Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The Administration's Word du jour: Appease

It seems that both Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney have decided to woo the Veterens of Foreign Wars at their convention in Reno, NV, with speeches peppered with the word "Appease."

First, let's define it, so we're on the same page:

From Merriam-Webster Online:
One entry found for appease.

Main Entry: ap·pease
Pronunciation: &-'pEz
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): ap·peased; ap·peas·ing
Etymology: Middle English appesen, from Anglo-French apeser, apaiser, from a- (from Latin ad-) + pais peace -- more at PEACE
1 : to bring to a state of peace or quiet : CALM
2 : to cause to subside : ALLAY
3 : PACIFY, CONCILIATE; especially : to buy off (an aggressor) by concessions usually at the sacrifice of principles
synonym see PACIFY
- ap·peas·able /-'pE-z&-b&l/ adjective
- ap·pease·ment /-'pEz-m&nt/ noun
- ap·peas·er noun

Now, Mr. Rumsfeld was in Reno yesterday in a particularly combative mood. He said that 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. Now, I'm going to paraphrase Herman Goering (I've used the exact quote previously), but Goering said it's easy to get the people to do the will of the government: tell them they're under attack, and then accuse the critics and pacifists of being traitors.

But Rumsfeld, on a roll in front of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, pounded at his theme: Islamo-fascists as a "new type of fascism", and ridiculing those who oppose the war as being on the wrong side of history. Without naming specific groups or people, he compared opponents to those in England and the US who attempted to appease Hitler.

Vice President Dick Cheney told the Veterans that a recent federal court ruling finding a warrantless surveillance program unconstitutional will be overturned on appeal. He said, with the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks less than two weeks away, that it's no accident there has been no attack on US soil since we've been in Iraq. He said, I know some have suggested that by liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein we simply stirred up a hornet's nest. They overlook a fundamental fact. We were not in Iraq on Sept. 11, 2001, and the terrorists hit us anyway.

What? Did he really say that the reason we were attacked was because we weren't in Iraq? We hadn't invaded Iraq, and THAT is the reason my friend, Laura Lee Morabito was murdered? Laura Lee, and Mike Toomey, and 3000+ other innocent souls, murdered? Don't say that, Mr. Cheney. Do not insult me, and my fellow citizens, with this blatant dissemblement of the truth.

And on Tuesday, at Offutt Air Force Base, Cheney rolled out the same dog and pony show he's been using - and the Administration's favorite word, saying "This is not an enemy that can be ignored, or negotiated with, or appeased."

The first definition of appease is quite lovely: to bring about a state of peace or quiet. Calm. That is not what the Administration means.

The second definition of appease deals with hunger - not what they're talking about.

The THIRD definition is perjorative: to buy off (an aggressor) by concessions usually at the sacrifice of principles. I believe it describes this Administration to a tee. Fueled by arrogance, greed, and power, they press on at the expense of American lives; they will force their brand of "democracy" on anyone who stands in the way of a New American Century. They've deflected money to fight their war in Iraq, money that could have gone to help rebuild New Orleans.

Sometimes I get to a place of dark fear, fear of this Administration and all I can do is watch television - mindless, numbing stuff that acts like an anesthetic. My father was a Quartermaster in World War II, stationed in England. His unit helped supply the D-Day invasion. My father died in 1996; and I am grateful that he didn't live to see what our nation has become.

Will other nations stand up and put an end to this nightmare? I doubt it. We have to use our voices, our minds, our votes. Midterms are coming. Now, more than ever, voting is essential.


karena said...

This is a brilliant piece, Diva. I just wish it were fiction.

robin andrea said...

I see Karl Rove's devious handiwork in this new line of attack. I'm hoping it's really just too obvious to be taken seriously. Are people really going to be persuaded by any of this?

My father was a medic in World War II. He landed in Europe on D-Day +3. The stories he told us about war made his four children anti-war activists. He died in 1992, but had he lived he too would be outraged by what our nation has become.

DivaJood said...

Karena, I wish it were fiction too. I wish I was having a really bad nightmare, and that I would wake up and Al Gore would be President. But, no.

Robin Andrea, Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, and Donald Rumsfeld are three of the most terrifying people on earth. I am more afraid of them than I could ever be of a group of terrorists who live in caves. As for being an anti-war activist, I don't have a knee-jerk reaction to all war. I believe that those who fought Hitler did the absolute right thing. Had I been alive then, I would have supported WWII. But Viet Nam? Iraq? Even the first Gulf War? No. No, no, and no. Illegal actions must be stopped. The tragedy is that this administration has become exactly what we fought in WWII.

Tina said...

Both of my naturalized immigrant grandfathers served in WWII. Coming from abject poverty in Romania and Italy, they saw first hand as small children how scary lives can be in other nations and wanted desperately to fight for the nation they believed so strongly in. Both were hardcore Dems, so they would have already probably hated BushCo (especially since they both despised Reagan and Bush I), but seeing what BushCo has done to our world reputation and how they have decimated our military and treated our troops would have killed them if they both weren't already gone.
And my dad (as well as his brother, my deceased uncle) served in Vietnam and both were adamantly against this war. They, like John Kerry, came to realize that they were lied to and used in Vietnam, and that it was a complete waste of human life and money. My uncle suffered endless Agent Orange related illnesses for over a decade (which of course the VA denied) and before he died in April of 2004, he told us that he was pissed off that he probably wouldn't make it to Novemeber to vote against Bush and Cheney for a second time.

betmo said...

you have reason to fear this administration- much more than the terrorists they ramble on about. these people are going to take over this country, it is just a matter of closing the deal. they have already made us into something we never would have dreamed of becoming- and apparently they are not going to "cut and run" from this course.

DivaJood said...

Tina, your grandfathers were the stuff that America was built upon - hard working, immigrant people. My grandparents, as well. They loved America and everything it stood for. When these people came through Ellis Island, and they FELT what the poem by Emma Lazarus was saying: Give me your tired, and your poor - they understood that in America, there was hope. Until Reaganomics, and Bush 1, and Bush 2 - hope has been replaced by fear, hatred, and isolation. We've been sold a bad bill of goods.

Betmo, THESE people are the terrorists. Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rumsfeld, THEY are the terrorists.

BZ said...

Great post. Sorry i can't comment more...

enigma4ever said...

Excellent Diva..well written..and dead on....and the Nerve of this little weasel of a man...History my ass....

DivaJood said...

bz, thanks.

E4E, Rumsfeld is an evil little turd. He, and Cheney, are masterful at twisting the language and finding the shadow side of history.