War critics don't know much about history

NY Times:

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.

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Comparing terrorist groups to a “new type of fascism,” Mr. Rumsfeld said, “With the growing lethality and the increasing availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow, some way, vicious extremists can be appeased?”

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On Monday, Mr. Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney gave separate speeches to the Veterans of Foreign Wars convention in Reno, Nev. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke to the American Legion Auxiliary on Tuesday and President Bush is to address veterans later this week.

Mr. Cheney, too, spoke of appeasement at an appearance on Tuesday at Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska, reciting a passage that echoed verbatim one of his stock speeches.

“This is not an enemy that can be ignored, or negotiated with, or appeased,’’ he said. “And every retreat by civilized nations is an invitation to further violence against us. Men who despise freedom will attack freedom in any part of the world, and so responsible nations have a duty to stay on the offensive, together, to remove this threat.”

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.”

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While he did not directly compare current critics of the war in Iraq to those who sought to appease Hitler, his juxtaposition of the themes led Democrats to say that he was leveling an unfair charge.

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Democrats responded with insults. However, their ignorance of warfare and history, and their willingness to ignore the threat posed by the enemy, and their eagerness to lose in Iraq for political benefit make them unfit to make decisions on national security.

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