Sunday, May 17, 2009

I never did like the guy!

Back in the good old "Intel-Dump" days, my favorite moniker for the then serving SecDef was "Secretary Rumsnamara". As time passes by, more and more of the players of that time are providing insights and vignettes that paint this clown as a disaster of immense proportions.

There's an old Jackie Leonard one-liner that came to mind early on as I observed Rumsnamara, "She'd be a good looking broad if it weren't for her face and figure." In those politically incorrect days of the 50's, Leonard was simply stating that in terms of the two principal components of "looks" the subject woman failed, and that failure obviously was complete. After all, what was left?

Of course, there are more than two necessary attributes to quality leadership. But as one views the life and actions of Mr Rumsnamara, he comes across as lacking, if not in virtually all, at least all the primary virtues of a leader. GQ magazine just published an article about the man, and, while pretty revealing, it isn't "pretty". I was truly enraged by this crap, as well as his campaign to transform network military analysts into “surrogates” and “message force multipliers”. Perhaps my "Rumsnamara" was too kind a label, and "Goebelsfeld" could be more appropriate.

Here's a man who was definitely not a team player, seemed to be more interested in serving himself than his nation and was an obstructionist at heart! Is it any wonder that slowly, more and more retired senior officers stepped forward and did the unthinkable - called for his resignation?

If we only view this clown in terms of the GWOT (Iraq/Afghanistan) and Katrina, it is staggering to consider the amount of damage he did to our country and others. Add to that the pain, injury and death he needlessly inflicted upon individuals, and he easily sits amongst the greater villains of all time.

Of course, Rumsnamara was enabled by Bush/Cheney and Company. Without their style, goals and objectives, he would never had the free hand to do the damage he did. And that damage is profound, as he shaped the senior ranks of the uniformed military to fit his desires, and that shaping will be lurking in the background for a few years to come.

Please, President Obama, spend the time and resources to investigate, expose and prosecute, as appropriate, the people who took our nation down this lawless and costly road. We, The People, deserve better!

10 comments:

almost drafted said...

Let's not forget Nancy Pelosi and the other members of the 2002 House Intelligence Committee.

See, the Republicans are apoplectic because Pelosi failed to do enough to stop the policies of Bush/Cheney.How's that again?

Near as I can tell, it would have been illegal (not to mention political suicide) for anyone on that committee to blow the whistle.

But as Al says, we need a top-to-bottom and thorough investigation of this mess. And let the chips fall where they may no matter what political affiliation these bastards had.

Cheers,

JP

sheerahkahn said...

I think what shocked me...no, shock is not the right word...dam, what word can I use to describe the feeling of "omg-he-did-what-and-how-is-it-we-are-still-here?"I'm just at a lost for words to describe the whole revelation. One, that the sob actually got away with what he did, two, that there wasn't a full on revolution within the military, and three, we're still a nation.
If this doesn't prove that there is a G-d with an infinite amount of patience, I don't know what is, because the laws of Karma says we got a huge ass bill coming due, and I'm just hoping we never get it.

seydlitz89 said...

My own favorite nickname for your boy was "Toonces the driving cat" . . . used to refer to him as such on abuzz way back when . . .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQkL9LpvKl0

. . . with Rummy you always knew exactly where you were going to end up . . .

FDChief said...

I always thought of the guy as just a finger on the Cheney Administration hand. His failings were their failings, his strengths (such as they were) were theirs, too.

Give him credit for his initial willingness to cancel some of the bloated Cold War programs he inherited.

But he was all the things he's accused of: pigheaded, strategically clueless; a master of bureaucratic infighting yet completely adrift in the larger arena of geopolitics. His "vision" of military policy was that of his Sith Lord master, that is, his actions were driven by his skewed vision of the world, rather than informed by any sort of incisive analysis of world conditions.

I think the most pernicious damage he did, and the least recognized and understood, was his political winnowing of the general officer corps. His Snowflake Warriors will continue to contaminate our domestic political decisionmaking for a generation unless purged. Witness the "testimony" that Petraeus provided before Congress, which the man himself now admits was designed, not to help the Congresscritters make an informed decision but to bolster support for the "surge".

So your description of Rummy-as-Macnamara is accurate in that it was the Vietnam-era SecDef's innacurate assessment of his military's technical capability to defeat one party in a foreign civil war led to foolish and mistaken decisions at the geopolitical level...and Rummy's willingness to suppress data and make decisions based on a political agenda helped that portion of the nation not already bought-and-paid-for by the neoconservative agenda to make foolish and mistaken decisions about the value of fighting land wars in Asia.

