not inherently evil, but they are self interested, and their self interest fits very narrow legal parameters. Thus all media outlets become constrained by a very narrow and limited corporate ideology.
    We see this in the newspaper field where newspapers are continually losing circulation. The truth of the matter is that newspapers reflect the politics of their owners and their advertisers. They no longer represent more than an increasingly narrow spectrum of the readership. Thus, readership that does not see itself reflected, simply goes elsewhere. Newspapers are not losing their readership, they are abandoning that readership.
    This phenomenon is seen in just about every media, consolidation, continuous narrowing of views, and pandering at lowest and least controversial levels. In television news, the equivalent is ‘missing young white women.’
    The complaint by right wingers is that still, its a left wing media and a left wing bias, by virtue of the people and personalities that work in the media.
    But there, once again, we are disappointed. The decision making individuals, the editors, the news directors, etc., are invariably right wingers. Their adherence to right wing and corporate ideology is their ticket to promotion.
    As for the reporters themselves… well, surveys have shown them to be social liberals… But strong economic conservatives. What does this mean? It means that they’re all for civil rights, for gay marriage, for civil liberties… as long as it doesn’t cost them anything. True social justice contains social costs, when they have to pay for something, they’re against it. So their liberalism is confined to cost-free token gestures and hypothetical cases. When money or actual policy is involved, they’re as conservative as Newt Gingrich.
    And thus we have the failure of American media. They exist to comfort the comfortable, to abuse the afflicted, their mission is to please their bettors. They are kiss up and kick down.
    America today

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  7. E. Hinrichsen says:

    Olbermann has said what needed to be said.
    The MSM in this country is mostly moribund or bought and paid for. They ain’t the cabvalry and they ain’t riding to the rescue ala Cronkite and Vietnam or Murrow and the witch hunt. They serve other, more corporate masters, and not truth, justice or the american way anymore. That makes Keith Olbermann not only a rarity, but invaluable.
    Mr. Olbermanns prior profession (sportscaster) has nothing to do with his RIGHT to an opinion and whether or not that opinion is valid. Since when has a persons profession, educational level, or prior life experience been relevant to their right or ability, in a Democracy, to have an informed political opinion? Isn’t that what participatory democracy is supposed to be about?
    Our entire executive branch is now being run by persons who’s largest resume items are as CEO’s in large private corporations and/or as political appointees to others who (let’s leave Bush II out for the moment) have been elected to something – not exactly stellar credentials for making life and death decisions for most of the world. I contend that the current dismissal of opinions and analysis by other “nobodies” like them is merely the latest indication of the self loathing that infects the american public. It is also the logical extension of a time honored american mistrust of “eggheads” and “intellectuals”; in other words: anyone who thinks about anything outside of their own personal gratification or day to day life. If we don’t, as a body politic, begin to pay attention to politics and government at least as much as we pay attention to Jon-Benet Ramsey, Janets boob, and who’s dating whom in Hollywood, we will collapse in a stinking mass of bread and circus’s just like every other lazy-ass citizen of every other fallen empire in history.
    I say God Bless and Keep Keith Olbermann and long may he speak!

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  8. Den Valdron says:

    Section9? Isn’t that the army code for dishonourable discharge for egregious sexual misconduct, aka pedophilia or pederasty?
    I ain’t a Liberal, son. A Liberal believes in tolerating all viewpoints, no matter how obnoxious. What I am is a Canadian, and when I see an ass I am compelled to kick it.
    Is there an enemy worth fighting? Well, not in Iraq. I don’t know what the hell you are doing there, except looting the place whilst knocking it to rubble.
    Al Quaeda is an enemy worth fighting, but your President seems more dedicated to playing guitar for the cameras while major cities drown, than actually doing anything about anyone.
    You want to talk about peddling cons? You tell me all about George W. Bush’s ‘war on terror’ and then explain why Osama Bin Laden is still walking around, free as a bird and churning out video and audio like clockwork, five years after 9/11.

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  9. section9 says:

    Pejman Yousefzadeh over at RedState does a magnificent takedown of Keith Olbermann’s pose as a latter day Ed Murrow tonight. What a towering, self-righteous prat! To set forth a field of straw man that is so easily batted down by a mere blogger!
    Of course, what really surprised me was that Clemons was so easily gulled. What, Steve, spending too much time measuring the drapes in the West Wing again?
    And of course, the liberals must raise the specter of fascisme a la Bushhitler. What a towering, intellectual con, peddled by those who still, at this late date, refuse to believe that there actually is an enemy worth fighting.

