By now, everyone has heard about Rumsfeld’s memo. It was leaked to the New York Times supposedly without Rumsfeld’s knowledge. It makes the case that Rumsfeld was just about to make major changes in Iraq because he could see that the strategy was failing and had created a disaster.
Everything about the memo reeks of deception. In fact, the Times even admits that, “Rumsfeld may have been trying to shape the coming discussion and present himself as open to change'”.
Because, according to the article, “President Bush interviewed Texas A&M University President Robert Gates as a potential successor to Rumsfeld a day before the midterm elections.”
Do you think that Rummy, who controls 80% of the US intelligence budget and listens in to the conversations of Quakers, antiwar protestors, and other unsuspecting citizens knew that he was going to be canned?
You bet he did. And now he’s rewriting history to cast himself as a flexible and open-minded military leader who could change course when the situation warranted. It’s just another way of patching together a legacy before tottering off into retirement.
Nothing Rumsfeld says can be trusted. He spies on Americans’ phone calls, computers, medical records, bank records and groups. He has been a stanch supporter of planting propaganda in newspapers and TV. He introduced a program that created a “rapid response” team to rebut information that is critical of US foreign policy appearing on blogs, web-sites and letters to the editor. He controlled the flow of information coming out of Iraq and managed to silence many of the war’s critics. He developed a plan for “Total Information Awareness” that is designed to control everything that the public sees and hears from cradle to grave.
Now he is trying to write his own legacy. It is just another in a long list of deceptions; a smokescreen created to conceal his responsibility in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people.
The memo states that Rumsfeld was planning to make major adjustments and that “Clearly, what US forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough”. But “what US forces were doing” was exactly what Rumsfeld told them to do; nothing more, nothing less.
When he told them to bomb Falluja to the ground, they followed his orders; and when they tortured and stacked naked prisoners on top of each other, they followed his orders. And, when they trained the Shiite death squads to kill and maim Sunni suspects, they followed his orders.
Every major decision in 4 years of conflict bears Rumsfeld’s imprimatur. It’s his policy; it’s his war. If Rumsfeld continued as Secretary of Defense, then nothing would change, because he has absolute confidence in violence and deception as the two main instruments for political transformation.
Rumsfeld’s memo is great reading for fiction-lovers. It provides a revealing snapshot of a leader who carefully considered every alternative before making a decision. It’s a stark contrast to the intractable narcissist who ignored his advisors and bullied his generals. But, like I said, it’s great fiction.
Excerpt: “Announce that no matter whatever new approach the US decides on, the US is doing on a trial basis’. This will give us the ability to readjust and move to another course, and therefore not lose'”.
In other words, keep moving the goalposts while people die and the public will never catch on.
That’s a whole new take on cynicism.
Rumsfeld has enjoyed his 6-year tenure as Sec-Def. He probably thought it would never end. Now what he needs is a good biographer, like Bob Woodward, who can invent a story about his exploits fighting “radical Islam’s” attack on the “land of the free and the home of the brave”. No doubt, there’ll be a photo of the square-jawed Rummy plastered atop the muscled torso of Favio staving off the swarthy Middle Eastern males’ with his trusty DOD-issue scimitar.
The memo is just more gibberish; the empty dissembling of a con-man trying to hoodwink the public before scuttling off into political oblivion.
Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Don.
MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: email@example.com