But...the corruption in the entire governing class here in America had to be present for Rummy's foolishness to do the damage it did. He was a tool, yes. But it was the stunted geopolitical brain and the warped strategic vision of the bulk of the governing - AND the media and pundit class - that employed the tool.

Publius said...

FDChief: "But...the corruption in the entire governing class here in America had to be present for Rummy's foolishness to do the damage it did. He was a tool, yes. But it was the stunted geopolitical brain and the warped strategic vision of the bulk of the governing - AND the media and pundit class - that employed the tool."

Very well put. Bad as Rumsfeld (and Rice and a few others serving Bushco) was, I see very little difference between this awful man and people such as Timothy Geithner. And Summers. And Gates (spare me the adulation for Gates, please).

It's my sense that it's all fading away. That City on the Hill is being relegated to the dustbin of history. I don't think this country will recover from the depredations of the Rumsfelds, the Bushes, the Cheneys. And the Clintons, the Obamas. This is a bipartisan thing. Our political class is no longer comprised of Americans, not in the sense we learned in school. Not in the sense of those who led this nation through parlous times in years gone by. They're corporate people. They use patriotism only to further the art of the deal.

What's going to happen is that, despite all of the high hopes, President Obama is going to preside over the revival of the corrupt financial system that, if it hasn't already done so will certainly, once given new life, finally push our nation over the edge. He is also going to temporize when it comes to meaningful change in America's seemingly insatiable appetite for war and conflict around the globe. And, of course, he will allow the foxes in the form of insurance companies to develop his wonderful national health plan that all of us chickens are supposed to love.

Rumsfeld is just one among many. We've fundamentally lost our nation. We've actually been declining since Vietnam, but it's now accelerating. Radical surgery is all that might work. And that's not in the cards.

Man, I hate being Cassandra. Somebody tell me I'm wrong.

Pluto said...

Publius - "Man, I hate being Cassandra. Somebody tell me I'm wrong."

Sorry, you're right. Welcome to the dark side!

About the only benefit I can offer is that you can now start working to insulate yourself, family, and friends from the effects of the coming storm.

seydlitz89 said...

"All through history one may observe the tendency of power to destroy its very raison d'├ętre. It is suffered because it achieves internal unity and creates external defenses for the nation. But it grows to such proportions that it destroys the social peace of the state by the animosities which its exactions arouse, and it enervates the sentiment of patriotism by robbing the common man of the basic privileges which might bind him to his nation . . . the creeds and institutions of democracy have never become fully divorced from the special interests of the commercial classes who conceived and developed them. It was their interest to destroy political restraint upon economic activity, and they therefore weakened the authority of the state and made it more pliant to their needs. With the increased centralization of economic power in the period of modern industrialism, this development merely means that society as such does not control economic power as much as social well-being requires; and that the economic, rather than the political and military, power has become the significant coercive force of modern society. Either it defies the authority of the state or bends the institutions of the state to its own purposes. Political power has been made responsible, but economic power has become irresponsible in society. The net result is that political power has been made more responsible to economic power. It is, in other words, again the man of power or the dominate class which binds society together, regulates its processes, always paying itself inordinate rewards for its labors. The difference is that owners of factories, rather than owners of land, exert the power, and that it is more purely economic and less military than that which was wielded by the landed aristocrats. Needless to say, it is not completely divorced from military power. It may on occasion appropriate the police and the army of the state to defend its interests against internal and external foes. The military power has become the hired servant and is no longer the progenitor of economic ownership."

Reinhold Niebuhr, "Moral Man and Immoral Society", pp 9, 11-12, 1932.

sheerahkahn said...

"The net result is that political power has been made more responsible to economic power. It is, in other words, again the man of power or the dominate class which binds society together, regulates its processes, always paying itself inordinate rewards for its labors. The difference is that owners of factories, rather than owners of land, exert the power,"So...basically, it comes down to the "golden rule."

He who has the gold, makes the rules.

Rick98C said...

It's just so horribly depressing. I wish my parents would have stayed in Canada. Not that it's immune.

almost drafted said...

The :"Decline and Fall: Donald Rumsfeld" is here:

link

Cheers,

JP