Friday, December 10, 2004

Rumsfeld vs. the American Soldier

More on Rumbo from Fred Kaplan at Slate. As far as I am concerned, the more journalists, pundits, retired military talking heads, bloggers, anybody and everybody, milk this story, the better. This piece relates Rumsfeld to Bush's plans for his second term (his first elected term, of course).
Donald Rumsfeld gave every grunt in the Army a good reason to hate him today.

Like they didn't already. Lights on in yer head, media!
Such a leader of men.

Rumsfeld's answer was, first, unforgivably glib, reminiscent of his shrugged line about the looting in the days after Saddam's fall ("Stuff happens"), but more shocking because here he was addressing American soldiers who are still fighting and dying, 20 months after Baghdad's fall, as a result of Rumsfeld's decisions.

More than that, his answer was wrong. If you're attacked by surprise, you go to war with the army you have. But if you've planned the war a year in advance and you initiate the attack, you have the opportunity—and obligation—to equip your soldiers with what they'll need. Yes, some soldiers will get killed no matter the precautions, but the idea is to heighten their odds—or at least not diminish them—as they're thrust into battle.

So here stands the secretary of defense, long and widely despised by officers for rejecting their advice before the war and now openly criticized by the grunts for failing to give them proper cover as the war rages on all around them.

And yet Rumsfeld is the one Cabinet secretary who has received explicit assurances that he will keep his job, with President Bush's full confidence, into the second term.

Rumsfeld has not merely made mistakes, he has made fatal mistakes. Defense secretaries don't decide whether to go to war, but they do decide how to fight the war once it begins. Even most supporters of the war in Iraq acknowledge that Rumsfeld has fought it in a disastrous manner. The litany of errors has been recited many times—distorting prewar intelligence about weapons of mass destruction, whittling down troop levels that the Army chiefs recommended for postwar stability, torpedoing State Department plans for occupation, alienating traditional allies whose assistance is now desperately needed, covering up crimes at Abu Ghraib.

Rumsfeld's survival—which, given Colin Powell's dismissal, amounts to triumph—tells the newcomers that to get along they must go along; that they're working not in a government but in an echo chamber.

I hope this whole "Hillbilly Armor" debacle will be one of the things that alerts the stupid, insensitive, selfish, brain-dead, retarded 51% that voted these lizards into power that they may have made just the teensiest little mistake in doing so. Is it their wonderful "moral values" that allow American Servicemen to go into harm's way without proper equipment, however wrong the mission was to begin with, when the whole deal was in the works for four fucking years?

There's gotta be something that will wake these people up to the fact that they elected a man who is killing their sons and daughters for no good reason other than neo-con ideology, a Napoleon complex, and little-dick dreams of empire. Also that the people he employs in these perverted aims are criminal fucking idiots!

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