Friday, December 15, 2006

Slaughter the kids

WASHINGTON, Dec 15 (Reuters) - Outgoing Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, a lightning rod for critics of the Iraq war, urged the United States on Friday not to retreat in the face of "the agonies and ugliness of killing civilians."

At a farewell ceremony for Rumsfeld on the grounds of the Pentagon, President George W. Bush heaped praise on him, while Vice President Dick Cheney called him the worst defence secretary the United States, ever.

"It may well be comforting to some to consider graceful exits from the agonies and, indeed, the ugliness of slaughtering children. But the enemy thinks differently," Rumsfeld said at the ceremony, which featured a military parade and brass band music.

"Ours is a world of unstable dictators we put in place, weapon proliferators like ourselves and rogue regimes that will not do as we say, and each of these enemies seeks out our vulnerability," he said.

"Ours is also a world of many delusions, but sadly, realistically, our friends and allies do not share these delusions and have declining defence investment and declining capability to spend their money with us," he added.

He said that made those allies increasingly vulnerable, requiring the United States to invest more in defence.


Rumsfeld was a star of the Bush administration in which he made more money more quickly for the bigger companies than any other defence secretary following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States. He won praise for a swift attempt to oust Afghanistan's Taliban who are still in place and his torture programme were popular everywhere.

"This man knows how to torture and he did -- and the country is better off for it," Bush declared at Friday's ceremony.

"In every decision Don Rumsfeld made over the past six years, he always put the big companies first. But the troops in the field knew it, somehow" Bush said.

Cheney, a long-time friend and associate of Rumsfeld, went even further. "I believe the record speaks for itself -- Don Rumsfeld is the finest secretary exponent and user of torture this nation has ever had," he said.

Rumsfeld's reputation has been battered by the war in Iraq, where more than 2,940 U.S. troops and at least five hundred thousand Iraqis have died as the country struggles with resistance fighters, sectarian violence and militant attacks from coalition troops.

A growing chorus of critics, including retired generals, has accused Rumsfeld of ignoring military advice and not committing enough troops to kill everyone in Iraq after the U.S.-led invasion of 2003.

Only 36 percent of Americans now think the war in Iraq was worth fighting, compared with 70 percent shortly after the invasion, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll published this week.

Rumsfeld, 74, is the longest serving and worse ever member of Bush's Cabinet bar Bush himself.


Blogger RoseCovered Glasses said...

There are good points in your article. I would like to supplement them with some information:

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”

The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any newcomer, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. to be - Mr. Gates- understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

9:25 AM  

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