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‘Rummy’ Tells Europe the Truth

By Doug Patton

Doug PattonGod bless Donald Rumsfeld. Affectionately known simply as ‘Rummy’ by pundits and admirers alike, at age 72, America’s irascible Secretary of Defense has no more election campaigns to wage, no friends to win or people to influence. In fact, after having served as a Navy pilot, a four-term U.S. Congressman, White House Chief of Staff, U.S. Ambassador to NATO and CEO of two Fortune 500 companies, he really has nothing left to prove to anyone.

Rummy was in his usual form last week as he gave a passionate speech in Munich to a group described by one media outlet as “an audience of defense and foreign policy luminaries that included some the fiercest European opponents of the war.” His remarks to the group were preceded by comments from German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer.

Fischer told the audience that recent events in Iraq have vindicated Germany’s anti-war stance. Like so many on the American Left, he seems to believe that the world in general, and Iraq in particular, would be better off if Saddam Hussein were still in power. He even admitted as much: “it was a political decision not to join the coalition because we were not and we are still not convinced of the validity of the reasons for war.”

The Secretary was having none of it. He was direct, logical and truthful – and therefore anathema to liberals on both sides of the pond. He bluntly told the crowd, “I know in my heart and my brain that America ain’t what’s wrong in the world.”

“If someone is going to throw a snowball,” he said, “you may not want to have a preemptive attack. You can afford to take the blow, and live with it and do something after the fact. As you go upscale from snowball to weapons of mass destruction, at some point where the risk gets high enough it’s not going to be a snowball in your face.”

Calling coverage of the war “absolutely shocking,” Rumsfeld blamed the media for tarnishing the image of the United States.

“To think what was going on in Iraq a year ago,” he said, “with people being tortured, rape rooms, mass graves, gross corruption, a country that had used chemical weapons on its own people, used them on their neighbors, defiant to the United Nations through 17 security council resolutions. And look at the way it was treated in the press. There were prominent people who represent countries in this room who opined that they didn't think it made a hell of a lot of difference who won.”

Rumsfeld believes in the sovereignty of the United States. Liberals in the U.S. and in Europe do not.

Rumsfeld supports President Bush’s statement about not needing a permission slip to defend America. The Left believes this sort of thinking is the height of ignorance and arrogance; in their world, all nations would be morally and economically equal, with the United Nations the arbiter of such things.

Finally, Secretary Rumsfeld thinks of these matters in pure black and white terms, with no shades of gray. For this, he is hated by leftists, intellectuals and internationalists, here and in Europe, just as is the president he serves. Thank God for men like Don Rumsfeld. He is a man of honor whose ideals place freedom for humanity above personal advancement or profit. More importantly, he places the sovereignty and security of the United States of America ahead of the opinions of the rest of the world. That is exactlythe kind of man we need in charge of America’s defenses.

Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a speechwriter and policy advisor for federal, state and local candidates, elected officials and public policy organizations. His weekly columns are published in newspapers across the country, and on selected Internet web sites, including www.GOPUSA.com, where he serves as the Nebraska Editor. He also writes for Talon News Service (www.TalonNews.com). Readers can e-mail him at dpatton@neonramp.com.

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