What . . . is he asking us to thank him?

rumsfeld

45 responses to “What . . . is he asking us to thank him?

  1. They really are from a different planet

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  2. why yes Moe….he IS wanting/expecting us to thank him.
    He, Bush, Condi and Dick still to this day all think what they did was heroic and historic.

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    • Unfortunately about 50 million or so of your compatriots probably do too!

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    • I’m starting to think that (ironically) Bush -is the one who may have changed his mnd and is beginning to see how he let himself be played. But we’ll never hear a word from him on that!

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      • No we will NEVER hear from him or any of them.
        To me the perfect picture of the entire Bush Presidency was that photo of him just after he heard about the plane crashing into the WTC.
        Sitting there for 7 minutes waiting for someone to tell him what to do.
        I agree Bush, especially over the last 2 years of his Presidency, started to push back against Cheney. It was becoming clear that Cheney was the real (cough) ‘brains’ behind it all. Rumsfeld was the war ‘expert’ and Rice the ‘smart’ one.
        I wan’t say ‘good’ but the only positive thing to come out of the post Iraq talk is Gen Powell is finally getting his reputation back.
        Doing a con job on him so he would ‘sell’ the war to us is something I will always hold against everyone involved in this.

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        • @fatherkane,
          I have always had a very high regard for Colin Powell, particularly for the “Powell Doctrine” which is the purest of clear thinking on the subject of war, but knowing that makes it all the harder to forgive him for his support of the Bush administration in the lead-up to the Iraq War. Consider this, from his Wikipedia biography:

          A Senate report on intelligence failures would later detail the intense debate that went on behind the scenes on what to include in Powell’s speech. State Department analysts had found dozens of factual problems in drafts of the speech. Some of the claims were taken out, but others were left in, such as claims based on the yellowcake forgery.[44] The administration came under fire for having acted on faulty intelligence, particularly what was single-sourced to the informant known as Curveball. Powell later recounted how Vice President Dick Cheney had joked with him before he gave the speech, telling him, “You’ve got high poll ratings; you can afford to lose a few points.” Powell’s longtime aide-de-camp and Chief of Staff from 1989–2003, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, later characterized Cheney’s view of Powell’s mission as to “go up there and sell it, and we’ll have moved forward a peg or two. Fall on your damn sword and kill yourself, and I’ll be happy, too.”

          What it amounts to is that Powell forfeited his principles to team loyalty, something all flag officers display in getting promoted. He has since recanted and confessed, and that’s good, but the scars are permanent.

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          • I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say Powell ‘forfeited’ his principles.
            From USA Today Sept. 2005 : ‘In the speech, Powell said he had relied on information he received at Central Intelligence Agency briefings. He said Thursday that then-director George Tenet “believed what he was giving to me was accurate.”

            ‘But, Powell said, “the intelligence system did not work well.”
            You have the Director of the CIA telling you this is the intelligence.
            Do you accept it or not?
            He accepted it, later after it was proven the intel was wrong, Powell and others recanted their support.
            But at the time, based on faulty intel from the Director of the CIA, Powell did indeed fully support the invasion.
            To me his greatest error was in not demanding an exit plan.
            Both as a General and as the then Sec. of State, THAT is what he should have demanded PRIOR to his speech selling the IRAQ war.

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            • fatherkane (and Jim) – by ’05, Powell was privately (bukt of coiurse it leaked) admitting he’d be ‘played’. He knew at hte time that the first case they ‘fed’ him was bullshit and investigated himself, but time was short (days only) before his UN appearance and he basicalloy ended up going with info he was a little uneasy about. But he did it.

              I agree with Jim that his reputation is permanently damaged. So besides wrecking Iraq, Cheney et al wrecked the historical legacy of a good man.

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            • The ONLY way we could have had an “exit plan” was to formally and publicly commit to doing what we did, rebuild Iraq after the war or to commit to NOT doing so and acting like every previous power who got involved in such places.

              Do you honestly believe that most people would have accepted the 10 – 20 year commitment up front, 90%+ of it the “Iraqi Peace?” If you do, you’ve a kinder view of people than I do.

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              • There is no realistic ‘exit’ plan from Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran. Nor did I say there was or that I supported the war or any fantasy ‘exit’ plan.
                What I DID say was Powell, with his experience in the military and with his position as Sec. of State – SHOULD have demanded an exit plan BEFORE making that speech to the UN, in effect ‘selling’ the war to us.

