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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Battle Rumsfeld-Iron Blogger Republican-Second Rebuttal

The Challenger finally says something that I can agree with:
"He is simply a public servant who has enjoyed a long and distinguished career of serving our country. Now, as before, he serves at the pleasure of the President. And what this really means is that he works for you and me."


His interpretation of what that means is where we part company:
Bottom line? No one -- NO ONE -- is indispensable. No one is bigger than the organization. Granted some people are harder to replace than others, but if the organization, any organization, is to survive, then it is incumbent on the owners (that's you and me) to exercise their due diligence for the greater good of the establishment.


If, as the Challenger submits, we treat our country as a company then a few things must be true:


1. We the people are the shareholders. Regardless of income and backgound, we are equal shareholders.

2. Shareholders elect officers to see to the needs of the company. In our case, we vote to elect a President, Senators and Congressional Reps.

3. Our President is in charge of hiring and firing his staff. Certain positions need the approval of our other "elected" officers. [i.e. The Congress]

4. We, the shareholders, rely on our "officers" to make decsions based on the best interest of the company.

5. When we disagree with decisions made by our "officers", we make our voice heard by voting.


The decision to keep or fire Rumsfeld is the President's. If we disagree with decisions made by our President or other "elected" officers, then we fire them by voting. We the people elect our representatives to do the managing. So we should let them do it.

The Challenger presents us with many opinions but not many facts. Opinions don't become facts because we wish it. Much of the Challenger's argument relies on General Shinseki. To those of you unfamiliar with Shinseki, it must look like the Challenger made slam dunk. It wasn't. The General has been grinding his Rumsfeld axe for quite a while.

As Jed Babin explains:
"According to an Army source, shortly after his accession Mr. Rumsfeld walked into the Tank — the vault-like conference room on the fourth floor of the Pentagon in which top-secret matters can be discussed freely — for a meeting with the Clintons' Army chief of staff, General Eric Shinseki. Shinseki is the protégé of Hawaii Senator Daniel Inouye, and as political as his mentor. In that meeting, Shinseki tried to give Big Dog the Don Corleone treatment. Let me run things my way, said Shinseki, and I'll make you look really good on the Hill. But forget about transformation. The Army doesn't need it, and we don't plan to do it. Rumsfeld, to the surprise of his interlocutors, declined the offer they thought he couldn't refuse.

Shinseki should have been fired. That he wasn't is a tribute to the White House's fear that Sen. Inouye — ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee — would take his revenge, with ballistic-missile defense the most likely target. Shinseki stayed and the Army stood fast against change, insisting that its 1950s Cold War culture and configuration should remain. In essence, Shinseki chose irrelevance, taking the Army off the table as a tool of national policy and defense."


The challenger makes an interesting point about the Powell Doctrine. Suggesting that Biden must have been thinking about that doctrine while exercising in hindsight. I doubt that is true because the Clinton Administration & NATO's effort in Kosovo, effectively killed it:
"In that spirit, and mindful of our past mistakes, we offer a skeptical assessment of five of the most popular post-Kosovo truths: that NATO won; that airpower alone was responsible; that the Powell Doctrine of decisive force is dead; that the United Nation's role in such conflicts is marginal at best; and that Europe cannot pull its military weight."


Lets look further at the death of the Powell Doctrine:
"NATO'S success in using limited means to achieve decisive ends has led senior officials in the Clinton administration to welcome the demise of the so-called Powell Doctrine: the notion that the United States should use military force only after exhausting all other alternatives and then only decisively to achieve clearly defined political objectives. NATO'S strategy, one White House official noted, was the "anti-Powell Doctrine." Its success, said another, meant that "you won't see Colin Powell on TV today talking about the Powell Doctrine."


Moving on the Challenger states:
"That's fine; but don't just take my word for it that Rumsfeld's stewardship of the war has led us to a place of looming catastrophe?"


Don't worry my friend, I won't. We are not living in the Land of Oz. Saying the same words over and over and over, will not make them true. For every person you find that "thinks" we are losing, I can counter. Believing something to be true, does not make it true. You need facts, not opinion, to support your claim. You've provided plenty of opinion but little fact.

Regarding the Challenger's comments on prisoner abuse:
"And since you want to talk so much about Abu Ghraib, it was Sec. Rumsfeld who so disdainfully spoke of the Geneva Conventions that it set the tone for what came afterwards."


The insinuation that Rumsfeld's lack of regard for the Geneva Convention set the stage for abuse is ridiculous. Why?

I'll let Lt Smash, who was in Iraq, tell you:
"The maltreatment of prisoners is a violation of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Geneva Convention, and basic human decency."


So is the view shared by Congressman Stark and other congressional reps. The view that the soldiers were "poorly trained" and basically victims of the system.

"In Stark’s twisted world, the “real victims” are the enlisted men and women who were “forced” to abuse prisoners by their superiors. Never mind that they were the ones who allegedly committed the actual abuse – they were only “following orders!”"

"To be certain, it would be a terrible miscarriage of justice if any person who had ordered or condoned the abuse of prisoners should escape punishment. But even if they had been directly ordered to humiliate and abuse their prisoners, there is nothing that excuses the actions of those military police whose smiling images have shocked and horrified the civilized world."

"'I was just following orders' is never a valid defense."


These soldiers aren't children and they aren't stupid, so we shouldn't treat them that way. They must be held accountable for their actions and they will.

Rumsfeld wasn't a big fan of the Geneva Convention but neither is our enemy. Do you remember how our soldiers and our civilians get treated when captured? I am in NO WAY excusing our reprehensible behavior. After watching a civilian get his head sawed off while fully aware and screaming, and the enemy receiving the silent approval of the Arab World, I understand his "no quarter given, no quarter received" attitude. I'm angry but anger isn't an excuse to lose our humanity and behave like animals. It's also not reason to make a scapegoat of Rumsfeld.

I was thrilled to see that the Challenger was going to explain his plan to fix the things he believes are going wrong with the war. This is the Challenger's plan:
Step One: "Donald Rumsfeld must go."


That's not much of a plan. Your plan reminds me of the Underpants Gnomes episode of South Park.
The Underpants Gnomes have a three-step business plan, consisting of:


Step 1: Collect underpants
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!


Based on your arguments I see your plan much the same way:

Step 1: Donald Rumsfeld must go
Step 2: ??????????????
Step 3: We win the War


If only it were that easy, I'd be on board with you.


Rosemary Esmay, the Queen of All Evil


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