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The smell of a Roast of Rummy


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Lost in a Masquerade

By MAUREEN DOWD

WASHINGTON

 

Hoooo-rah! Rummy finally got called on the carpet.

 

Not by the president, of course, but by troops fighting in Iraq. Some of them are finally fed up enough to rumble about his back-door draft and failure to provide them with the proper armor for their Humvees, leaving them scrambling to improvise with what they call "hillbilly armor."

 

The defense secretary had been expected to go to Iraq on this trip but spent the day greeting troops in Kuwait instead. Even though Pentagon officials insist that security wasn't an issue, I bet they had to be worried not to travel the extra 40 miles to Iraq.

 

Rummy met with troops at Camp Buehring, named for Chad Buehring, an Army colonel who died last year when insurgents in Baghdad launched a rocket-propelled grenade into Al Rasheed, a Green Zone hotel once frequented by Western journalists and administration officials that is still closed to guests because - despite all the president's sunny bromides about resolutely prevailing - security in Iraq is relentlessly deteriorating.

 

As Joe Biden told Aaron Brown of CNN about his visit to Falluja, "They got the biggest hornets' nest, but the hornets have gone up and set up nests other places." He said that a general had run up to him as he was getting into his helicopter to confide, "Senator, anybody who tells you we don't need forces here is a G.D. liar."

 

Rummy, however, did not hesitate to give the back of his hand to soldiers about to go risk their lives someplace he didn't trouble to go.

 

He treated Thomas Wilson - the gutsy guardsman from Tennessee who asked why soldiers had "to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles, and why don't we have those resources readily available to us?" - as if he were a pesky Pentagon reporter. The defense chief used the same coldly cantankerous tone and squint he displays in press briefings, an attitude that long ago wore thin. He did everything but slap the kid in the hospital bed.

 

In one of his glib "Nothing's perfect," "Freedom's untidy" and "Stuff happens" maxims, Rummy told the soldier: "As you know, you go to war with the Army you have."

 

It wouldn't make a good Army slogan, and it was a lousy answer, especially when our kids are getting blown up every day in a war ginned up on administration lies. Remember when the president promised in the campaign that the troops would have all the body armor they needed?

 

These young men and women went to Iraq believing the pap they were told: they'd have a brief battle, chocolate, flowers, gratitude. Instead, they were thrust into a prolonged and savage insurgent war without the troop levels or armor they needed because the Pentagon's neocons had made plans based on their spin - that turning Iraq into a democracy would be a cakewalk. And because Rummy wanted to make his mark by experimenting with a lean, slimmed-down force. And because Rummy kept nattering on about a few "dead-enders," never acknowledging the true force, or true nationalist fervor, of the opposition.

 

The dreams of Rummy and the neocons were bound to collide. But it's immoral to trap our troops in a guerrilla war without essential, lifesaving support and matériel just so a bunch of officials who have never been in a war can test their theories.

 

How did this dangerous chucklehead keep his job? He must have argued that because of the president's re-election campaign, the military was constrained from doing what it is trained to do, to flatten Falluja and other insurgent strongholds. He must have told W. he deserved a chance to try again after the election.

 

He had a willing audience. W. likes officials who feed him swaggering fictions instead of uncomfortable facts.

 

The president loves dressing up to play soldier. To rally Camp Pendleton marines facing extended deployments in Iraq, he got gussied up in an Ike D-Day-style jacket, with epaulets and a big presidential seal on one lapel and his name and "Commander in Chief" on the other.

 

When he really had a chance to put on a uniform and go someplace where the enemy was invisible and there was no exit strategy and our government was not leveling with us about how bad it was, W. wasn't so high on the idea. But now that it's just a masquerade - giving a morale boost to troops heading off someplace where the enemy's invisible and there's no exit strategy and the government's not leveling with us about how bad it is - hey, man, it's cool.

