RUMSFELD : jack of spades
(L, $) (what
do these signs mean?)
Rumsfeld has trouble speaking clearly and ruthfully
to the American people. Until this fact is driven home
and it is a fact, not an opinion you will
not be able to follow what is happening under his authority
as Secretary of Defense. For example, on May 14, 2003,
at a hearing of the Senate's appropriations subcommittee
on defense, Rumsfeld said: "I don't believe anyone
that I know in the administration ever said that Iraq
had nuclear weapons."
see. To paraphrase Bill Clinton, a lot hinges on what
W. Bush informed us in October, 2002. "The evidence
indicates that Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons
program. Saddam Hussein has held numerous meetings with
Iraqi nuclear scientists, a group he calls his 'nuclear
mujahideen'.... his nuclear holy warriors Facing
clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final
proof.... the smoking gun.... that could come in the
form of a mushroom cloud."
Rice told us "The problem here is that
there will always be some uncertainty about how quickly
he can acquire nuclear weapons, but we don't want the
smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."
it sounds as if Bush and Rice rehearsed their answers
- to scare us all with the threat of an Iraqi nuclear
attack. Did they say Iraq had nuclear weapons? Not quite.
They said if we didn't go in, we would find out very
possibly through a "mushroom cloud." Weasel
words at best, with the clear intent to make us think
Iraq very likely had nuclear weapons.
willingness to distort communication is not an isolated
example. Consider the quotations from our Rumsfeld card
regarding his claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction.
most charitable interpretation possible is that Rumsfeld
has no compunction claiming far more knowledge than
he really has. Given the importance of the issues at
hand, even this is as morally reprehensible as the most
bald faced lie. Certainly these quotations would be
cited as evidence of lying if Bill Clinton had said
them. Let's apply the same standards to the Radical
there is, alas, more. For example, Slate's Whopper
of the Week reported:
Secretary Rumsfeld, when did you know that the reports
about [Iraq seeking] uranium coming out of Africa
"A: Oh, within recent days, since the information
started becoming available."
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, answering
a question posed by Sen. Mark Pryor, D.-Ark., at a
hearing of the Senate Armed Services committee, July
Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the International
Atomic Energy Agency reported on March 7, 2003, that
"The [International Atomic Energy Agency] has
made progress in its investigation into reports that
Iraq sought to buy uranium from Niger in recent years.
The IAEA was able to review correspondence
coming from various bodies of the Government of Niger,
and to compare the form, format, contents and signatures
of that correspondence with those of the alleged procurement-related
on thorough analysis, the IAEA has concluded, with
the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents-which
formed the basis for the reports of recent uranium
transactions between Iraq and Niger-are in fact not
authentic. We have therefore concluded that these
specific allegations are unfounded."
His statement was reported the next day in the Washington
another Rumsfeld lie, see http://slate.msn.com/id/2064740/
History is littered with examples of successful military
attacks ruined by failure to follow through. Future
historians may add Rumsfeld's strategy to this list
of losers. Given our overwhelming military superiority
over Iraq, Rumsfeld thought we could wage war on the
cheap. But destroying opponents is only the first half
of the task. The second is the follow through.
chose to ignore the advice of American generals with
experience in military affairs, preferring the fantasies
of Paul Wolfowitz
and other self-declared experts with no
military experience or specialized knowledge
of the Middle East. That is why he chose to invade and
occupy Iraq with a remarkably small military force.
Apparently knowing nothing about occupations, and confident
in his own infallibility, Rumsfeld did not plan for
unpleasant contingencies. He placed thousands of American
and Iraqi lives hostage to his pet theories.
result? On Sept. 5, 2003, the New York Times
official from the United States Central Command, speaking
on condition of anonymity, acknowledged today that
the American-led military operation in Iraq did not
have enough troops to heavily guard all 2,700 Iraqi
munitions sites that have been identified.
ammunition dump has some level of security, the Central
Command official said. But he added that increasing
demands on American troops have meant that the military
has had to reserve the heaviest security for munitions
sites containing weapons like rocket-propelled grenades
that could be used most readily against allied forces;
that left other sites, with larger weapons like bombs
and missiles, with less security or Iraqi guards who
may be prone to bribes.
article continued that
problem for the American-led forces is the looting
that followed the fall of the government of Saddam
Hussein. A senior defense official said today that
the rapid collapse of the Iraqi Army during the war
had left extensive ammunition dumps unguarded for
many days, and that in many cases virtually everything
had been looted by fleeing conscripts and officers.
. . .
where a lot of the stuff has come from," the
defense official said of explosives, rocket-propelled
grenade and other ammunition used in attacks against
American troops by supporters of the ousted government
theories were wrong.
and his allies are now claiming that no one could know
the outcome of such a risky venture as a war. This is
also a lie. Before the war the following respected organizations
predicted the kind of trouble we would find ourselves
in, and argued for better planning:
U.S. Army War College
for Strategic and International Studies
on Foreign Relations and the James A. Baker Institute
for Public Policy
and his allies chose not to listen. Despite an almost
complete absence opf military experience, they imagined
their pet theories were far wiser than the experience
and knowledge of countless generals, intelligence officials,
and other experts on the Middle East and war. Here is
the conclusion to the U. S. Army's War College report:
"Without an overwhelming effort to prepare for
occupation, the United States may find itself in a radically
different world over the next few years, a world in
which the threat of Saddam Hussein seems like a pale
shadow of new problems of America's own making."