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  10. Den Valdron says:

    Well, I’ll just wait for some officially sanctioned public figure to make the real comparison.

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  11. Pissed Off American says:

    All well and good, but who is going to defend Olberman when they come for him?
    Posted by Eli Rabett
    Well, considering that Rather was destroyed for broaching the subject of Bush’s irrefutably criminal neglect of his Texas Air National Guard obligations, I would say that Keith is probably on his own. Truth is contraband in today’s media environment, and these bastards in the White House House will stop at nothing to conceal the truth.

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  12. Eli Rabett says:

    All well and good, but who is going to defent Olberman when they come for him?

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  13. ahem says:

    “I watched it on MSNBC, and wondered whether I was watching US MSM.”
    In fact, you wouldn’t have found it outside of the US: the editorialising anchor is an American tradition that’s rare elsewhere, even if Murrow’s legacy seems long-faded.
    That’s what Keith M Eliis perhaps misses, because he doesn’t watch television. I agree with him that Olbermann’s extended argument had its flaws, but I also think that the cruz was solid: that the White House is reaching the point where it ‘non-politically’ declares subjects to be no longer acceptable for political discussion.

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  14. Keith M Ellis says:

    Hmm. I wasn’t clear in this sentence: “They will think about the press reporting the phone surveillance, which they (and not incidentally the majority of the public) agree with.” What I meant was that the majority of the public agrees with the Bush administration’s condemnation of that reporting. The thing about censorship and the stifling of dissent is that all people hate themselves and their allies to be silenced, but greatly favor it for their enemies. In other words, dissent is good when it is mine, bad when it comes from my opposition. As long as Olberman is speaking in generalities and invoking principles, the majority of his listeners will agree, and even be outraged right along with him. But they will disagree about specifics. And for Rumsfeld’s supporters, there will be a rationale for every specific. A more courageous commentary would have been to fiercely defend dissent even when it’s wrong—not so much, as in Olberman’s case, when it’s assumed to be right.

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  15. Keith M Ellis says:

    Not as impressed as everyone else seems to be. Yes, at the point at which he becamed most impassioned (I watched the video and read the transcript) and his ciriticsm most direct and sharp, I found my own heart racing in strong agreement. But, really, it wasn’t a sustained argument and it wasn’t that coherent. Its deeper criticism of Rumsfeld and the administration will be dismissed by their supporters with the only possible resonance being a defense of open discussion and dissent in a democracy—a point that pretty much everyone will agree with in the general, though not in the specific. And in the specific, those friendly to Rumsfeld will remain friendly to Rumsfeld. They will think about the press reporting the phone surveillance, which they (and not incidentally the majority of the public) agree with.
    From where I’m standing, then, his commentary seems too rhetorically elaborate where directness would have better served and too self-serving in focusing on defending the press and dissent when a direct attack on the incompetence and mendacity of this administration is more immediately important.
    But then…I don’t watch television. I do follow online MSM sources such as the NYT and the syndicates, but my primary context isn’t the national discussion as it continues in television news and commentary. I fear that only from that perspectice is Olberman’s commentary as courageous, direct, and damning as it seems to be to many others. And, if it is, then it is and I say “hurrah!”.

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  16. Frank says:

    Yes Steve, thanks for posting Olbermann’s oratory. I watched it on MSNBC, and wondered whether I was watching US MSM. He coupled his words with determined facial expressions, enhancing the delivery many fold. Rove’s new talking point goose stepping cadence is fertile ground for inspirational pushback oratory. Olbermann’s delivery was the first one on the mark. How about our democratic politicians? Even better, is there a republican statesman in the house that will challange the insult to our citizens made by probably the most tragically failed appointed bureaucrat in our nation’s history? If so, the goosestepping sound seems to be drowning out any republican statesmanship oratory.

