Inconvenient News,
       by smintheus

Sunday, November 12, 2006

  Saint Donald

The hagiographies of Donald Rumsfeld are already being written.

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In the burgeoning category of editorials you can't believe made it into print, the publisher of the (Tribune-Company) LA Times, David Hiller, explains that he used to play squash with Rumsfeld. From which he learned that Rumsfeld is not a quitter. We're deeply indebted to Mr. Hiller for that information, chiz chiz.

I think what struck me most was that Don never gave up on a point. His view was that every shot could be made, every game could be won, and he never surrendered until the last volley was played out. With me he was usually right.

Were these the qualities he brought to his job as secretary of Defense? I'm not sure, but I suspect that the rules he lived by were the same ones he played by, and I thought of them again as I watched the president announce Don's resignation.

I wonder if David Hiller has ever pondered the number of people Rumsfeld has gotten killed with his monomania over Iraq?

In any case, just for fun, contrast that with the picture of Rumsfeld from another old friend, Kenneth Adelman, in the New Yorker.

At the [Defense Policy] board’s meeting this summer, Adelman said, he argued that the American military needed a new strategy.

“I suggested that we were losing the war,” Adelman said. “What was astonishing to me was the number of Iraqi professional people who were leaving the country. People were voting with their feet, and I said that it looked like we needed a Plan B. I said, ‘What’s the alternative? Because what we’re doing now is just losing.’ ”

Adelman said that Rumsfeld didn’t take to the message well. “He was in deep denial—deep, deep denial. And then he did a strange thing. He did fifteen or twenty minutes of posing questions to himself, and then answering them. He made the statement that we can only lose the war in America, that we can’t lose it in Iraq. And I tried to interrupt this interrogatory soliloquy to say, ‘Yes, we are actually losing the war in Iraq.’ He got upset and cut me off. He said, ‘Excuse me,’ and went right on with it.”

It's noteworthy that Adelman was another one of the war mongers back in 2003. The neo-cons have been using the pages of New York's tonier magazines recently to distance themselves from their own disaster by pinning all the blame on the few who remain in the bunker. So take a grain a salt, as well, with Adelman's dishing.

In any case, the Tribune Company, on whose board Rumsfeld used to sit, is also busy worrying about Rumsfeld's job prospects.

Work shouldn't be hard to find for Rumsfeld

Defense chief is likely to be in demand:

`This guy could do anything'

Indeed, I would not have thought that the situation in Iraq could have been thoroughly screwed up as quickly as all that, but Mr. Rumsfeld made believers of us all.

Let's give the last word on the Great Man to another snake in the grass, Douglas Feith:

Rumsfeld had to resign, I suppose, because our bitter and noxious political debate of recent years has turned him into a symbol.


  • "David Hiller, explains that he used to play squash with Rumsfeld."

    That is one of the best way to understand a politician! That is why, up until the very invention of squash, we weren't able to determine the ability of a politician.

    Now we can! Mr Hiller should have played with OBL before the 9/11 attacks, with Saddam Hussein before 2003 and with a bunch of democrats before the elections. He would have known better...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:48 AM  

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