WHAT A WANKER!
Tuesday/Wednesday, June 28-29, 2005
Sunday, June 26, U.S. Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld, made the rounds of the U.S. national talk shows. This is obligatory
for administration officials to get their message to the American people. It is also convenient that the talk shows are milquetoast,
non-confrontational programs that do not challenge what has been said by the guests.
The one truthful aspect that came
out of Rumsfeld’s discussion was his assessment of the current situation in Iraq. He told Meet the Press, "I would anticipate
you’re going to see an escalation of violence between now and the December elections. And after then, it will take a
long time to drive out the insurgents."
On Fox News Sunday, Rumsfeld stated, "Insurgencies tend to go on five, six,
eight, 10, 12 years." He later affixed the year 2017 as a possible end to the Iraqi resistance.
However, Rumsfeld reverted
to his usual stupidity. When asked about the horrific events now occurring in Iraq, he tried to put a positive slant on the
issue. Rumsfeld told the host that he gave George Bush a list of 15 things that could go wrong prior to the illegal invasion
of Iraq in March 2003: oil wells being set on fire; mass refugees and relocations; blown-up bridges; and a moat of oil around
Baghdad. He then said, "So a great many of the bad things that could have happened did not happen." Genius.
Rumsfeld’s logic, one could point out that the people in the area of the devastating tsunami that killed hundreds of
thousands of people about six months ago could be upbeat because they did not suffer a nuclear bomb attack at the same time.
not only contradicts himself about issues every time he speaks, but he does it with style. Why sound only like an idiot when
you can sound like a fool and a buffoon as well?
On March 30, 2003, Rumsfeld was a guest on This Week with George Stephanopoulis.
The U.S. had invaded Iraq 10 days prior, yet no weapons of mass destruction had been found. Rumsfeld had the answer:
area … that our forces control … happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed.
We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhere.
a few weeks, the questions about weapons of mass destruction became louder. On May 4, 2003, Rumsfeld told Fox News Sunday:
never believed we’d just tumble over weapons of mass destruction in that country. We’re going to find what we
find as a result of talking to people, I believe, not simply by going to some site and hoping to discover it.
on Septmber 10, 2003, in a speech to the National Press Club, Rumsfeld said:
I said, "We know they’re in that
area." I should have said, "I believe they’re in that area." Our intelligence tells us they’re in that area, and
that was our best judgement.
Shortly before the invasion, however, Rumsfeld was not ambiguous about Iraq’s
weapons of mass destruction. In a speech on January 20, 2003, he stated:
Saddam Hussein possesses chemical and biological
weapons His regime is paying a high price to pursue weapons of mass destruction — giving up billions of dollars in oil
revenue. His regime has large, unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons — including VX, sarin,
cyclosarin and mustard gas; anthrax, botulism, and possibly smallpox — and he has an active program to acquire and develop
In the space of nine months, Rumsfeld changed his story many times and he went from declaring
an inventory list of Iraqi’s weapons of mass destruction to saying he "believed" they were north, south, east or west
On February 4, 2003, Saddam Hussein was interviewed by British politico Tony Benn. The interview was shown
on British television. Here’s what Saddam had to say about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction:
person knows that as far as United Nations Resolution 1441 is concerned, the Iraqis have been fulfilling their obligations
under the resolution. If the purpose (of the inspections) was to make sure that Iraq is free of nuclear, chemical and biological
weapons, then they can do that. We have said many times before and we say it again today that Iraq is free of such weapons.
made it very clear that Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction. No ambiguities or lies. Just the facts.
along with the entire administration and much of the Democratic so-called opposition, lied about Iraq in a blatant manner.
Saddam in one paragraph told the precise truth. In other words, Rumsfeld was the liar and the guy with the moustache told
the truth. However, today Rumsfeld appears on talk shows and speaks in broken English and Saddam is in prison.
has come up with some not-so-brilliant statements during his tenure as Secretary of Defense. On October 7, 2002, he told the
New Republic, "Osama bin Laden is either alive and well or alive and not too well or not alive."
a heroic welcome for U.S. troops to Iraq. On February 20, 2002, speaking on The News Hour With Jim Lehrer, Rumsfeld stated:
is no question but that they would be welcomed. Go back to Afghanistan, the people were in the streets playing music, cheering,
flying kites, and doing all the things that the Taliban and al-Qaeda would not let them do.
At the same time that
Rumsfeld predicted a heroes welcome for U.S. troops, Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, differed. He said
will welcome the U.S. troops. Unfortunately, we ran out of candy so we will hove to substitute bullets.
of statements that have been challenged, the Iraqi Information Minister, Muhammad Sahaff’s (Baghdad Bob) last public
statement occurred when a reporter pointed out that U.S. troops were already in Baghdad. He stated, "We’ve got them
right where we want them." America laughed at him. Nobody is laughing today at that statement, however.
another accurate statement that Sahaff made — one that even the most vile warmonger could not refute: "I speak better
English than Bush."
The title of this article may confuse U.S. citizens because of the use of a word that is used in
Britain and Australia, but few Americans know of its meaning. Before I moved to Britain in 1975, I never heard it either.
will end this article with an excerpt from my book Strike Four: Adventures in European Baseball. The background for
this concerns a cheating umpire in a baseball game in 1975 in which I was the coach of the Crawley Giants. Here is how I learned
about the word "wanker:"
Despite the fiasco occurring on the field, something positive happened in that game. I
learned a new word. In the seventh inning, I noticed a veteran player reprimanding a rookie. I asked him, "Why are you chewing
him out, Neil?" and he answered, "He called the ump a wanker." "What’s a wanker?" I queried. He then took me aside and
whispered so that no one could hear him, "Someone who plays with himself." I was quiet for a moment, then I turned toward
the field and shouted, "Hey Ump! You’re a wanker."
