DONALD H. RUMSFELD
I'd like to start by giving you a little background on how I operate. Sometimes writing this blog is a chore. I'll scan through dozens of news sites and blogs in an effort to find something that I might be able to stamp my particular point of view on. Sometimes, nothing jumps out at me. Other times, I'll see articles and news bytes that just scream for me to get to. Monday was like that as it was relatively quiet, but then all of the sudden, some Lieberman stuff hit, then some new Cheney junk came out and that's when my work is a breeze.
Earlier today, I had one of my Eureka! moments as I was doing a quick Google news search through the usual suspects. I typed in "rumsfeld" and there it was, barely an hour old:
Man, but I love headlines like that. On that headline alone, I knew that I had my hook. Immediately, dozens of retorts and snark popped into my head as I tried to whittle down my indignation into a coherent piece. As I read through the article, I found several more outlandish claims that were just begging to be smacked around. When a guy like Rummy throws this much fodder at me, it takes a little time to figure out exactly how I'm going to go about snarking the crap out of his statements. I suppose I should start by quoting some of his nuggets (from CNN) and then we'll take it from there:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld on Tuesday accused critics of the Bush administration's Iraq and counterterrorism policies of lacking the courage to fight terror.Shorter Don Rumsfeld: People who disagree with Bush are pussy morons.
In unusually explicit terms, Rumsfeld portrayed the administration's critics as suffering from "moral and intellectual confusion" about what threatens the nation's security.
Rumsfeld spoke to an American Legion convention as part of a coordinated White House strategy, in advance of the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, aiming to take the offensive against administration critics at a time of doubt about the future of Iraq and how long U.S. troops must remain there.
But it is apparent that many have still not learned history's lessons," he said, adding that part of the problem is that the American news media have tended to emphasize the negative rather than the positive.
He said, for example, that more media attention was given to U.S. soldiers' abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib than to the fact that Sgt. 1st Class Paul Ray Smith received the Medal of Honor.
Seriously, I'm just not sure how much more I can distill what he's just said here. How else are we to interpret his claims that in disagreeing with Bush, we "lack courage on terror?" And then he claims that these same Bush critics are suffering from "moral and intellectual confusion?" Ho. Lee. Shit. I'm almost speechless. I just don't know what else to say to this. I mean, Rummy has basically said it all right there. Disagree with Bush and you're a pussy moron.
Moving on, I'd like to direct your attention to the third sited quote. Reading through it, I'm left with no choice but to conclude that this adminstration is once again playing politics with 9/11, something that they often chastise their opponents for doing. "A coordinated White House strategy, in advance of the fifth anniversary of" 9/11 that aims to "take the offensive against administration critics[.]" Bushco has been playing politics with this national tragedy since the second plane hit the South Tower. Why else would Bush sit there in that elementary school in Sarasota, Florida, attempting to project an air of calm as Chief of Staff Andy Card whispered the news of a second strike in his ear? Granted, he looked to me (and most people) like a deer in headlights rather than a leader projecting calm, but even at the earliest stages of that fateful day, he was working the politics angle, figuring out the best way to take advantage as events unfolded around him. The fact that he felt the best way to do this was to sit with a blank look on his face for the next seven minutes speaks volumes of our Commander-in-Chief's lack of imagination.
Finally, I'd like to acknowledge Sgt. First Class Paul Ray Smith, who received the Medal of Honor on April 4, 2005, "[f]or conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty[.]" Sergeant First Class Smith died in the line of duty two years earlier on April 4, 2003.
Secretary Rumsfeld, you are correct. More coverage was given to the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal than to Sergeant First Class Smith. Unfortunately, your whining about the media's focus is sort of like blaming a rubbernecker who observes the carnage of a three-car pileup. What happened in Abu Ghraib was dispicable and deserved to have a light shone upon it. Your efforts to use Sergeant First Class Smith's heroic death as an excuse not to bring the events to light does a disservice to Smith's ultimate sacrifice.
In addition to Sgt. First Class Smith, I'd also like to recognize the following soldiers and Marines who were confirmed dead by the DOD this past weekend:
Spc. Edgardo Zayas, 29, of Dorchester, Mass., died on Aug. 26 in Baghdad, Iraq.
Cpl. David G. Weimortz, 28, of Irmo, SC., died, Aug. 26 in Al Anbar province, Iraq.
Cpl. Jordan C. Pierson, 21, of Milford, Conn., died Aug. 25 in Al Anbar province, Iraq.
Pfc. William E. Thorne, 26, of Hospers, Iowa, died on Aug 24 (location not given).
Sgt. Marquees A. Quick, 28, of Hoover Ala., died on Aug 19, in Ar Ramadi, Iraq.
Staff Sgt. Gordon G. Solomon, 35, of Fairborn, Ohio, died Aug. 24 in Al Anbar province, Iraq.
Sgt. Jeremy E. King, 23, of Meridian, Idaho, died on Aug. 24, in Baghdad, Iraq.
Staff Sgt. Dwayne E. Williams, 28, of Baltimore, Md., died Aug. 24 in Al Anbar province, Iraq.
Oops. There I go again covering the negative.