Mis-History: The Republican Strategy in 2006
1.) "Islamo-fascist" - The Associated Press calls this the new "buzzword" for the Bush Administration in this election season. The idea, of course, is to draw parallels between the Iraq war and the fight against Nazism in World War II. Conservative bloggers have picked up on this language and used it pervasively.
2.) Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, recalling the missteps of former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, has politely labeled any who would criticize the administration's policies as guilty of "appeasement" against a "new kind of fascism."
3.) Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice compared America's war in Iraq to the American Civil War, arguing that both were worth their struggles to free an enslaved people. Rice notes that there were many critics of both, folks who were wary of the value of the cause.
What's next: that America's war in Iraq is like the American Revolutionary War and that those who challenge the administration's policies are Tories?!? These statements by Bush Administration officials call on our worst sense of our national history; they distort complex narratives into oversimplified generalities. Their goal is simple too: to play on our fears of challenging authority, being on the wrong side of right and most of all, change.
And in the end, they're stripping away the fabric of an informed and meaningful American democracy. Their greatest fear is that we, the American electorate, will demand more. That we'll demand a serious interrogation of our current foreign policy; a serious inquiry into whether our involvement in Iraq is making us more secure.