Tuesday, November 14, 2006

An Ode to Donald Rumsfeld - The Rambling Rummy

Goodbye my dear friend. You were an inspiration to us all. You were a great and petulant man who trampled the truth like a homeless alcoholic denying reality. I will always remember dearly how you lectured those US troops in Iraq. Oh no, don't worry by golly, of course I realize the questions were scripted and the thing was staged safely in Kuwait, but do you remember when they whined about having no armor for their vehicles. Do you? Remember how you told them that there are dangers to be faced in war? What was it you said exactly?

And if you think about it, you can have all the armor in the world on a tank and a tank can be blown up. And you can have an up-armored Humvee and it can be blown up.”

Those stupid soldiers. What would they know about combat? It’s a good thing you were there to wise them up about reality. You’re the Secretary of Defense by god! What insolence they had. Well you ignored them and everything is fine. Stop Loss Program. Breaking contracts Soviet style! Brilliant. That'll teach them.

We will miss your leadership truly. What was it Henry Kissinger, a man who had met many leaders of the world and cruel dictators, said about you? Yes, that you were the most “ruthless man” he had ever met. And the ode will not stop there. It is only a sad irony that your threats to the Republic of Korea during the 1970s forced them to refrain from developing nuclear weapons while 30 years later their arch nemesis, North Korea, would have them instead. It is also so ironic that the exact mechanisms of corruption operating in Viet Nam, that you discovered for yourself, are now the underpinning of the Iraq occupation today. And how ironic is it that Saddam Hussein, the man you warmly shook hands with and supported in the 1980s would be your undoing? Heck, you even let his use of chemical weapons slide by. Go figure.

And how sweet and romantic your belief and faith in torture is. Who are we to question a no brainer? (See update below) What do you care about the opinions of others who have had experience with violent interrogation yet hold that it is not effective? Like that officer of the Imperial Japanese Army in China during WWII who said that during interrogations of the Chinese civilians, no matter how badly you torture, some people talk and some don’t, but you can never be sure about what they tell you either way. Or the FBI interrogators that have used the "empathy technique" - instead of violence - since its inception by a military officer during WWII? Or like Senator John McCain’s experience at the Hanoi Hilton in the bubbly, pleasant company of the North Vietnamese Army for five and a half years. Or someone like, let’s say a worthless peasant, having once been charmed by very angry drug dealers looking for something that “belongs to them?” Mr. Rumsfeld, what is it we know that you don’t know – about violent interrogation?

Oh well, I guess it doesn’t matter now. I will be sure to always remind people of your legacy – the one of failure, arrogance, vanity, and hypocrisy. But sir, don’t be offended, at least the world will remember you. For now, just enjoy your twilight years – because those people, in the coffins above, paid for it.
Update: Yes, I know it was Cheney that used the term "no brainer." I was connecting that phrase with a departmental investigation that found Donald Rumsfeld had personally approved torture.
-Just a peasant
Photo from the Memory Hole