Rumsfeld's War. Excellent PBS Frontline special tonight on Rumsfeld's War.
Can't say there is any radically new material here, but it does a good
job of peeling back the layers of politics and exposing the
decision-making process, the personal battles, and the complete failure
to anticipate the need for massive peacekeeping forces post-battle.
Lots of insight into the Joint Chiefs vs DOD battle. Make no mistake —
under the US Constitution the military answers to the executive branch.
Thus it has always been. Thus it should be. But Rumsfeld and the Bush
Administration charged ahead with a plan that had focused on the
rebuilding of Iraq without accounting for the mess that would arise
once the governing structure fell.
Rumsfeld and the neo-Conservatives had an aggressive, far-reaching
strategy for the Middle East, starting with Iraq. What they didn't do
was spend enough time thinking through what to do if part of the plan
failed. All their scenarios required unequivocal victory. And as any
good scenario planner knows — if you don't have a few scenarios of
failure you're going to get surprised.
Well worth watching if you can catch it on a rebroadcast. Wish I had known it was coming on I would have saved it on my DVR.
How timely. Over lunch today I watched last weeks first part of The Power of Nightmares
– a BBC documentary about how America has reached it's present state of
affairs with Rumsfeld, Cheney and co. It's a long story which
starts with the neocon view that liberalism and individual freedom have
lead to moral decay in America and follows their path and from the
philosophy of Leo Strauss to the Axis of Evil.
Intriguingly the basic neocon premise is exactly the same as that of the islamic jihad movement. That a sublime end
justifies any means including whole sale slaughter. The neocons
need the fight against the axis of evil/the war on terror to soften
the people up for phase 2 — in which, presumably, everyone becomes a
fundamentalist christian. Both groups would have had a warm welcome at Uncle
Joes dinner table:
“You cannot make a revolution
with silk gloves” — Joseph Stalin
The first part of the documentary covers the period of Nixon, Ford and
early Reagan. Of particular interest to me where the role of
Donald Rumsfeld and TeamB
in helping to craft the lie that was how the American public saw the
Soviet Union. It was both interesting and bothering the way the
CIA's black propaganda in Europe came back to haunt them when the
neocons began flexing their muscles.
If Bush gets re-elected we can expect more of the same. It's not
the interest of neoconversatives to make people more frightened — it's
their basic plan! Expect more rigid state control. Expect more
and nastier anti-terrorism legislation (and the terrorist acts it will
be a response to). Expect more fundamentalist christian ideology
in politics. Expect more sabre rattling. Expect more
democracy at the point of a gun. Expect new and scary enemies (they're surely
doing their best to create them).
And, if Kerry wins…? Well expect exactly the same thing. These guys are
powerful and they're patient. When Rumsfeld and Cheney failed to
get their way back in the 80's they didn't pack up their toys and go
home. Instead they waited for a better opportunity. I don't see them or their cohorts giving up
just yet. Not while Amerika remains to be saved.
By the way I loved Dave's suggestion
that Europe and Asia should join forces and liberate America
🙂 I only hope we're not so stupid as to get involved in a
land war in the USA.
You fell victim to one of the classic blunders, the most famous of
which is “Never get involved in a land war in Asia”, but only slightly
less well known is this: “Never go in against a Sicilian, when *death*
is on the line.”. Hahahahahah. [Vizzini falls over dead]
— The Princess Bride