Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Donald Rumsfeld Is a Crazy Old Man

Donald Rumsfeld's speech yesterday to The American Legion was off-the-chain delusional. Not only did he drink the kool-aid, I bet he made it. His speech seemed, to me, like a Karl Rove created campaign speech. It pissed me off. I have been struggling to come up with something to say about it other than: Rumsfeld is a crazy old man that should be put into mandatory retirement immediately before his incompetence causes any more deaths.

He should not be listened to any more seriously than that old homeless guy you pass on the way to work who yells out stuff about earth being invaded by Martians.(That's not just me, right?)

Matthew Iglesias wrote something a touch more articulate at Talking Points Memo:

For his latest trick, in a speech to the American Legion, Don Rumsfeld gives the full wingnut monte. America faces an undifferentiated fascist menace. Bush's critics are appeasers who don't understand the lessons of history who blame America first and hate freedom. The media is treasonous and a free press is a luxury we can ill-afford in this time of crisis. Etc.

This, I think we can assume, is the fall campaign. The idea is to psyche the Democrats out. To make them think they can't win an argument about foreign policy. To make them act like they can't win an argument about foreign policy. And to thereby demonstrate to the American people that even the Democrats themselves lack confidence in their own ability to handle these issues.

It's essential that the debate be joined, and joined with confidence. Rumsfeld is a buffoon. A punchline. A well-known liar. He and his bosses -- Bush and Cheney -- are running around the country trying to cite the failures of their own policies as a reason to entrust them with additional authority in order to continue and intensify those same failings. We're witnessing the bitter, bitter fruits of the Iraq War. Other nations learned that they must seek nuclear weapons as soon as possible to safeguard themselves from a newly trigger happy United States of America. Muslim opinion was sharply polarized against us. Iran and Syria were told that their cooperation against al-Qaeda was no longer needed because their governments would topple soon enough. A power vacuum was left on the streets of Baghdad that parties aligned with Iran have rushed to fill. The Arab-Israeli conflict was sidelined as something that would magically resolve itself once Saddam Hussein was out of the way. And America's allies were taught that our government was not to be relied upon -- that we operated with bad intelligence and initiated wars of choice without any real plans or ideas about how to cope with the aftermath.

That's how we got here. By listening to Bush. By listening to Cheney. By listening to Rumsfeld. The idea that we should keep on listening to them is absurd.

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