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And from a friend, after he'd read this:

 

Anyone who has ever been in the military knows that it takes a very

brave soldier indeed to openly criticize someone way up the chain of

command.

 

The Secretary's answer was total B.S. of course. He said that we, as

a nation, are working just as hard as we can to retrofit the vehicles,

but after 3 years still we can only repair 400 a month. Excuse me?

Perhaps the Defense Secretary should look back at this country's

history a bit. After Pearl Harbor our nation converted all of our

factories to supporting the war effort.

 

"In her book No Ordinary Time, Doris Kearns Goodwin describes how

various firms converted. A sparkplug factory was among the first to

switch to the production of machine guns. Soon a manufacturer of

stoves was producing lifeboats. A merry-go-round factory was making

gun mounts; a toy company was turning out compasses; a corset

manufacturer was producing grenade belts; and a pinball machine plant

began to make armor-piercing shells.18

 

In retrospect, the speed of the conversion from a peacetime to a

wartime economy was stunning. The automobile industry went from

producing nearly 4 million cars in 1941 to producing 24,000 tanks and

17,000 armored cars in 1942â€"but only 223,000 cars, and most of them

were produced early in the year, before the conversion began.

Essentially the auto industry was closed down from early 1942 through

the end of 1944. In 1940, the United States produced some 4,000

aircraft. In 1942, it produced 48,000. By the end of the war, more

than 5,000 ships were added to the 1,000 that made up the American

Merchant Fleet in 1939" (from the web)

 

What are we being asked to give up to support our troops in Iraq? As

far as I can tell the only things we are willing to sacrifice for this

war are our children in uniform.

 

Am I disgusted by this whole mess? You bet!

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And this from a friend:

 

A lot of people I know voted Republican to, they said, "support our troops." Apart from any questions of whether we should even be in Iraq in the first place, does anyone feel that this administration really supports our troops after listening to Donald Rumsfeld Wednesday? His weak responses to the troops about having sufficient armor on their vehicles revealed how much he "cares" about them. First, we picked the time and the place of the attack, so why was the army not equipped well enough? Second, he is right that you can still be blown up, no matter how armored a vehicle is, but more armor reduces the chances. For a soldier in the field, it's the difference between life and death.

The problem here is that many in the Bush administration don't have any idea how horrible war is. Maybe if Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld and the others had actually served in a war, they would understand.

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Guest zipperzone

I wonder if the double digit IQ Pres will have the balls - or should I say the fucking nerve - to try for an encore of his oh so hush hush trip last Christmas. You know - when he flew into Iraq so as he could have a photo-op of the turkey having turkey with the troops?

 

What a colossal waste of money that was - one can only imagine how much it cost!

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Rummy Roast = Toast?

 

(12-13) 13:45 PST PHOENIX (AP) --

 

U.S. Sen. John McCain said Monday that he has "no confidence" in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, citing Rumsfeld's handling of the war in Iraq and the failure to send more troops.

 

McCain, speaking to The Associated Press in an hourlong interview, said his comments were not a call for Rumsfeld's resignation, explaining that President Bush "can have the team that he wants around him."

 

Asked about his confidence in the secretary's leadership, McCain recalled fielding a similar question a couple weeks ago.

 

"I said no. My answer is still no. No confidence," McCain said.

 

He estimated an additional 80,000 Army personnel and 20,000 to 30,000 more Marines would be needed to secure Iraq.

 

"I have strenuously argued for larger troop numbers in Iraq, including the right kind of troops -- linguists, special forces, civil affairs, etc.," said McCain, R-Ariz. "There are very strong differences of opinion between myself and Secretary Rumsfeld on that issue."

 

When asked if Rumsfeld was a liability to the Bush administration, McCain responded: "The president can decide that, not me."

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  • 2 weeks later...

RE: Rummys Progams

 

Interrogation by enema

 

Who knew that the Pentagon has experts in the use of enemas as torture?

 

....after a review, Mr. Rumsfeld issued a final policy in April 2003, approving 24 techniques, some of which needed his permission to be used.