The man apparently has an inability to learn from experience.
Baghdad four months after the US invasion is very far
indeed from being back to normal. But this goes against
the game plan Rumsfeld and his Neoconservative buddies
sold to the American people: that the war would be cheap,
short, and we would soon exit, leaving a viable democracy
behind. Since the facts on the ground do not support
the prewar spin, Rumsfeld has taken a page from his
Commander in Chief, and lied about it.
the following on crime rates in occupied Iraq:
got to remember that if Washington, D.C., were the
size of Baghdad, we would be having something like
215 murders a month." Donald Rumsfeld, 6/19/2003
"The Baghdad police don't have official crime
statistics, but the number of bodies at the city's
morgue says it all. Baghdad is in the midst of an
unprecedented crime wave. The city morgue handled
470 gunshot deaths in July." - Associated Press,
his own statistics, Baghdad's administration is a failure.
But he won't admit it.
This apparent inability to think about complex things
in context - an absolutely vital ability for anyone
responsible for defense - is sadly demonstrated in Afghanistan,
again, Rumsfeld opposed putting adequate troops on the
ground to truly pacify the country and make rebuilding
possible. It is hardly controversial to observe that
postwar rebuilding depends on security. It also requires
the early encouragement of labor-intensive projects
improving transportation and communication. This helps
the country and put wages into the pockets of those
who need them. Isabel Hilton writes in The Guardian,
"But this has not been applied in Afghanistan.
Security never came because, when the Taliban fell,
the US would not agree to the deployment of the International
Security Assistance Force (ISAF) outside Kabul. Why?
Because the US defence secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, was
already planning the invasion of Iraq and did not want
men tied down in peacekeeping."
Rumsfeld actively strengthened the warlords who are
now undermining what little stability the average Afghan
might have gained from the end of the Taliban. Human
Rights Watch reported that "In most parts of the
country, security and local governance has been entrusted
to regional military commanders - warlords - many of
whom have human rights records rivaling the worst commanders
under the Taliban. . . . American military forces have
maintained relationships with local warlords that undercut
efforts by U.S. diplomats and aid agencies to strengthen
central authority and the rule of law."
example, with backing from the US, Ismail Khan seized
Western Afghanistan and the city of Heart. He rules
through torture, beatings, intimidation, and a ruthless
police, with women and girls continuing "to suffer
extreme forms of discrimination, including many Taliban
era practices that are now being revived." Donal
Rumsfeld described Ismail Khan as "an appealing
person. . . . He's thoughtful, measured and self-confident."
Pentagon prefers to pay the warlords to run the country
outside Kabul, dressing up the exercise with a loya
jirga in which 80% of those "elected" were
warlords. Washington sources report that when Karzai
appealed to Rumsfeld for support to confront one of
the most notorious warlords, Rumsfeld declined to give
it. The result has been that reconstruction is crippled,
political progress is non-existent and human rights
abuses are piling up.
more and more Americans begin returning from Afghhanistan
in body bags, you can thank Donald Rumsfeld.
As the monthly overhead for the occupation has risen
to a whooping 4 billion dollars per month, Rumsfeld's
men proposed saving $35 million dollars per month (less
than 1%), out of the imminent danger pay and family
separation allowance approved by the Bush administration
in April. The imminent danger pay of $225 per month
was scheduled to drop to $150 a month, and the family
separation allowance to drop from $250 to $100 a month.
At the same time Halliburton and other corporations
receive no bid cost plus contracts worth billions.
reaction was so strong that Rumsfeld and his allies
backtracked, saying they didn't really mean it. Well,
then, why did they say it? Particularly, why did they
say it while American troops were fighting and dying?
as above criticism
As Rumsfeld's incompetence becomes harder to deny, he
has taken the same tactic as used by John
Ashcroft: criticism is evidence of disloyalty.
His point is clear, though again, he left himself wiggle
room, if anyone called him on his charge:
the extent that terrorists are given reason to believe
he might, or, if he is not going to, that the opponents
might prevail in some way, and they take heart in
that, and that leads to more money going into these
activities, or that leads to more recruits, or that
leads to more encouragement, or that leads to more
staying power, obviously that does make our task more
New York Times story
other words, the problem is not any shortcoming in Bush's
policies, but Bush's domestic critics. This again is
a lie, and this one is unambiguous. Almost none of the
critics have called for our withdrawal. Rumsfeld's critics
have pointed out that he has botched the aftermath,
not that we should simply go home. They have called
for us to do a good job. This will not give any comfort
at all to the Baathists or Al Qaeda, they would prefer
the current incompetence.