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  17. theresa says:

    I think it’s Olbermann’s experience as a sportscaster that helps him cut through the spin. He started practicing professional journalism in a world where there is no “other side” or “balance” to a 48-10 blow out or a sprained elbow or a bronze medal. Even a close or even contested game or competition has an obvious final result, whether the ref blew a call or not. Every organization will have its politics, but the standings don’t lie. There might be excuses, back stories, theories of curses or mental blocks, but the end result is clear.
    Sportswriters take the same journalism classes as every other person who ends up writing for the finance pages or the police blotter. But there are no fears of “not being fair” to one side or the other. Due to the nature of sports, they don’t confuse “objectivity” (Side A says X but side B says Y, presented as equal) with “neutrality” (Side A says X, side B says Y, but Y is demonstratively false).
    They also seem more prepared for challenging pre-set non-answers–you try getting an original quote out of a 19-year-old tailback all pumped up from a win or big play. It takes some skill to work through the krap. I personally believe it’s why Charlie Pierce is such a good political writer, and why Bob Costas had the sense to refuse to fill in for Larry King when the producers scheduled Natalie Holloway as the topic. But I wrote sports in high school and college, so perhaps I’m just biased. (I’m a librarian now)

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  18. kgw says:

    About damn time…W said that you were either for us or against us in the war on terrorism. We took that to mean foreign governments, but he also meant Americans. The GOP often equates disagreement with their approach to cowardice, treason and appeasement. All dissent to what W advocates is viewed as dissent to our country. My loyalty is to my country not to our current elected leaders.

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  19. mlaw230 says:

    I only wish more people watched his show. Judging from the coverage in the blogosphere this may be one of those “Attorney Welch” moments when people snap to their senses in a moment of clarity that continues to spread.
    I also find it ironic that the administration frequently makes the World War II analogy without saying a thing about the Treaty of Versaille that effectively set the social forces loose that lead to World War II.

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  20. jmike says:

    I believe Olbermann was initially a sportscaster. Isn’t it sad that a former sportscaster is the only television newsperson even close to holding the shirttails of Murrow now? If this guy is up to doing this on even an irregular basis, he should be in the Cronkite chair for the CBS News, not perky Katie.

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  21. Bruce Howard says:

    It took chutzpah for Olbermann to say what I’m sure his producers DID NOT want him to say. He took the first step forward that needed taking by an anchor unconcerned about ratings or perhaps his job. I’ve always been convinced that Dan Rather was set up by Karl Rove and his red state Bloggers..and so I fear for Keith’s future. He knocked it out of the park with a commentary worthy of Ed Murrow whom he quoted. Stand tall, Keith, even though right now you stand alone. Will anybody else in our TV media and Fourth Estate have the courage to step forward today, tomorrow, ever, and be mensch alongside you? Thanks, Keith.

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  22. erichwwk says:

    I have difficulty equating Rumsfeld with Chamberlain. Other than suppressing dissent, what is the similarity? I find Rumsfeld has much more in common with Adolf Hitler, who not only suppressed dissent, built power by intimidation and demonizing sects to create fear, but also fabricated excuses for war, and attempted to build empire by deceit, in contradiction to the position of the German military establisment, much as is happening in the USA today.
    Where would we be today, but for the will and determination of our military establishment not to give Cheney/Rumsfeld free rein? Do Rumsfeld/Cheney not know that THEIR only choice is to win militarily and politically or face an eventual international tribunal as war criminals?
    FYI, wikipedia has a reasonable overview of the German resistance. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_resistance_movement
    As it shows, the most effective non-violent resistance was by those brave enough to partake of public street demonstrations, in the end the ONLY thing that will stop this mad rush to risk all rather than fail militarly, IMO. Was not the same true for Russia, India, Ukraine?

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  23. John Wilson says:

    I await with great interest the future
    predicted by the pissed-off American.
    This is a world of unintended consequences.
    And ignorant, not evil leaders.
    Too old, I, to be pissed-off.:-)

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  24. pauline says:

    To me Olbermann points out that there really isn’t any left or right to American politics, just honest and dishonest. imo, most elected in Congress and the White House fall into the dishonest camp.
    Since Olbermann is certainly available, but really not viewed by many Americans, I wonder if msm (CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS) is either incompetent, muzzled by corp control, or have other gatekeepers within who keep certain facts and opposing opinions far from the masses.

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  25. kim says:

    Steve, thanks for posting the video.

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  26. J. says:

    Your title is too short. You should have added “And Keith Olbermann as Edward Morrow.” Truly the progressive voice of our times.

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  27. john o. says:

    Many thanks to Olbermann for speaking the truth, but it’s mind boggling that Rummy is still around selling the cheney administration’s fraudulent spin. Why does this incompetent war criminal still have a job? Is there no shame at all in the no-account cheney white house? Here’s hoping that Keith keeps up the good work, and is joined by other common sense voices.

