Mary Lyon -- World News Trust
Sept. 3, 2006 -- Donald Scumsfeld does it again. I’ve been stewing about this for almost a week now. No. I take that back. It goes back WAY farther than that. WAY farther than just smacking us anti-war activists around, questioning our sanity as well as our patriotism. Way before “Old Europe” and going to war “with the army you want or wish to have.” This tiresome jerk puts Spiro “nattering nabobs of negativism” Agnew to shame. By now This Donald is making just about everybody equally enraged, whether you’re an inflamed street fighter just outside the Green Zone or you’re a desperate republi-CON trying disingenuously to distance yourself from who/what you once ardently embraced. Frank Rich of the New York Times even writes that while George W. Bush claimed the mantle of “uniter, not divider,” it’s Donald Rumsfeld who’s actually united seemingly everybody behind one purpose: the drive to pull his statue down from its pedestal in the town square. But it goes deeper than that.
Yes, by all means, removing Rumsfeld is a worthy quest. Plenty of evidence to support this: his arrogance, his offensive running-off-at-the-mouth, his repeatedly wrong assessments of how the war is going, his lousy stewardship and worse judgment calls, his flame-throwing at the growing masses of us objecting to the war and all its cockamamie justifications, ad nauseam. The people who yammer on about what a smart idea it is to run the government like a business always seem to forget what a business boss always does with an employee who screws up this badly. That employee gets -- what? Anybody? Don’t’ we all know the drill? FIRED, that’s what. The answer is -- FIRED. But there he sits, still secure at the pinnacle of Pentagon, happy as a pig in poop, and probably first in line for another one of those super-duper Presidential Medals. The problem of Donald Rumsfeld goes deeper than that.
Yes, we should send this Donald who ducks -- to his professional reward -- disgrace and permanent unemployment, or to a war crimes tribunal and then prison, or better yet, perhaps to the front he so thoughtfully mis-assembled, where everybody else is meeting gruesome situations and sometimes gruesome ends. He should not be allowed to pass “GO,” or collect 200 dollars, or write memoirs he can then hawk to brother and sister American Enterprise Institute war-toadies or cock-eyed fans along the “mashed-potato circuit,” or gullible, mis-informed Pox “news” viewers. But that’s not going to solve ANYTHING.
Yes, Rummy’s judgment is scummy. His management of modern-day warfare is abysmal. The results he’s bringing back to us are epic in their tragedy and shameful incompetence. An ocean of blood stains his hands. Chaos across an entire region of the globe crowns his brow. And his insults to us who’ve tried to stop or prevent that bloodshed, about how we’re naïve appeasers because we have the nerve to disagree with his magnificent, all-knowing self bring new meaning to the word “obnoxious.” But while we’re all obsessing on squashing this hapless cockroach we’ve caught out in the open, we’re ignoring the nest he crawled out of. You know what happens after you get rid of one cockroach. Soon enough, you’ll spot another. And you’ll be lucky if it’s only one you see. It goes deeper than Donald.
The one thing I think we’re being sidetracked away from in all the outrage over Rumsfeld is who put him there to begin with. We would not have Donald Rumsfeld to wage war anywhere, or “rum” off at the mouth, if he had not been put there by an even greater villain. Well, two actually. NONE of the greedy miscreants, power-mad warmongers, short-sighted bloviating would-be control-freaks, nefarious wheeler-dealers, and snide, offensive windbags would be anywhere near the corridors of absolute power were it not for the two world-class weenies who recruited and appointed them. Rumsfeld’s not even the half of it. He’s just the biggest and most obvious oozing infection -- the jackass du jour. You can bet with confidence that if Rummy were sent packing, his replacement would probably be just as bad, if perhaps even more sinister. It goes way beyond Rumsfeld.
