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Rumsfeld Cuts And Runs
Gregg just heard on TV that Rumsfeld is "stepping down." Yet, just an hour ago, Fox News was reporting "Rumsfeld Has No Plans to Step Down, Despite Democrat Gains." Guess his plans changed!

Corporations remain in Iraq, collecting bigtime. Link is to the Robert Greenwald film, Iraq For Sale: The War Profiteers. Apparently, the military can no longer provide for many of its needs, and corporations are scoring in the billions in filling in. The Iraq war has been very good to some people...the ones back in the States collecting the profits.

Posted by aalkon at November 8, 2006 9:53 AM

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This is SUCH good news.


You'll have to be really quick, because I'm sure wikipedia editors won't let it stand, but for right now here's a giggle:


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Rumsfeld#Resignation

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at November 8, 2006 10:41 AM

Aaaarrrgghhhhh, they fixed it already. Five minutes ago some wag had added "Everyone was REALLY Happy".

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at November 8, 2006 10:48 AM

Screenshots, Stu, screenshots!

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 8, 2006 10:50 AM

And the expected replacement is a veteran from his father's administration. Perhaps brought in to implement the suggestions of Baker's (another Bush I vet) Iraq study group? I hope that this is a real change and not window dressing.

Posted by: justin case at November 8, 2006 11:43 AM

Corporations! [shakes fist at them]

Posted by: Jim Treacher at November 8, 2006 1:19 PM

What a week! Rumsfeld steps down, and Britney files for divorce! I'm reeling!

Posted by: Lena at November 8, 2006 3:11 PM

What a week! Rumsfeld steps down, and Britney files for divorce! I'm reeling!

Posted by: Lena at November 8, 2006 3:12 PM

"The Iraq war has been very good to some people...the ones back in the States collecting the profits."

The book "Iraq, Inc" is also an excellent analysis of that:

http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=11583

Posted by: Lena at November 8, 2006 3:46 PM

Treach, I'm not anti-business or anti-profit -- quite the contrary. But, it looks like there's some serious war profiteering going on here.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at November 8, 2006 3:47 PM

Six years is a lot of time for a *second* stretch as Secdef, especially one that included war in two distant theaters and a terribly deadly attack on the office building. When people cheer about this resignation, what are they looking forward to? What exactly is the principle, or fact on-the-ground, that no longer applies?

The replacement Bush proposes is about the worst possible candidate. But even before learning who'd been selected during the drive home an hour ago, I knew Amy's People would be cheering, and I need to know why. What are the qualities in a Secretary of Defense that you found lacking in Rumsfeld? Or is your problem just that America needs to be defended?

> Corporations remain in
> Iraq, collecting bigtime.

Amy. Please.

> And the expected replacement
> is a veteran from his father's
> administration.

Not only his father's administration, his father's Godless business! Never forget, GHWB was DCI (chief American spook) in the 1970's. If GW Bush 43 had anything, anything at all to recommend him, it was a distrust of the cesspool mechanics of postwar American internationalism.

Well, the dim bitches have been barking for four years, and perhaps they've been heard: America will again do whatever murderous mischief it needs to do in order to keep the oil moving, but it won't be on the front pages any more, and establishing Democracy and liberty in troubled lands is no longer on the menu, let alone in the kitchen. From here on out, it's a new Iran/Contra every single year. Bush has hired a guy with experience.

I seriously, seriously believe that a meaningful part (perhaps the largest) of whatever idealism and sincerity we might have attributed to disruption from of the Baby Boomers has been extinguished. Turns out, it was all about selling badly-stitched pants and stupidly-harmonized melodies from drug addicts. And lots and lots of color TV.

> I hope that this is a
> real change and not
> window dressing.

I hope you've never been so wrong in your entire life.

Posted by: Crid at November 8, 2006 4:42 PM

> America will again do whatever murderous mischief it needs to do in order to keep the oil moving, but it won't be on the front pages any more, and establishing Democracy and liberty in troubled lands is no longer on the menu, let alone in the kitchen.

Jesus Crid, I'm seriously, seriously, SERIOUSLY, worried about you.

Posted by: eric at November 8, 2006 9:23 PM

> I hope that this is a
> real change and not
> window dressing.

I hope you've never been so wrong in your entire life.

