On January 8, the Dr. Strangelove-like Donald Rumsfeld was engaged in one of his puffed up oratories at a televised Pentagon press conference. He began ranting and raving about the draft in response to a question concerning Representative Charles Rangel’s bill to reinstate an equitable conscription system. Then Rumsfeld blurted out the most insensitive, ridiculous, and insulting pile of Taurean excrement I’ve ever heard from the Princeton frat boy from Chicago.
Rumsfeld, who appears to be a superb candidate for the Ezra Pound suite at Washington’s St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, said, “If you think back to when we had the draft, people were brought in; they were paid some fraction of what they could make in the civilian manpower market because they were without choices. Big categories were exempted — people that were in college, people that were teaching, people that were married. It varied from time to time, but there were all kinds of exemptions. And what was left was sucked into the intake, trained for a period of months, and then went out, adding no value, no advantage, really, to the United States armed services over any sustained period of time.”
No value! Three quarters of the names of the Vietnam War memorial were draftees. Hundreds of thousands of draftees in every war between the Civil War and Vietnam lie buried in cemeteries throughout the country and around the world.
Rumsfeld, a weekend warrior Naval Reserve jet jockey, who conveniently served on active duty after Korea but before Vietnam, should resign from office. There is no doubt Rumsfeld insulted every family in America who had relatives drafted. One of my great uncles — a draftee — is buried in a World War I cemetery in France. Another uncle, also a draftee, took part in the D-Day invasion of France. Not to mention the fact that during the Vietnam War, I joined the Navy and eventually pulled a low draft number which would have also made me one of those no value added draftees of yours.
Appearing on Fox News Sunday on January 19, Rumsfeld said he would support the notion of Sadaam Hussein and his family being given sanctuary in another country. I have another proposition. How about if some other country gives you sanctuary Mr. Rumsfeld? Maybe a European country that still maintains a draft. Then, the next time you make such a stupid comment, irate villagers with torches can chase you into the nearest castle where you can recharge your neck electrodes.
To no one’s surprise, neither Fox nor ABC News, where Rumsfeld also appeared on January 19, bothered to ask him about his dissing of draftees.
Rumsfeld, who surrounds himself with a pathetic collection of draft evaders like Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle, is, by far, nuttier than the first Secretary of Defense, James Forrestal, another Princeton graduate. After being fired by President Truman in 1949, Forrestal committed suicide by jumping from the 16th-floor of Bethesda Naval Hospital.
That’s a difficult act to follow Mr. Rumsfeld, but you have succeeded.
WAYNE MADSEN is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and columnist. He wrote the introduction to Forbidden Truth.
Madsen can be reached at: WMadsen777@aol.com