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                • What would have been the point and why should Powell have bothered? It wasn’t his job to question those above him and Powell was never one for making waves.

                  He was a shit-assed political officer when he was in uniform and that never changed until he “found Obama” and accepted him as his personal savior…or, at least, acceptable token.

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                • What would have been the point?
                  Oh I don’t know. Maybe ‘principles’, ethics.
                  And the Director of the CIA isn’t ‘above’ him.
                  Have fun commenting. You’re not really adding anything to the conversation – just being mad.

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                • jonolan is right in that there was no Iraq War exit plan, but not because ” . . . people would not have accepted the 10 – 20 year commitment up front . . . ” That’s the point. That’s the heart of “The Powell Doctrine”. The exercise of devising the exit plan ought to have prevented the war because it was untenable, and yes, Powell should have known that, as fatherkane says. He had to have known that, and not having time to prepare was no excuse.

                  Which leads to the second point I would like to make. Is a federal cabinet chief a mere figurehead for carrying out the president’s agenda, or is a Secretary of State expected to apply his own wisdom? It is the latter, and it has been so since the early years of our republic. The Abraham Lincoln cabinet is a good example wherein he assembled “a team of rivals”. Both his secretaries of State and War made him proud with their actions and decisions.

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                • Let’s hope the ‘Gates Doctrine’ of never again invading another Country takes hold.
                  As to your second point, more then a few Cabinet members over the years have resigned and even had very open, public disagreements with the Presidents they serve.
                  They may ‘serve at the pleasure’ but are not or should not be puppets.

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                • The CIA Director also isn’t the one who defines exit strategies, hence, he’d not have been the even asked about that by Powell.

                  But, of course, I’m not adding anything to the conversation. Your kind never consider anything that disagrees with the anti-American Liberal religion as being additive…especially facts.

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                • @fatherkane, you mention Gates – I think his actual quote was ““Any future defense secretary who advises the president to again send a big American land army into Asia or into the Middle East or Africa should ‘have his head examined,” That was directed of course at Rumsfeld.

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                • Thank you for posting the quote. And yes, even though he worked with them, it was aimed at Rumsfeld, Bush and Cheney.
                  Your original premise still stands…..he wants a thank you from America.

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    • fatherkane, I often wonder if Papa Bush has ever told 43 to his face what an historic blunder Iraq was?

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      • Years ago George HW came out with public comments of support of his son.
        But behind closed doors?
        I’m guessing that HW did ask little George if he knew how much of a pawn he was to Dick Cheney over the Iraq war.
        We will never know. Although I’d love to hear Barbara Bush’s take on this.

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  3. Shit for brains asshole…

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  4. As I told another blogger in discussing the Bush/Cheney motivations for the disaster that was the Iraq War:

    When 9/11 happened the nation was hungry for revenge, but OBL and his minions were in their hidey-holes. War simplifies leadership because patriotism consolidates power and squelches opposition. Then there were Saddam’s threats against W’s father because of the Gulf War. And finally there was Condoleezza Rice, the inexperienced academic with a vision of creating a stable, democratic and friendly Arab government that would stabilize the Middle East and make them all heroes in the history books. The Suni/Shiite problem was there just waiting to explode but wishful thinking swept it all under the rug. They rationalized it away. Unforgivable. Somewhere in the basement of the State Department there’s probably somebody still mumbling, “I tried to tell them . . . “

    Rumsfeld deserves just as much blame as Rice, I think, for being eager to rationalize his actions. Only time will tell if his ego will ever let him review these events objectively like McNamara eventually did for the Vietnam War, but I’m guessing that his ego will prevail.

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    • Most of all Jim, I think Rumsfeld is responsible for how it went once we invaded. I’ve read – and no doubt you have too – how much of the brass were stunned by the lack of follow up planning after the invasion. And ironically, it was Ppowell, Mr. “have a plan to get out” whom they got to make their case to the world.

      I don’t know whose decision it was to trust Bremer and create the CPA but that was disastrous too, just disastrous.

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  5. I’d say that those involved in this certainly deserve sincere thanks though, perhaps, not from the American people who were not served at all by liberating Iraq and ending the sanctions – which killed as many or more than the war and subsequent rebuilding.

    What they did was historic and, in many ways, heroic. Liberating a people from tyranny is almost always – at least until Bush Derangement Syndrome – considered heroic.

    On the other hand, I don’t really consider it heroic because I firmly believe that they were so scared that the intel might be right and that there’d be another attack against us, this time staged from Iraq, that they jumped when they should have stayed put.

