Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Other Shoe Drops: Rumsfeld Is Axed

The Decider has forced out Defense Secretary Rumsfeld the day after American voters furiously and resoundingly repudiated his failed war in Iraq.

As the president tired to explained through clenched teeth at a post-election White House presser, he kind of sort of decided to fire Rumsfeld last week when he said that he had the utmost confidence in him.

Former CIA Director Robert Gates, a Democrat and confidante of the president's father, is being named to replace the unpopular defense secretary after six stormy years at the Pentagon helm.

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Although Rumsfeld made a gesture of giving credit to others after the U.S.'s semi-lightning fast victory against Saddam's enfeebled Republican Guard (and considerably more together Fedayeen) in the spring of 2003 and has been relentless in shifting blame to others during the myriad setbacks since then, the Iraq war is singularly and distinctively his.

Rumsfeld anticipated the war years before George Bush was elected.

Rumsfeld planned the war while the fires from the 9/11 terror attacks still burned.

Rumsfeld executed the war through Tommy Franks and other compliant generals who kissed his ass to protect their careers while giving little thought to protecting their men's own asses.

And Rumsfeld has relentlessly pursued the war even as his assumptions have been revealed as fraudulent, over 2,800 American men and women have come home in flag-drapped coffins and his hubristic goals have fallen by the bloody wayside.

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It is no accident that Dick Cheney is the most powerful vice president in history and Rumsfeld the most powerful defense secretary.

We now know that Rumsfeld shares something else with Cheney: A disregard to human life and suffering ("Stuff happens." "Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war."), as well as a pathological inability to acknowledge opposing points of view, let alone brook dissent. ("Out of thousands and thousands of admirals and generals, if every time two or three people disagreed we changed the secretary of defense of the United States, it would be like a merry-go-round.")

Some of Rumsfeld's recent statements were so Orwellian that I had begun to seriously question his sanity.

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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