Enough said already! The corporate media have been milking the issue
of Rumsfeld’s incumbency, squeezing every drop of Rummy to the dryness
of Chile’s Atacama Desert. Perhaps that’s something to be expected
domestically. What does come as a surprise, however, is the amount of coverage
and level of speculation in the foreign press; most particularly, the press
chronicling to the peoples in the Middle East.
And what comes as an even larger surprise, it’s the importance
attached to the possible exit, or stay, of the Pentagon’s chief. Donald
Rumsfeld is a colorful character, yes . . . but even if he is Cruella’s
favorite devil-son, he’s politically irrelevant to the well-entrenched
American foreign policy. Doesn’t the international press corps know that?
Hasn’t it dawn on these journalists and political commentators that Rumsfeld’s
stay-in, or exit-from, the DOD (Department of Defense) is totally inconsequential?
The damage has already been done: from the launching of an unjust and criminal
invasion to a rosary of repetitive misdeeds, now becoming an unending litany
of events that Rumsfeld can neither influence, nor control.
Those retired generals who have come forward to critique or criticize Rumsfeld’s
edicts, gross mistakes, and ineptness in how the Pentagon prepared for and conducted
the war, have the right to do so; not only on their own behalf but that of other
active duty staff and field officers of like mind. Just like Rep. Jack Murtha
and other hawkish politicians have done. What’s sad to watch is how the
small antiwar movement in America, activists and passivists alike, make these
critics the rallying heroes when they are in fact only critics of their brethren-in-war.
It’s not the music that is being criticized, just how it’s played.
And Rumsfeld is simply the conductor of this evening’s event.
Bush simply cannot dismiss Rumsfeld; it wouldn’t make any sense. The
two men clearly represent the two sides of the same coin, carrying almost identical
numbers for acceptance or rejection when it comes to polling Americans’
sentiment: upwards of 80 percent favorable job performance just after 9/11,
and less than half that figure nowadays. For both gents!
By hook or by crook, this ideological marriage is likely to stay together to
the bitter end. In fact, this is not a monogamous relationship, but a polygamous
one, involving several other high profile neocons, and also high priests of
christianity (yes, with a very small c). And there is no evidence that the GOP
is considering cleansing itself of these cancerous groups, preferring instead
to make use of its 30 silver coins in tax breaks.
Let’s be real! Rumsfeld needs to be available for a possible “October
Surprise,” for if things continue looking dim for GOP legislators before
the mid-term election, a proven loyalist needs to be in charge at the Pentagon
to bomb the hell out of Iran, and rally the nation around the flag.
And who better for that task than this articulate master of deceit?
Truth be said, America is in Iraq, or its balkanized remnants, for the long
haul -- long after Rumsfeld. Make no mistake about that. Perhaps restricted
to a fortified mega-embassy and a few well-staffed military bases. But Babylonia
and its environs will remain de facto in American hands; or at least its oil
will, and the freedom to operate as an international free-state. That’s
American policy, for now and the foreseeable future, regardless whether power
remains with these neocons, or passes on to the right of center Democrats (Hillary,
Kerry et al).
During the past three weeks I must have come across 70 to 80 articles in the
Arab (and Muslim) press, both mainstream and alternative -- from Egypt to Pakistan
and all points in the Diaspora -- which dissected this personage in microscopic
detail. His criminality, association with Abu Ghraib/Guantanamo, and general
incompetence were massaged in these essays to great lengths. Perhaps the lack
of perspective in much of this erudite writing was the result of having used
a microscope instead of a telescope. Rumsfeld is but a soldier himself, perhaps
an articulate and inept soldier, but a soldier nonetheless. To see the problem
in clear focus, you cannot resort to looking at Rumsfeld through a microscope;
instead one must look to the stars with a telescope. There, in front of us,
is the culprit of it all. Not a man who’s 50 percent quipster and 50 percent
ruthless. Not Rumsfeld. The culprit lit by the stars: American foreign policy
and its readiness to wage war, including preemptive war, to impose its will
or vision on the world.
Bush's low favorable numbers, particularly on the quagmire that Iraq has become,
have absolutely nothing to do with how Americans feel about war . . . only the
conduct of this particular war. And that in a nutshell is the problem. Americans
are not any more antiwar today than they were four years ago. It’s not
so much that we despise wars; it’s just that we hate not winning them
. . . and quickly. That’s what all the criticism is about: from Murtha,
from the six generals, from the disgruntled man in the street. And what better
villain, or scapegoat, than Rumsfeld!
But no one will dare take a poll as to how antiwar we really are. Afraid to
see for ourselves, or to show the world, what our priorities are.
Why all the noise about Rumsfeld? He is just an arrogant so-and-so who acts
on our behalf. Why is it so difficult for the international press corps to see
Ben Tanosborn, columnist, poet and writer, resides in
Vancouver, Washington (USA), where he is principal of a business consulting
firm. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.