 

None of the approved techniques, however, covered some of what people have now said occurred. Mr. Kahtani was, for example, forcibly given an enema, officials said, which was used because it was uncomfortable and degrading.

 

Pentagon spokesmen said the procedure was medically necessary because Mr. Kahtani was dehydrated after an especially difficult interrogation session. Another official, told of the use of the enema, said, however, "I bet they said he was dehydrated," adding that that was the justification whenever an enema was used as a coercive technique, as it had been on several detainees.

 

I wonder if they passed this knowledge on to their domestic counterparts in the Department of Homeland Security.

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  • 4 weeks later...

RE: Rummys Progams

 

Published on Monday, January 24, 2005 by CommonDreams.org

The Dangerous Gold Star Families

by Cindy Sheehan

 

 

Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld continues to astound us Gold Star Families with his heartlessness, callousness and disrespect in the faces of our children who are being killed in the mindless invasion and occupation of Iraq.

 

I am one of the founding members of a group called Gold Star Families for Peace. Some of us families who have lost loved ones in this illegal and immoral war in Iraq have organized to use our collective voices to bring the tragedy of war to the fore front of America’s hearts and souls like it so tragically is in ours. We families are amazed that so few of our fellow citizens are touched by the horrors of the invasion and occupation of a sovereign country. It seems to us like the only people who are asked to sacrifice anything for the war effort are our brave young men and women fighting this so-called war and their families. There are some families in our nation like us, that have paid the ultimate price for the lies and betrayals of this current administration.

 

I, and some other Gold Star Families, have been writing and calling the Department of Defense for over three weeks. We were all meeting in DC to protest the inauguration and we thought it would be a good time to meet with Donald Rumsfeld. We have many questions to ask him about our loved ones’ deaths and we deserve to have some answers. I think it is our right as Americans and grieving families to have these answers. For example, why were the children of this country sent to fight a war without the proper training, equipment or armor? Why were our children sent to fight a war that had no basis in reality? Why are American children still over there fighting a war, and dying in a war, when all the reasons for the war have been proven false? When is this administration going to bring the rest of our children home before it’s too late for their families?

 

If we were granted an audience with him, we didn’t really expect Mr. Rumsfeld to be truthful with us or even polite to us considering his past history of being so sarcastically untruthful and blatantly rude. The real reason I wanted to meet with Rumsfeld was so he could see the face of my son, Spc Casey Sheehan, who was killed in Sadr City on 04/04/04. I wanted him to look me in the face and see my red swollen eyes and to see all the lines that grief has etched. I wanted him to see the unbearable pain his ignorance and arrogance has caused me and my family. I wanted him to know that his actions have terrible consequences.

 

Our letters, phone calls, faxes, and e-mails to the Pentagon were to no avail: we received no response. So in conjunction with Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) we decided to go to the Pentagon and try and meet with someone, anyone. We were met at the parking lot by a couple of dozen of police officers blocking our way. We were told that we weren’t allowed to go into the Pentagon because we didn’t go through the proper protocol to request a meeting!!

 

I find it so ironic that with all the tight security for the events in DC this week that enough time and energy was mustered to stop families in mourning so forcefully at the Pentagon. I also find it ironic that if I were a wealthy Republican who had donated large sums of money for the “re”-election of the President, I could have had access to all the big wigs at the lavish parties…but I, whose son paid the ultimate price of his precious life to this country, can’t even get within a half of a mile from the man who sent him to die.

 

We Gold Star Families for Peace are not giving up the fight to hold someone in this administration accountable for the quagmire in Iraq and the more important struggle to bring the rest of our children home from this devastating occupation now. It takes most of our energy just to get out of our beds in the morning and mourn our horrific losses. We need all Americans to wake up and start lobbying their elected officials for an end to this immorality in Iraq and to join our voices in protest.

 

Cindy Sheehan is a member of Gold Star Families for Peace.

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