Yes, Virginia, There is a Rumsfeld

by MISSY COMLEY BEATTIE

On a trip to Fairbanks to participate in a ceremony for a memorial of the Alaska-Siberia Lend Lease program, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld spoke with families of the 172nd Striker Brigade, a unit of 3,800 troops. About 300 American soldiers from the unit have already returned home. The others remain in Iraq, serving a one-year tour which was supposed to end soon. Those still in Iraq will see their tours extended by at least 120 days and many of the troops already home will redeploy to Iraq. They are needed to quell the violence in Baghdad.

During the flight to Alaska, the secretary of defense was questioned by reporters about the effect of this action on the troops. The arrogant Rumsfeld responded, "These people are all volunteers. They signed up. They all are there doing what they’re doing because they want to do it."

Rumsfeld would make no promises that the brigade will be home for the holidays. "I’d love to be Santa Claus. I’m not," he told the reporters.

But he is.

Rumsfeld represents a lie as big as the one that makes children all over the world behave during the month of December. He, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and George Bush sold to the American public a Christmas-size whopper after the attacks of 9/11, propaganda that allowed the Bush Administration to invade and occupy a country that had no ties to al-Qaeda.

To our troops Donald Rumsfeld might as well be singing:

You should’ve known
You volunteered
Suck it up. Be a man
What’s another couple of years?
Rummy Claus is coming to town
Your spouse will be fine
And buy the children a pup
You’re doing what you want
Or you wouldn’t have signed up
Rummy Claus is coming to town

Rumsfeld is sending a musical message from the White House: "You better watch out!"

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. Don’t sit on his lap though. You might find that you’ve enlisted and will soon be on an airplane headed to Iraq."

Missy Beattie lives in New York City. She’s written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. An outspoken critic of the Bush Administration and the war in Iraq, she’s a member of Gold Star Families for Peace. She completed a novel last year, but since the death of her nephew, Marine Lance Cpl. Chase J. Comley, in Iraq on August 6,’05, she has been writing political articles. She can be reached at: Missybeat@aol.com





 

Like What You’ve Read? Support CounterPunch
August 31, 2015
Michael Hudson
Whitewashing the IMF’s Destructive Role in Greece
Conn Hallinan
Europe’s New Barbarians
Lawrence Ware
George Bush (Still) Doesn’t Care About Black People
Joseph Natoli
Plutocracy, Gentrification and Racial Violence
Franklin Spinney
One Presidential Debate You Won’t Hear: Why It is Time to Adopt a Sensible Grand Strategy
Dave Lindorff
What’s Wrong with Police in America
Louis Proyect
Jacobin and “The War on Syria”
Lawrence Wittner
Militarism Run Amok: How Russians and Americans are Preparing Their Children for War
Binoy Kampmark
Tales of Darkness: Europe’s Refugee Woes
Ralph Nader
Lo, the Poor Enlightened Billionaire!
Peter Koenig
Greece: a New Beginning? A New Hope?
Dean Baker
America Needs an “Idiot-Proof” Retirement System
Vijay Prashad
Why the Iran Deal is Essential
Tom Clifford
The Marco Polo Bridge Incident: a History That Continues to Resonate
Peter Belmont
The Salaita Affair: a Scandal That Never Should Have Happened
Weekend Edition
August 28-30, 2015
Randy Blazak
Donald Trump is the New Face of White Supremacy
Jeffrey St. Clair
Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone
Mike Whitney
Looting Made Easy: the $2 Trillion Buyback Binge
Alan Nasser
The Myth of the Middle Class: Have Most Americans Always Been Poor?
Rob Urie
Wall Street and the Cycle of Crises
Andrew Levine
Viva Trump?
Ismael Hossein-Zadeh
Behind the Congressional Disagreements Over the Iran Nuclear Deal
Lawrence Ware – Marcus T. McCullough
I Won’t Say Amen: Three Black Christian Clichés That Must Go
Evan Jones
Zionism in Britain: a Neglected Chronicle
John Wight
Learning About the Migration Crisis From Ancient Rome
Andre Vltchek
Lebanon – What if it Fell?
Charles Pierson
How the US and the WTO Crushed India’s Subsidies for Solar Energy
Robert Fantina
Hillary Clinton, Palestine and the Long View
Ben Burgis
Gore Vidal Was Right: What Best of Enemies Leaves Out
Suzanne Gordon
How Vets May Suffer From McCain’s Latest Captivity
Robert Sandels - Nelson P. Valdés
The Cuban Adjustment Act: the Other Immigration Mess
Uri Avnery
The Molten Three: Israel’s Aborted Strike on Iran
John Stanton
Israel’s JINSA Earns Return on Investment: 190 Americans Admirals and Generals Oppose Iran Deal
Bill Yousman
The Fire This Time: Ta-Nehisi Coates’s “Between the World and Me”
Scott Parkin
Katrina Plus Ten: Climate Justice in Action
Michael Welton
The Conversable World: Finding a Compass in Post-9/11 Times
Brian Cloughley
Don’t be Black in America
Kent Paterson
In Search of the Great New Mexico Chile Pepper in a Post-NAFTA Era
Binoy Kampmark
Live Death on Air: The Killings at WDBJ
Gui Rochat
The Guise of American Democracy
Emma Scully
Vultures Over Puerto Rico: the Financial Implications of Dependency
Chuck Churchill
Is “White Skin Privilege” the Key to Understanding Racism?
Kathleen Wallace
The Id(iots) Emerge
Andrew Stewart
Zionist Hip-Hop: a Critical Look at Matisyahu
Gregg Shotwell
The Fate of the UAW: Study, Aim, Fire