So you liked the job Rumsfeld did as Secretary of Defense?

Posted by: justin case at November 8, 2006 11:28 PM

What are the qualities in a Secretary of Defense that you found lacking in Rumsfeld?


One word. Rendition.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at November 9, 2006 7:24 AM

One word - competence.

Plus I don't trust any man who says "golly".

Posted by: eric at November 9, 2006 8:04 AM

Golly, everyone answers with one-liners instead of essays.

Justin, I view him as a remarkable guy in a remarkable time working in the service of a president who's the son of a man who was his career-long competitor in politics. But he was just an administrator. About a year ago there was an extensive interview in the WaPo that made this clear. Find it yourself or write to me at wlamark@hotmail.com. The policies people hated were Bush's... He's hated for being effective. It's remarkable that people think dems chased him out... Or that the replacement could be more to their taste. Americans are not sane.

Eric, who was your favorite secdef?

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2006 8:14 AM

Cap was competent. Cheney was competent as well. George Marshall was probably the most competent of all but he was only in for a short time.

One liners get the point across. Sometimes I can't figure out what the hell you are saying.

Posted by: eric at November 9, 2006 8:39 AM

"Treach, I'm not anti-business or anti-profit -- quite the contrary."

I am. Damn you, corporations!

Posted by: Jim Treacher at November 9, 2006 9:13 AM

Rumsfeld’s arrogance was polarizing. My top three secdefs are George Marshall, James Forrestal, and Casper Weinberger. Secretary of Defense didn’t come into being until 1947, before that is was the Secretary of War. That list would be interesting since you would need to consider the likes of William Sherman and Jefferson Davis.

Posted by: Roger at November 9, 2006 9:24 AM

> Cap was competent.

He was up to his balls in Iran-Contra!

>Cheney was competent as well.

Dubya's had no finer executor of policy!

> George Marshall was probably
> the most competent of all

He served a quiet year in peacetime, essentially a parade lap for his career! What's to admire?

> Sometimes I can't figure out
> what the hell you are saying.

I'm working on it.

> Rumsfeld’s arrogance was polarizing.

You say that as if it were a bad thing.

> and Jefferson Davis.

His museum-fied coastal retirement house was pretty much lost to Katrina last year. I happened to have visited it a couple years ago, and it was freaky... Not just for the evasive language on the displays, but for the other visitors. I've never been so sure I was in the company of skinheads before. Toothlessness, confederate flags in pickup trucks, the reek of meth... The whole stereotype.

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2006 9:44 AM

Justin, I view him as a remarkable guy in a remarkable time working in the service of a president who's the son of a man who was his career-long competitor in politics. But he was just an administrator. About a year ago there was an extensive interview in the WaPo that made this clear.
Crid:
I thought the big-picture ideas for the military came from the combination Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz (especially the Project for a New American Century folks, which I believe includes the latter three). That Rumsfeld was the key architect of the new high-tech/numerically small approach in Afghanistan and Iraq, which seems to have failed. I'd be interested to read the article you mention, as it would affect my opinion of Rumsfeld - I'll email you off-list.

As far as the new guy being more to American's liking, I guess we'll see. I do agree that it seems likely that the new approach will be more like old-school Bush 41 policy than neoconservative change-the-world ideas. As I read more, it seems ever likely that my earlier comment about Gates being brought in to implement Iraq Study Group recommendations seems accurate (apparently Gates was a member of that group).

Posted by: justin case at November 9, 2006 10:57 AM

> Rumsfeld was the key architect
> of the new high-tech/numerically
> small approach...

He played the hand he was dealt. There are a limited number of competent military forces. He didn't want to be caught with all his troops in Mesopotamia when things were going to shit in Korea. And of course, we still have a hundred thousand in Europe, six decades after the dustup over there....

> neoconservative change-
> the-world ideas.

Change the world as opposed to... What? Going with the flow?

On the way home KPCC's Patt the Hat Morrison had a couple of NPR women talking about Afghanistan, and how our failure to consider the shades of gray at work in these cultures had doomed the outcome of our invasion. As always happens on leftist radio, there was a call for dialogue, and understanding, and the insight that comes from knowing history. But there was no suggestion about where the rubber meets the road. Specifically, are we supposed to be patient with cultures that preach sharia? Would these women, feminist pin-ups for girly achievement, want to wear burqas? It sometimes seems like there's a twisted psychological thing at work where... Never mind.

