Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that the current US course of action aimed at dealing with the threat of Islamic State terrorism reminds him of the nation’s nonintervention during the Holocaust.
“I think back to the 1930s when the Holocaust was going on and the Nazis were killing Jews by the tens of thousands and the United States government turned away ships filled with Jews from our ports,” he said during an appearance on Greta Van Susteren’s On the Record.
“The antisemitism that’s rising in the world today - we read about Jewish cemeteries being desecrated, synagogues being attacked and it is important that we not have a leadership vacuum,” he added. “That we in fact take a problem, put it on the table, look at it, be honest about it and then develop a strategy to deal with it, which is hard, admittedly.”
Rumsfeld’s interview came after reports that Islamic State terrorists burned 45 people to death in Iraq in addition to the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians in Libya. Rumsfeld said much of the country seems to be “in a state of denial” about the threat of Islamic State terrorism.
“It brings back to mind the period before World War II where people said ‘I didn’t know’ or ‘I was just following orders’ or ‘it’s random,’” he explained. “But when you kill - systematically kill - Jews and kill Christians and say that’s what you’re doing, it’s not random, it’s purposeful.”