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    • jonolan, this is one of those occasions when I can’t find a single thing in your comment that comports with reality. “Liberating people from tyranny” is always a cuddly idea – one that has been shown to end badly throughout history.

      There was as much intel, perhaps more, saying that they had it wrong – the CIA pros (not Tenet’s cabal) among the most prominent. Even before the invasion there was abundant evidence – public, published – challenging most of the made up intel they used.

      Saddam was a tyrant. There are lots of them around. And we destabilized the Middle East and awakened sectarian conflict in Iraq and beyond. A disaster.

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      • Well said regarding “liberation from tyranny”, Moe. It goes to the American Exceptionalism meme, the notion that we are the only country in the world that knows how to govern and that we need to convert all the rest to look like us. In that regard the Iraq War was just like the Vietnam War because we failed to learn the lesson. Liberation is insufficient reason to go to war and to argue against that is, I submit, to argue for warring next with North Korea, Syria, Myanmar and maybe even China. Nutty is what it is, not to mention arrogant.

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        • It’s less American Exceptionalism than it is guiltism filtered through the need to be seen as a force for good, with the emphasis on force when it’s needed, Jim.

          I don’t actually favor it myself because I see no point in going to war except to provide direct benefit to Americans and American interests. To bleeding Hell with the oxymoronic “altruistic wars.”

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      • The intel was clouded,Moe, but most of what reached W’s desk showed as much confidence in the results as the earlier reports about Al-Qaeda attacking NYC did.

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        • ‘what reached Bush’s desk” being the key point . . . he made the decision, but the neo-cons and the PNAC crowd fed that info to a naive prez who was strangely thrilled to be going to Iraq. Cheney, Rumsfeld, Feith, Wolfowitz, Kristol. Novak, et al. They sold him on it.

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          • You may be right. Moe. I’m a bit more privy than many as to this sort of thing but THAT is way, way, way beyond and above my need to know.

            I’d like to point out, however, that the ONLY agency to dissent from the details of the intel report was the Dept. of Energy who claimed the aluminum cases were better suited for power generation than weapons use.

            You’all love to blame Bush and my side loves to blame Obama – both for any and all things. Yet, how much do the “permanent” bureaucracies really decide things by what they send up the line?

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            • Ah yes, I remember the ‘aluminum tubes’ and Condi’s insistence they were for building nukes, even as the Energy Dept folk were testifying to the opposite. But they were NOT alone – as I said, the CIA analyst pros were screaming that the info was wrong, but they didn’t have the entree to the Oval. Germany was insisting, publicly, that the guy who tied Al Qaeda to Iraq, Curveball, was faking it. Italy had already published stories about how the documents re ‘yellpow cake from Nigeria’ were forged. There was info all around them but it wasn’t what they wanted to hear.

              Cheney, via Feith and Wolfowitz, actually created a special office within the CIA to build their case, repeatedly ignoring th official intel.

              jonolan, it wasn’t the traditional bureaucracies setting it up. If anything, they were hte ones objecting. It was a neo con adventure thorugh and through.

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  6. When it comes to war there aint much difference between any of your presidents.The truth is, the power behind all of them dictates where they go and what they do. I think Moe’s chart in her most recent post pretty much tells you who is really in charge.

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    • Exactly T4T, exactly. Thats where the power always resides. And not just here. In our interconnected world especially, stateless and totallly amoral megacorporations call more shots than we care to acknowledge. Money makes the rules.

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      • Money has always made the rules, I have a sneaky suspicion money made democracy to let us think we have a say in the matter. 😉

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      • One would hope that is and always will be the case. I’d rather have those with vested interests making these calls than some fool who, perhaps, has no skills beyond getting elected.

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  7. @Jonolan

    I think youre missing the point. Money makes sure its the fools who get elected.

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  8. “On the other hand, I don’t really consider it heroic because I firmly believe that they were so scared that the intel might be right and that there’d be another attack against us, this time staged from Iraq, that they jumped when they should have stayed put.”

    That seems about right to me, but if I our leader are leaders they ought to have more self-control. In anycase, I hope we’ve learned not to go to war with our much more of a case that our interests are clearly and immediately threatened than we did here.

    The worst thing about most Republicans running in 2008 or 2012 (the exception being Ron Paul mostly) was that they either didn’t get that or didn’t dare admit it. It disqualified them from the Presidency in my view.

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