I’ll be the first to admit that I have some serious qualms about President Obama’s warmongering against Syria. But turning to Donald Rumsfeld – you know the guy who was largely responsible for our misbegotten Iraq invasion – to critique Obama’s job as Commander-in-Chief is just stupefying. Yet, as it happens, Rumsfeld was on Fox News not once but twice with his unasked-for advice for Obama. He also had an opportunity to do a little whitewashing of his own record at the same time.
During his appearance on Your World yesterday, Rumsfeld criticized the White House, believe it or not, for not properly justifying the war. He repeated that jaw-dropping counsel on On The Record later. Forbes’ Rick Ungar, a Fox News regular, has a very interesting column suggesting that Rumsfeld may have been urging Obama to lie in order to create such a justification.
But first, on On The Record, Rumsfeld chided Obama, “I think it’s important for the credibility of the government to get to Ground Truth,” about whether or not chemical weapons had actually been used and who used them. This from the guy who told America about WMD’s in Iraq: "We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
“What is the national interest for the United States?” Rumsfeld rhetorically asked last night. “You can’t put a coalition together until you define the mission.” Then favorably comparing his own efforts at putting together a coalition (which included such mighty militaries as Tonga, Mongolia and Latvia), Rumsfeld added, "And there’s a lack of clarity here. The idea of firing a shot across the bow or a pinprick action to so-called punish them, I think is probably a mistake.” He then warned that the U.S. could wind up looking “ineffective and weak.”
Even more astoundingly, Van Susteren suggested that the invasion of Iraq was a smarter military endeavor. She asked Rumsfeld to “compare and contrast” the current situation to the buildup to the Iraq war “where there was suspicion that there were weapons of mass destruction and it turned out not. Here, there seems to be relatively no suspicion of weapons of mass destruction. Chemical weapons, yet there is not an appetite to do it."
Lo and behold, that served as an opening for Rumsfeld to catalog his reasons for believing Saddam had WMD’s (minus an explanation for saying he “knew” where they were) and to push the fiction that Saddam “was refusing to allow the U.N. to go in and validate whether or not they remained.” In reality, the U.S. would not let the U.N. inspectors finish their work after they reported that Iraq was being cooperative.
“If we look weak and persuade Iran that they can charge ahead with their nuclear program, we will have done something most unfortunate,” Rumsfeld now claimed.
Here’s another little factoid Rummy and his pal Van Susteren didn’t think to mention. The guy who replaced Saddam is an ally of Iran and that country's power was strengthened in the region as the result of deposing one of Iran’s long-time enemies. Also not mentioned? How just this week it was revealed that the Republican Reagan administration was complicit with Iraq in its use of chemical weapons on Iran. And as for looking weak, I can’t think of how we could look weaker than invading a country under false pretenses, suggesting the conflict would not last six months, promising that we’d be welcomed (as Rumsfeld did) – and then getting stuck there for nine years.
However, Rumsfeld did go on to lecture Obama to “take a deep breath, get down to ground truth and say to himself that the United States does have a role to play but it has to be played in a steady, solid way and in fact the policies that we’ve seen have been harmful to the United States and the perception of the United States rather than helpful.”
It's hard to think of anyone other than, perhaps, George W. Bush or Dick Cheney who has been more harmful to the U.S. and to its perception abroad than Rumsfeld. But, not surprisingly, Van Susteren did not challenge a word of that.
WMDs. That’s all we heard about for months as the justification for war. But as Dumbya et al knew or should have known, there were actually no WMDs in Iraq.
A quick war. Days or weeks promised Rummy. It took ten years to finally get out of Iraq. 4,500 Americans dead and 32,000 wounded. $2 trillion wasted on a war of choice.
Iraq will become a model democracy in the Middle East. Another Rummy fiction. Iraq now is in the midst of a violent civil war between Muslim sects. The official government is a closet Shiite theocracy whose closest ally is Iran.
I wouldn’t trust Dumbya, Darth or Rummy to run a fast food franchise, let alone the USA.
““I think it’s important for the credibility of the government to get to Ground Truth,” …”
1. At what level does a USA government official become ‘above the law’ (national and international)?
2. Does being ‘above the law’ extend to only USA President/Vice President?
3. Are Secretarial Department heads also ‘above the law?’ How far down the chain of command does being above the law extend?
4. Do you feel free to travel outside of USA and expect to be immune to prosecution?
5. When arrested overseas, do ‘above the law’ USA government officials have the right to use international law in their defense?
Talk to US about accountability, responsibility. Please. NEVER ever come out to talk to US until you are prepared to talk!!
~ @ : o [