Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Facing the Central Questions of Our Time Facing the Central Questions of Our Time

Remarks by Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, before the American Legion national convention titled: Facing the Central Questions of Our Time ask a lot of good questions:
  • With the growing lethality and availability of weapons, can we truly afford to believe that somehow vicious extremists can be appeased?
  • Can we really continue to think that free countries can negotiate a separate peace with terrorists?
  • Can we truly afford the luxury of pretending that the threats today are simply "law enforcement" problems, rather than fundamentally different threats, requiring fundamentally different approaches?
  • And can we truly afford to return to the destructive view that America -- not the enemy -- is the real source of the world's trouble?
He also points out that we find ourselves in a strange time:
  • When a database search of America's leading newspapers turns up 10 times as many mentions of one of the soldiers at Abu Ghraib who was punished for misconduct, than mentions of Sergeant First Class Paul Ray Smith, the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Global War on Terror;
  • When a senior editor at Newsweek disparagingly refers to the brave volunteers in our Armed Forces as a "mercenary army";
  • When the former head of CNN accuses the American military of deliberately targeting journalists and the former CNN Baghdad bureau chief admits he concealed reports of Saddam Hussein's crimes when he was in power so CNN could stay in Iraq; and
  • It is a time when Amnesty International disgracefully refers to the military facility at Guantanamo Bay, which holds terrorists who have vowed to kill Americans and which is arguably the best run and most scrutinized detention facility in the history of warfare, as "the gulag of our times."

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