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  28. Dr. Spingelsdorf says:

    We all have to give Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld a break for writing and saying what they have been. It’s a matter of life and death for them to keep parroting the same old tune. The life force within each necessitates that they say these things, and while they are speaking to others, really they are speaking to themselves reinforcing their own rationales, for if the life force did not constantly repeat within them this unending defense of their actions and the real truth of what they have done and who they are became self evident, then the only recourse they would have is madness and/or putting a bullet into their own heads. They say the crazy things they say to preserve their lives. They should be looked upon as mental cases, and pitied.

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  29. john fletcher says:

    Perhaps the biggest mistake made about Chamberlain by people looking back to him today is to see him as a weak, indecisive person. He was the opposite. He had been an extremely strong, can-do Chancellor of the Exchequer – the man who’d got us out of the Depression – he swept to power after the ineffective and vacillating Baldwin – as an iron-willed “man with a plan” – a man determined once and for all to sort out Europe’s problems – caused by the inequities of the Treaty of Versailles (which, as nearly everyone agreed, had been very unfair to Germany) – so that Britain could stop getting involved in Europe’s endless messy problems and instead turn out to the world and world trade and its Empire and once again become the commanding economic and political nation it had been in the C19th.
    It was the anti-appeasers who were seen as weak and vacillating. Winston Churchill, famed as a drunk and the guy who’d screwed up more foreign policy and wartime stunts than anyone else in parliament. Anthony Eden, a narcissist with an uncontrollable temper. Harold Nicholson, a flamboyant homosexual married to a lesbian. The Labour Party hopelessly addicted to infighting and backstabbing. And the Liberal Party which wouldn’t say boo to a goose.
    And finally, after failure after failure, at last they got it together in one emotional and irrational debate and the rest is history (and distortion).

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  30. john fletcher says:

    For those interested in the parallels between Chamberlain and Cheney/Rumsfeldt I’d recommend “Twilight of Truth” by Richard Cockett, which details Chamberlain’s super efficient intimidation of the media through his Machiavellian and semi-criminal spin doctor – a Karl Rove of his time – Sir Joseph Ball. Individual journalists were intimidated (and sometimes blackmailed!), awkward editors were sacked, most proprietors were kept in the bag and minutely controlled their paper’s content.
    I’d also recommend Robert Shepherd’s “A Class Divided” about the Road to Munich, the series of foreign policy crises throughout the 30’s, in which the small band of often spectacularly incompetent anti-appeasers were defeated and humiliated again and again, but somehow – a completely disparate and unlikely and often inadequate group of people and parties – managed to keep going and opposing the policy of appeasement until eventually, in the Norway Debate of May 1940, they won – just.
    Here’s Churchill on Munich:
    “It is not easy in these latter days, when we have all passed
    through years of intense moral and physical stress and
    exertion, to portray for another generation the passion which
    raged in Britain about the Munich Agreement. Among the
    Conservatives families and friends in intimate contact were
    divided to a degree the like of which I have never seen. Men
    and women, long bound together by party ties, social
    amenities, and family connections, glared upon one another
    in scorn and anger.”
    and Matthew Parrish, an English journalist and staunch opponent of the Iraq War, just after its outbreak:
    “a cold anger at the stupidity of it all, the awful miscalculations being made and the damage being done, and feelings of useless despair of a quite personal sort, keep returning to trouble me, intruding into everything.”
    I have for sometime been trying to get a project going on this whole parallel between Chamberlain and Bush/Blair. So far I’ve got a radio commission out of the BBC but am looking for film funding.
    This is all about democracy. The knife edge way it operates. The inability, often up to the last moment, to see which side is right, which side is wrong. How its worst underminers are often the people who proclaim it loudest.

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  31. Hokuto says:

    Rumsfeld speaks of fighting “a new type of fascism,” but let’s look at the old type for a moment. The online definition of fascism is: “a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.”
    Assuming the racism bit is “optional,” what part of the definition doesn’t apply to this administration?