To my mind, it goes straight to the top. How’d this two-legged ass even get where he is today, almost literally to piss the entire Defense Department down the drain? Because he was hand-picked and installed by George W. Bush -- having been stovepiped by his friend and PNAC pal, Dick Cheney. By “taking” office, Bush then proved the vile flip side to the argument of those who originally despaired of Bush’s lack of intelligence, but consoled themselves with the reassurance that at least he was surrounding himself with good people. Bush brought them all in with him. None of them ascended to their positions from which to do such dreadful harm without him. You think Al Gore or John Kerry would have staffed up with any of these people? It all traces straight back to Dubya. If not for Bush, we wouldn’t have Cheney and his rolodex of horror -- Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Libby, Feith, Perle, Contradicta, Hadley, or anyone else. Many of these came directly from the viper pit at the PNAC, chaired by William Kristol, and infested by other wasps of war and divas of destruction. And to those who say Cheney’s primarily responsible, well, yes. But even he wouldn’t have been able to reach the top of the ziggurat without Bush accepting his premise that he was the best result of his own vice presidential talent search. In the spirit of the Bible that Bush and his apostate pals like to wrap themselves around: Bush begat Cheney who begat all the rest of these vermin. Rummy among them.
It’s not enough just to call for Donald Rumsfeld’s head to roll. If that even happens, which is doubtful (because it would be a de facto admission that Bush had made a dreadful mistake), any replacement would be the stuff of nightmares, and probably a lot sneakier and more shadowy. After all, we DID kill off the Total Information Awareness program didn’t we? Well, no, it was resurrected under a different set of initials while we weren’t looking. Same with the Social Security piratization plan that’s only been repackaged and buried surreptitiously in some Congressional budget compromise where no one will notice it. And the selling of our ports to the Arabs? Well, it too was stalled -- only temporarily. And John Bolton may not have overtly been confirmed to represent us at the UN, but somehow, he still got there anyway, thanks to the joys of recess appointments.
Frankly, it’s the same dynamic in play in the war zones we’ve created. Every time the trumpets blare and the PR cranks up to full volume about our having nailed the 57th “Number-Two Man in al Qaeda,” another head sprouts like a mushroom from a cowpie where the last one was sliced off. We’ll never get the “Number-Two Man in al Qaeda” because that position is a bottomless pit. There will always be another one to come -- and probably worse than the last one we wasted, once and for all.
If Donald Rumsfeld is removed, he’ll only rise again at your local Barnes & Noble and Book TV, on the lecture circuit and from behind the podium of the AEI, the Heritage Foundation, and the Hoover Institute, and behind the microphone of every wrong-wing knuckle-dragger on the air. The National Press Club will hold a Donald Rumsfeld Week. Roger Ailes will hire him in a high-profile commentator/elder statesman position on Pox “news” and allow him to pollute the airwaves ad nauseam with his pontifications of perdition. That is -- if the CNN or ABC News executives don’t grab him first, or CBS decides Katie needs more gravitas in the chair just a few inches down the anchor desk. He ought to do a stint in Abu Ghraib, but that will never happen. He’ll be just fine.
But, more realistically, what we CAN do is yank back some of the power in Congress, specifically subpoena power and agenda-control. Those are two of the perks you enjoy when you run things there. If the Democrats regain control of the House of Reps in November, IMPEACHMENT proceedings can begin, at long last. Some measure of accountability can be achieved, and some sweet justice may be served. Some of the heads that really need to roll just might do so for a change -- a long-awaited, grievously overdue, and most satisfying change. And then, perhaps, the plague that Bush built -- that includes Donald Rumsfeld, might finally be stopped.
Then go DO something about it.
Mary Lyon spent the first 25 years of her adult
life as a broadcast journalist, at Los Angeles radio stations
KRTH-FM,KFWB-AM, KHJ-AM and KLOS-FM, the NBC, ABC, RKO Radio
Networks,and KTLA-TV. She retired from day-to-day broadcasting in
1996, after covering Hollywood for nine years in radio, TV, and print,
for the Associated Press. She wrote and illustrated "The Frazzled
Working Woman's Practical Guide to Motherhood," and is presently at
work on a new craft book for kids and friends. A lifelong Democrat who
began her political involvement in the Student Coalition for
Humphrey-Muskie, andTom Bradley's first L.A. Mayoral campaign, Mary
currently is a weekly columnist for www.democrats.us -- from the Left.