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A warped way with words

Re “Rumsfeld Says Critics Appeasing Fascism,” Aug. 30

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s comparison of our enemies in the Middle East to fascist countries of World War II is an interesting stretch.

Real fascist governments have the following characteristics: domination of all branches of government and the economy by a political party; control of news sources via economic relationships and threats of retribution; reliance on a large military to promote national unity and expand global influence; blind obedience to the national leader, and dismissal of any international laws unless they are temporarily expedient.

Insurgents and terrorists are not Nazis. Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.) is not Neville Chamberlain and Rumsfeld, most assuredly, is not Winston Churchill.

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MICHAEL RODDY

Joshua Tree, Calif.

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Rumsfeld said: “Some seem not to have learned history’s lessons.” If that weren’t such an accurate and tragic truth, it would be funny.

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Hey, Don, instead of giving us a world history lesson, why don’t you brush up on your own history? In both the American Revolution and the Vietnam War, the country with superior weaponry, technology and resources traveled to a distant land to battle insurgents; both superpowers lost.

The downfall of most world empires doesn’t come from conservative or liberal views but from greed and the unwillingness to learn from one’s own mistakes. It looks like you’re well on your way, Don.

PETE LEWIS

Mission Viejo

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I must admit that, for once, I agree with Rumsfeld. In his speech to the American Legion, he hinted at a comparison of the current state of American politics to those in Nazi Germany.

We most certainly have a loyal propaganda minister in Rumsfeld. There is certainly a collection of nodding “yes men” in the inner circle.

If only we could find a tyrannical leader who would “stay the course” despite all rational evidence to the contrary, the cast of characters would be complete.

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THOMAS SEXTON

Huntington Beach

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Rumsfeld has it wrong. Those who criticize the administration are not like Hitler’s “appeasers.” Unless we speak with a loud, clear voice, we are the silent majority that allowed a dictatorship to engulf a democracy.

JULIE ALBERT

Claremont

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Re “Bush Shields U.S., Cheney Says,” Aug. 29

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The continual claim by the administration that President Bush’s actions have deterred terrorist attacks since 9/11 reminds me of an experiment. I stand in the middle of my frontyard and wave my arms like crazy; a neighbor asks what I’m doing.

“Keeping the tigers away,” I respond.

The neighbor replies, “I don’t see any tigers.”

“Exactly! It’s working!”

JEANNE BARNEY

Hollywood


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