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  32. parrot says:

    I see Olbermann didn’t take the low road by mentioning that this same Rumsfeld is supposedly responsible for not catching Osama bin Laden. I suspect that not a few veterans asked this self same question silently. Perhaps they should do so a little more forcefully.
    Basically, the Busholini administration, militarily, have not succeeded where it said it would, not in Afganistan, not in Iraq, and certainly not domestically. Unless you include all the war profiteering they and their buddies have achieved. Oh, they stand tall before the cameras, while browbeating anyone who wants to take a close look at the books, etc. Yes, they hate the skeptics because, well, if there is much to be skeptical of, they have much to fear and little to gain from oversight. Let’s hope the Congress changes its tune soon…otherwise, I’m suspecting that either both political parties will fail…and possibly the Republic itself will fail…something that many veterns should strongly take note of.
    War is hell–but the politics that lead to it needlessly, pointlessly, endlessly are worse.

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  33. Marcia says:

    Keith Oberman confirms the saying that what is clearly perceived can be clearly expressed and how beautifully he does so. Unlike the babbling Rumsfeld he points to the path of truth and clarity of thought and action when this administration is trying to lead us, like the parents of Little Thumb, into the forest of no plan, no future, no hope.
    I would add just one thing, we are not descended from men alone. There are all the courageous women who faced great danger and often suffered great harm. An ancestor of a friend was put to death in New England by pressing, that is crushed between two doors. Isn’t that what the Cheney-Bush cabal is trying to do to all of us?
    To asphysxiate us, by depriving us of truth and freedom, all that makes live most desirable?
    Keith Oberman should stay where he is to continue speaking loud and clear with his own voice. Thank you Mr Oberman.

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  34. Carroll says:

    THANK YOU OLBERMANN.!!!
    And next time Keith, add some George Washington…which should be read to americans over and over and over and over till they get it. In fact make it your closing every night.
    Farewell Address, 1979…
    “All obstructions to the execution of the laws, all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberation and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.
    They serve to organize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordinary force; to put, in the place of the delegated will of the nation the will of a party, often a small but artful and enterprising minority of the community; and, according to the alternate triumphs of different parties, to make the public administration the mirror of the ill-concerted and incongruous projects of faction, rather than the organ of consistent and wholesome plans digested by common counsels and modified by mutual interests.
    However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion. ”
    “Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.”
    Amen George…you saw it…all of it…..and here it is today… every damn thing you warned us against.
    We need a revolution.

    Reply

  35. Closet Independent says:

    Outstanding statement by Olbermann. I certainly appreciate it and his courage.

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  36. elementary teacher says:

    Thanks for Keith’s words. I think he’s had an epiphany, and, like many, he’s been scared, but he’s more scared of a muzzled mind.
    “To be persuasive, we must be believable; to be believable we must be credible; to be credible, we must be truthful.”
    Edward R. Murrow 1908-1965
    To my mind, there are writers on this very blog who are intellectually dishonest. They accuse of prejudice, rather than wrestle with truth. It is easy to dismiss a challenging argument with a blanket charge of racism, but, ultimately, such a tactic is not only lazy, but lethal. For when truth descends, after prophets are crushed, those left in its wake are soulless.
    Alicia Hill

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  37. merque says:

    I saw it and was knocked out. It was embracing and inspiring.
    I must say I do find it so sad that the rest of the media can’t use thier power of words to stand up to this bully administration and it’s apologists the way Keith did.
    A true breath of fresh air in the midst of smog.

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  38. Fred F. says:

    Unfortuntely very few Democrats would 1) be able to pen such a strong and well constructed argument or 2) have the balls to deliver it (Dean is the immediate exception who was happen to be on Olbermann’s show earlier and was worth seeing). However, I’m glad it was someone from the media and a popular one (at least on MSNBC). Maybe more media types will start calling this chicken little administration out on it’s foolish rhetoric.

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  39. brians3 says:

    In a word, remarkable. An American speaking up, standing up to the bullies, exposing the bullies for everything repugnant that they represent.
    This man should be writing speeches for the Democrats.
    But, more importantly, would Democrats have the courage to speak those words?
    Of that, I’m not so sure.

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  40. Pissed Off American says:

    Olbermann has a history of jumping on a bandwagon only to abandon it before it gets to where it is going. He certainly did that with the Downing Street Memo. But I gotta say, Olbermann’s words are right on, and damned powerful. I honestly believe he sees the threat that this Administration poses to our Democracy in a way that few people are willing to admit to themselves, much less voice on the public airwaves.
    But words as powerful as Olbermann’s will not go unrewarded by this administration. Watch out Keith, Rather was publically ridiculed and stripped of his standing for uttering far less powerful words. My bet is that Keith just found the “line”, and he went ahead and stepped over it. They’ll be comin’ for him now, and they will pull all the stops to get him.

    Reply

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