On Tuesday, it so happened that all the usual aging hipsters at my West LA polling place had been replaced by middle easterners, gents with very poor ears for English spelling. So folks were pulling out their driver's licenses, so as not to have to say how the M comes after the S in Smith on the printout, and not before. Of course in California, it's illegal to demand ID of a registered voter. It felt like Jim Crow had found another way to sneak into that Baptist church basement. I intend to be a twitchy asshole about this.

> Gates being brought in to...

People are supporting THE CIA. Do you understand this? People are putting their faith in the spooks! In two thousand fucking six!

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2006 4:04 PM

> Rumsfeld was the key architect
> of the new high-tech/numerically
> small approach...

He played the hand he was dealt.

You are knowledgeable enough to know that this is misleading - the small, light, fast high-tech military was a key Rumsfeld policy (found, among other places, in a WaPo article with which I know you're familiar).

Specifically, are we supposed to be patient with cultures that preach sharia? Would these women, feminist pin-ups for girly achievement, want to wear burqas? It sometimes seems like there's a twisted psychological thing at work where...

Yeah, I can't understand either why more liberal Western women aren't more up in arms over the treatment of their sisters in the Muslim world... I do think we should know their history and culture better. But there's no dialogue to be had with proponents of Sharia, because they aren't going to say, "O.K., we agree to treat women as equals and to stop the honor killings, but you have to let us keep not eating swine."

Posted by: justin case at November 9, 2006 6:06 PM

To the degree that he *wasn't* playing the hand that was dealt, he was nonetheless opposing operational responsibilities for intelligence agencies. Even it it fails, that was a heroic effort. People talk about the Cold War as if it was something to be missed, and as if the Cold War's statis and quiet resolution were ordained... So therefore we should continue to fund the United Nations, and continue to trust the CIA to handle these things. But of course these bad actors (the Taliban especially) were directly nourished by those policies of ours.

Time to grow out of it. Secret government does not work. Let's live in line with our values.

Posted by: Crid at November 9, 2006 6:35 PM

Secret government does not work. Let's live in line with our values.

In this, I am in unequivocal agreement with you.

Posted by: justin case at November 9, 2006 10:47 PM

Crid, you want reasons as to what I found lacking in Don

1 He lied to the troops, he stood up in front of them and lied to them about their lack of vehicular armor.

2 He lied to the public "we know where they are . . . they are N, S, E, & W in the areas around bagdad and Tikrit

3 He was incompetent, first the plan was simple, then when asked details it became complicated and hard to explain

4 and who can forget the whole 'we cant know the unknowable, we know what we know and we know what we dont know and we cant know what we dont know and we know we dont know'

ya know?

Posted by: lujlp at November 10, 2006 11:57 AM

1. Whose money was he spending on the armor? Was it like a small business, where he got to keep whatever part of the budget he was saving on materiel? The county jail was like that it my home town in Indiana. The council budgeted two dollars a day or something to feed prisoners. If the sheriff's wife could do it for less, she kept the difference.

This encouraged law-abide-atude in the community.

> 2. ...they are N, S, E, & W in the areas
> around bagdad and Tikrit

Admit it! He was right!

> first the plan was simple, then when
> asked details it became complicated

He was a good soldier in a presidential administration.

> the whole 'we cant know the
> unknowable...

That thing's been parsed by professors of philosphy as well as late night comedians. So far as I can tell, he was right. There are things we know, and there are things...

Unless you mean that in providing things for Leno & Letterman to laugh at, he somehow elided the public trust to either [A] be featureless and ignorable as our agent, like a postal worker or [B] flatter the understanding of a typical voter without surcease.

Well, Luujy, fella, your day is at hand! A former CIA spook is running the Defense department, and those fuckers got a whole new lease on life! From now on, we're going to have no clue what steps (if any) are being taken to protect us from dictators and extremists, or how much money's being spent to do it, or how many adversaries (whatever their shade of gray) are brutalized in order to get our needs met! They'll take care of everything!

Trust them!

Posted by: Crid at November 10, 2006 3:11 PM

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