Friday, August 05, 2005

The Secretary of Offense

If you need some fresh, steaming government doublespeak on a Friday morning, you can do no better than the one man call-and-response rhetorical squaredance that is Donald Rumsfeld. I don't know what this guy puts in his coffee but I'm guessing they warned against it at Altamonte.

A few choice selections from the DoD's recent op-ed attributed to Rummy (I refuse to believe he actually wrote it):

...Coalition forces operate in Afghanistan and Iraq at the request of democratically elected governments.

Of course Karzai wants us in Afghanistan; what little control he has comes from the threat of U.S. military force.
As for Iraq, am I the only one that thinks this sounds like a Mafia-style protection scam? "Nice little oil-producing democracy you have here. Sorry we had to rough up the locals a little; eggs, omelets, you know the deal. For a modest cut of that oil and some no-bid contracts, we'd be happy to keep an eye on it for ya. Just until you get back on your feet and all. It'll be good for the neighborhood." Surely an offer they couldn't refuse.

It is the extremists, not the coalition, who are intentionally targeting and killing countless Muslim civilians in a series of barbaric attacks in recent months.

Not countless, Mr. Rumsfeld. According to, the number is between 23,000 and 26,000. The Lancet Online Medical Journal sites a study from the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health that estimates nearly 100,000 Iraqi civilians killed. Now, I don't wish to cast derision upon the integrity of our military personnel but I find it very difficult to believe that the U.S. invasion and occupation bears no responsibility for these casualties. Didn't we learn in Vietnam that a guerilla war blurs the line between civilian and military personnel? The continuing "We are the good guys, they are the bad guys" rhetoric from the Bush Administration is both myopic and damaging to our nation's foreign policy goals. Pretending that we bear no responsibility for any of the death and destruction in Iraq does a grave disservice to the people to whom we're supposed to be "spreading freedom".
And, by the way, Mr. Rumsfeld: How is a car bombing any more barbaric than "Shock and Awe"? War is barbaric. That's why most other modern nations are loathe to use it as a foreign policy tool.

Some seem to believe that accommodating extremists' demands -- including retreating from Afghanistan and Iraq -- might put an end to their grievances, and, with them, future attacks.

Who, exactly, believes this Mr. Rumsfeld? Democrats? Liberals? Peace-activists? This is the kind of disingenuous political hackery that the Right has practically perfected in recent years. They take an imaginary political stance, a "straw man" if you will, and then attribute it to some amorphous, undefined group of "some people" that doesn't really exist. It shows just how desperate they are to paint Neo-conservative foreign policy as anything but the abject failure that it is.

Why does this man still have a job? Is there an upper limit to the amount of incompetence that Bush and his supporters will accept? Maybe Bush can come back from yet another month-long vacation and clear some dead brush at the Pentagon.

1 comment:

Gifted-1 said...

Why does this man still have a job?

Well, that is a good question? Can anyone really answer it? I doubt even he knows...