Ten Years After We Shot Our Way Into Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld Asks For Respect & Appreciation
Michael Matthew Bloomer, March 19, 2013
For my part, I consider that it will be found much better by all Parties
to leave the past to history, especially as I propose to write that history.
Sir Winston Churchill
Speech in the House of Commons (January 23, 1948)
Yesterday, heeding Winston Churchill’s advice, former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld, on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War, continued rewriting its history. Or tried to do so. Little needs saying here about how ludicrous his account is, and that of other co-conspirators as well, especially Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz. As President, poor Dubya never grasped what happened, to his country, to his legacy, to him. In 2008, taking his leave from the White House, he revealed his “biggest regret” was the “intelligence failure in Iraq,” and concluded with this, “I wish the intelligence had been different, I guess.” [Italics added] “I guess“? That’s as much a baffling thought as it is clueless – he could have received good intel only by, among other things, showing Donald Rumsfeld the door, the man who now, ten years later, demands respect and appreciation.
Here’s Rummy’s Iraq Invasion Day tweet:
The liberation claim. Well, early on we all knew that “liberating the Iraqi people” was a trivial concern for the likes of Rumsfeld. His consistent callousness about Iraqis after the invasion was proof enough, and the failure to even plan for a post-Hussein Iraq was its operational outcome. Rumsfeld/Cheney intelligence claims, so breathtaking in their deceit, spawned a media industrial complex. They massaged what they knew was unvetted intel and ignored analyst counter-claims; they treated as credible only that which served their agreed upon agenda; and literally forced analysts to feed them intel garnered from dimwitted sources (Curveball) and professional liars (Chalibi). The manhandling of Joe Wilson and Valerie Plame over his refusal to play along with their Iraq-Niger uranium cake dissembling may have harmed CIA operatives and contacts. As well, they permanently tarnished one of their more admirable colleagues, Secretary of State Colin Powell, by sending him to the United Nations at the most critical time with false claims that were easily countered, or already known as false or unvetted nonsense equivalent to gossip. Finally, note that Rumsfeld began planning his WMD adventure quite early (see Rummy’s November 2001 memo).
About boldly and forthrightly liberating Iraqis, yes, on occasion, as a casus belli they trotted out liberating Iraqis from a vile dictator. Nevertheless, that war aim was always secondary or tertiary – nice, but not essential, something akin to a few cherries atop a banana split. About wars of liberation, Americans pull hard for the underdog, and Iraqi citizens were true underdogs, yet, so too were Syrians, Iranians, North Koreans, and surely many Floridians. Americans also know that our nation cannot bowl over all tyrants, nor, in most cases, should we. So, the Bush administration knew that parading a crusading spirit as its chief aim was out of the question. Nor, after all, was liberation of any interest to them. WMDs, that was the winner, and, in the end, WMDs carried the day. The bombs fell on Baghdad ten years ago, and about a year later invisible stockpiles of WMDs were discovered all over Iraq.
Let us now praise infamous men, or else! Aside from his blatant attempt to re-frame the Iraq war as a fight for freedom, another facet of his tweet leaps out: its oddly and blatantly self-congratulatory nature. He demands we partake. Again, quintessential Rumsfeld.
Here’s his counterintuitive gem:
“All who played a role in history deserve our respect & appreciation”
Indeed. So let us respect and appreciate Donald Rumsfeld who clearly and unabashedly “played a role in history.” Surely, in a singular sense, we all know that Rummy did indeed set free hundreds of thousands, infant to octogenarian, from the everyday concerns of the living. He held a leading role in that, did he not, as in leading sheep to slaughter.
Drop Rummy a line by tweeting him here: @RumusfeldOffice
Also see, March 19, 2012: Nine Years Ago Today The Iraq War Began — Shock & Awe Then, Shock & Awe Now . . .