The line forms on the right, gentle reader, if you want to join the list of out-of-office statesmen, would-be pundits and just plain big-mouths wanting to help Fox News slam Obama on his foreign policy. Last night it was the turn of former Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Yes, the architect of the Bush Administration’s debacle in Iraq re-emerged to tell On the Record that the Obama administration is in denial about the Libyan attack, that Obama’s apologetic weakness is a symptom of America in decline, and that people in Afghanistan are so relieved now that the Taliban is no longer around.
As usual, the conversation started with Susan Rice’s early insistence that the YouTube video was the cause of the attack in Libya. “I watched the presentation,” said Rumsfeld, “and I thought it was amazing that someone in her position would go on with that degree of certainty, that fast and that authoritatively and be that wrong.” (Really? Sounds a bit like what you did in Iraq, Mr. Shock-and-Awe.)
As before, Van Susteren toed the Fox line on the Libya attack. Why did the administration plug the YouTube theory and stick with it for so many days? They wanted it to be the YouTube, Rumsfeld replied. "It was much more convenient from the administration's standpoint to have it be the film that nobody's seen. And yet it demonstrated such serious misjudgments on their part, to think that they could make it be the YouTube [even though], …knowing the history of September 11, would at least have registered that that could very well have been part of an organized attack, which apparently, now people in the senior in the administration have acknowledged.” (Just as an aside, gentle reader - there have been demonstrations in how many other countries and even Fox hasn’t tried to pin those on a premeditated attack?) “You know, anyone can make a mistake. …(Rumsfeld himself has made plenty, hasn’t he?) But …in retrospect, looking at [the White House speeches and presentations] all as a pattern, they're calculated to try to make the president look like he's in charge and that …his foreign policy is working, instead of the fact that it seems to be unraveling as we watch the world scene.”
What is Obama’s foreign policy? To convince the rest of the world that we’re in decline, according to Rumsfeld. We’re modelling our economy after Europe’s failed model and cutting half a trillion dollars out of the defense budget, which “sends the signal out to the world that the United States will not be in a position to contribute to peace and stability and contribute to a better world, which we've done throughout my adult life." (Yes, and that worked brilliantly in Vietnam, didn’t it? And in Iraq?)
And what should Obama have done differently? What Rumsfeld did when he was Secretary of Defense, I guess. “I think that [Iraq and Afghanistan are] considerably better off by not having the Taliban in Afghanistan and not having the "Butcher of Baghdad," Saddam Hussein, in Iraq. The countries have been given an opportunity to have a freer political system and a freer economic system. They've fashioned their own constitutions.” Van Susteren actually ventured to disagree, saying it looked like the Taliban was coming back in full force. “I don't know that,” said Rumsfeld a little testily. Yeah, they may be “attempting to reassert themselves” after having been “shoved out” but “I think the people of Afghanistan like the fact that they had an election and voted for their parliament. And I think they have a crack at building a better country.” Just give ‘em time, he added. The US, after all, went through a long, tough process… ….”We're still evolving, and they're going to evolve.”
However, like most of Fox’s talking heads, his admiration for turfing out dictators doesn’t extend to the grassroots protest in Egypt. “I don't think we're better off there. I think you can't be better off with a Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt, in my view” And what if Romney were President? “Oh, I think the difference will be significant. …Governor Romney without doubt understands that our country is exceptional…. He believes that the world is a better place if we are a participant in that world and recognizes that it is not for us to go around the world apologizing and wringing our hands.” How should we “participate” in Egypt or Libya, if “apologizing” is the wrong approach? He didn’t say, any more than any other participants in Fox's Libya Slam-Obama-Rama have said. But he obviously still believes in spreading freedom and democracy around the world (so long as it’s US-sanctioned freedom and democracy, of course.)
Well, I guess you can’t really blame Rummy; after all, he’s the one who said, after President Obama ordered the successful bin Laden raid:
“I don’t think it was a tough decision. We’ve seen a lot of instances where presidents over the years have — have had to make decisions like that . . . I can’t imagine any president not making that decision.”
. . . even though, strangely enough, the Dumbya misAdministration was presented with a similar opportunity in early 2005 — and who said no? That’s right — Rummy:
A secret military operation in early 2005 to capture senior members of Al Qaeda in Pakistanâs tribal areas was aborted at the last minute after top Bush administration officials decided it was too risky and could jeopardize relations with Pakistan, according to intelligence and military officials.
But the mission was called off after Donald H. Rumsfeld, then the defense secretary, rejected an 11th-hour appeal by Porter J. Goss, then the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, officials said. Members of a Navy Seals unit in parachute gear had already boarded C-130 cargo planes in Afghanistan when the mission was canceled.
When you get caught with not only your pants down, but your ‘nads exposed, like Rummy, I suppose you’ll take any opportunity to whitewash your record . . .
By MICHAEL LUO and MIKE McINTIRE
Buried deep in the tax returns released by Mitt Romneyâs presidential campaign are references to dozens of offshore holdings with names like Ursa Funding (Luxembourg) S.Ã .r.l. and Sankaty Credit Opportunities Investors (Offshore) IV, based in the Cayman Islands.
Mr. Romney, responding to opponentsâ barbs about his use of overseas tax havens, has offered a narrow defense, saying only that the investments, many made through the private equity firm he founded, Bain Capital, have yielded him ânot one dollar of reduction in taxes.â
A review of thousands of pages of financial documents and interviews with tax lawyers found that in some cases, the offshore arrangements enabled his individual retirement account to avoid taxes on its investments and may well have reduced Mr. Romneyâs personal income tax bills.
But perhaps a more significant impact of Mr. Romneyâs offshore investments has been on the profit side of the ledger â in the way Bainâs tax-avoidance strategies have enhanced his income.
Some of the offshore entities enabled Bain-owned companies to sidestep certain taxes, increasing returns for Mr. Romney and other investors. Others helped Bain attract foreign investors and nonprofit institutions by insulating them from taxes, again augmenting Mr. Romneyâs bottom line, since he shared in management fees based on the size of each Bain fund.
The documents â which include confidential Bain prospectuses and foreign regulatory filings, many previously unreported â illustrate how these tax-avoidance strategies are woven into the fabric of Bainâs deal making. While hardly a novel concept and not unique to Bain, the inevitable result is that elite investors like Mr. Romney are able to increase their fortunes in ways unavailable to most taxpayers.
As in exceptionally easy for him to flip-flop on & lie about every issue, or keep his “policies” secret? Not to mention harvesting US companies & outsourcing jobs? Or selling drugged a drugged horse?:
Now that was exceptional!
How about Ann Romney understanding that Mitt’s mental condition is an issue if he’s POTUS and thus Mitt would make an exceptionally crazy leader ?:
But no matter what Rummy, just lake Mitt take responsibly for his own life and stop being his mouthpiece. You’re making him look like a 47%er – a victim of American politics!