"What you are doing is enormously important. It is important to this country, to be sure, but it's important to the region, and it's important to the world. You are making a difference . . . defending our country and defending this country from the extremists who are determined to turn [Iraq] back to a dark place . . . I don't know how long it will be, but we know from history . . . from seeing the rise and fall of fascism and communism . . . if there's one thread that runs through history, it is that the great sweep of human history is for freedom."
"What you just saw there is the real deal," says Jim Angle on Fox & Friends commenting on a new video of Donald Rumsfeld addressing the troops in a surprise visit to Tikrit, telling them they are part of a mission of historic importance. Highlights (rough transcript):
Our task is to get those folks [the Iraqis] trained up so they can take over . . . It's their country, and they're going to have to pull it up and make it work . . . We're not here to occcupy the country, we're not here for the oil.
"How do we win the war on the media?" asks a soldier. "How do we win the propaganda war?"
That sounds like a question that was planted by the press [perfect comedic pause, appreciative audience laughter]. That happens sometimes. We have freedom of the press. We believe that democracy can take all the views and synthesize the right decision. Out here it's much harder [to deal with] the constant negative approach. I guess what's news has to be, bad news. The truth is, however, that it gets through eventually. There are thousands of acts of kindness and compassion. The internet is helping . . . critiquing and debating [MSM coverage] . . . We can benefit from having a free press . . . In the last analysis, look where we've come as a country because we have had a free press . . . What hurts most is in the region, constantly being barraged with truly vicious inaccuracies about what is happening in the country. . . . and al Jazeera is right there at the top.
A great statesman, Donald Rumsfeld. As Jim Angle said, what you see is what you get. He doesn't try to sugarcoat the world as he sees it, and his vision is clear. How small his ankle-biting critics -- from John McCain on down -- seem by comparison.
Update:What a Christmas gift: An InstaLanche! Not only that, one of the dearest blog pals ever was -- Frank of The Cool Blue Blog -- has blessed us with a link to his must-read "Daily Dish":
"How do we win the war in the media?" Donald Rumsfeld was asked at a surprise visit to Mosul. How indeed. The media's narrative was that the last time the Secretary of Defense held a Q&A with the troops, it went badly. However, that's not the case. It's simply the story they told. But as Sissy notes, Rumsfeld, and this Administration, have a much loftier story to tell. But most in the press aren't listening. The incident this week in Mosul is just another opportunity for them to spread doom and gloom. But it just may be that the doom and gloom may be in the future for Syria and the Islamists.
Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.