VLADRUSHKA by John Linton Roberson (c) 2022.
I Didn't Write That!
31 March 2003
  So why exactly would Rumsfeld override the army and invade Iraq with half what the Pentagon determined would be an effective force, at least toward Rumsfeld's quick-invade-and-occupy goal? All sorts of people are wondering that because Rumsfeld is increasingly the one to whom the failures in the war are sticking, however he might try to shift blame to the generals. But as it's known already that he largely bulldozed over the military in the planning of this frolic, that strategy doesn't work, so either Rumsfeld gets a big victory soon, finds a plausible scapegoat, or becomes a liability to the Bush administration and has to resign before the blame starts sticking to Cheney as well.

This last is the most plausible: presidents have fired their best friends in wartime. It shows that you're dedicated to the greater goal and Bush is nothing if not that, for whatever reason. And then there's the fact that Bush can be rather hard, cold and corporate when faced with an underling, however dedicated, that is giving people even a reason to doubt. Look at Paul O'Neill and Harvey Pitt. Rumsfeld, if the idea that he's an incompetent who doesn't really understand warfare continues to solidify, will be less effective in his main strength, as a PR man from Hell. Rumsfeld has developed an image of an iron grip on the press which he wields effortlessly. He answers nothing he doesn't want to, he blatantly misleads and lies--it's almost an S/M relationship between him and the White House Press Corps.

But the downside to this is the natural instinct of the press once he shows even the slightest hint of soft pink underbelly. They will tear and tear, most likely, until there's nothing left; that's just the way they are, and this is the pattern of the usual downward spiral in American politics. All Rumsfeld needs is one more big failure. He's fortunate indeed if the casualties are actually as low as has been reported(which I doubt)--it'll fit in nicely with this 21st century HENRY V they're trying to sell to the public.

One could imagine Rumsfeld went so heavy on the tech and light on the support(it's only a ground assault, after all) because of some nice juicy contracts with technology companies he's keen to boost; I remember, before 9/11 gave him the chance to become properly tumescent in his position, likening him when I saw him on TV to Babbitt. He struck me as a salesman, a cheerleader, or a PR flack much more than as a defense secretary. And now I'm seeing him when his pitch is failing. You can tell when he or Cheney are actually in trouble; they take on this old, put-upon quiet gentle voice that says, "Now why would you pick on an old man like me? Some people just like hurting others, I guess." Cheney employed this in his 2000 debate with Lieberman, actually managing to make Lieberman sound aggressive by comparison. I'm sure the pacemaker helped.

The more likely possibility that is being explored in many media outlets, as compiled here at Slate, is one that occurred to me the first night of the invasion, from such an obvious thing as being reminded what a good land mass, as colonies go, Iraq and Iran together look like they'd make; so close, and one gulf shared by both. And so much oil between them. Not to mention you achieve a goal even Alexander the Great could not manage. It's obvious--Rumsfeld was trying to prove he could conquer Iraq with a relatively small force in order to make a good case for hitting Iran, and maybe North Korea, next. This is not an isolated war, nor is it even the first in this series--that was Afghanistan. But that was the appetizer, and all we got out of that was a pipeline. This is the place we thread the pipeline to. And what would be the purpose of then going after North Korea? Well, assuming nuclear warfare didn't break out, to get rid of one of the few communist countries the neocons haven't managed to break yet; I think we know they hang onto old grudges, these fellows.

And in preparation for war with China. If North Korea hits us with a nuke somehow in the course of a war with them, all the better--it'll prepare the populace, the neocons might think, for the rain of them China would launch upon us. And thus we understand their real reasons for hanging onto the idea of SDI.

They work very incrementally, the neocons. They might not seem to think ahead, but they do--they just always assume they will be able to mold circumstances to fit their plans, rather than thinking of ways their plans could work if circumstances shift.

I may be wrong, but this is increasingly looking the case. And much as I'd like to see Rumsfeld removed--if for no other reason than he wasted the lives of servicemen by his mistakes and hubris--I'm not too keen on the one I'm sure will replace him--indeed the one who I believe has been working behind the scenes all along to replace him: Paul Wolfowitz. This gives me trepidation because those are, essentially, his plans I described above.

Oh well...

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