U.S. Secretary of Defense, Don Rumsfeld, is definitely
time for Rumsfeld to follow his own advice.
During Vietnam, Rumsfeld Criticized Administration
For “Credibility Gap”
06/27/05 "Think Progress"
- - It wasn’t all that long ago when a young conservative congressman from Illinois named Donald Rumsfeld spoke eloquently
on the floor of the House of Representatives during the Vietnam War about the need for the Johnson administration to speak
more truthfully about that conflict.
A 1966 article in the Chicago Tribune quoted Rumsfeld as saying
the following: “The administration should clarify its intent in Viet Nam,’ he said. ‘People lack
confidence in the credibility of our government.’ Even our allies are beginning to suspect what we say, he charged.
‘It’s a difficult thing today to be informed about our government even without all the secrecy,’
he said. ‘With the secrecy, it’s impossible. The American people will do what’s right when they have the
information they need.” [Chicago Tribune, 4/13/66]
Rusmfeld entered into the Congressional Record an article from
the Chicago Sun-Times entitled “Why U.S. Viet Policy Lacks Friends—Our Credibility Destroyed” Rumsfeld stated:
“I do, however, believe it is important to the future of our Nation to recognize that there is a problem of
credibility today.” [Congressional Record, 89th Cong. Pg. A1454, 3/15/66; Chicago Sun-Times, 12/5/65]
In entering a New York Times editorial into the Congressional
Record, Rumsfeld said, “I believe the following significant and timely editorial which appeared in today’s issue
of the New York Times and which discusses our involvement in Vietnam merits wide attention. I concur in the conclusion expressed
therein that the people of the United States must know not only how their country became involved but where we are
heading.” [Congressional Record, 89th Cong. Pg. 21081, 8/19/65; New York Times, 8/19/65]
Rumsfeld said the following in a speech on the House floor:
“Accurate judgment is predicated on accurate information. Government has an obligation to present information
to the public promptly and accurately so that the public’s evaluation of Government activities is not distorted.
Political pundits speak of the ‘credibility gap’ in the present administration. Indeed, this appellation is so
widespread that it has become a household word.” [Congressional Record, 90th Cong. pg A792, 2/21/67]
Don’t look now Rumsfeld, but “credibility gap”
is becoming a household word again, and it’s directly related to your actions.
Gen. Barry McCaffrey (Ret.), U.S. Army: “People are skeptical
of what they’re hearing out of the Pentagon. I think Secretary Rumsfeld’s credibility has been damaged by serious
misjudgments.” [MSNBC, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, 6/23/05]
“Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., said it was obvious why public
opinion polls were down. ‘We have a credibility gap here with the American people,’ he said.” [AP, 6/24/05]
Headline: “Bush’s Credibility Takes a Direct Hit
From Friendly Fire” [LAT, 6/26/05]
Headline: “Bush’s Credibility on Iraq Undercut
by Violence, Slow Progress” [Bloomberg, 6/27/05]
It’s time for Rumsfeld to follow his own advice.
(In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C.
Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included
information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator
of this article nor is Information Clearing House endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)
...I wonder what made him change his conviction - if it ever was one!
And here's his job priority:
Sunday, June 26, 2005
Soldiers vs. Intellectual Property Rights
Despite Dick Cheney's insistence that the insurgency in Iraq
is in its "last throes," American casualties are at their all-time high:
Last month there were about 700 attacks against American forces
using so-called improvised explosive devices, or I.E.D.'s, the highest number since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, according
to the American military command in Iraq and a senior Pentagon military official.Higher casualties are said to be due to Iraqi guerrillas' advancements in military technology: "the use of 'shaped'
charges that concentrate the blast and give it a better chance of penetrating armored vehicles" and "the detonation of explosives
by infrared lasers, an innovation aimed at bypassing electronic jammers used to block radio-wave detonators" (Cloud, 22 Jun. 2005).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
I.E.D.'s of all types caused 33 American deaths in May, and there have been at least 35 fatalities so far in June,
the highest toll over a two-month period, according to statistics assembled by Iraq Coalition Casualty Count. . . . (David S. Cloud, "Iraqi Rebels Refine Bomb Skills, Pushing
Toll of G.I.'s Higher," New York Times, 22 Jun. 2005)
In contrast, US troops have yet to see improvements
in their vehicles. The Humvee is still "the Pentagon's vehicle of choice for American troops," the vehicle shunned by Donald
Rumsfeld and other dignitaries visiting Iraq:
When Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld visited
Iraq last year to tour the Abu Ghraib prison camp, military officials did not rely on a government-issued Humvee [$140,000
for an armored vehicle] to transport him safely on the ground. Instead, they turned to Halliburton, the oil services contractor,
which lent the Pentagon a rolling fortress of steel called the Rhino Runner [$250,000].While Iraqi guerrillas' innovations made even the best-armored
Humvees unsafe, most US troops cannot even avail themselves of them: "[A]ccording to military records and interviews with
officials, about half of the Army's 20,000 Humvees have improvised shielding that typically leaves the underside unprotected,
while only one in six Humvees used by the Marines is armored at the highest level of protection" (Moss, 26 Jun. 2005).
State Department officials
traveling in Iraq use armored vehicles that are built with V-shaped hulls to better deflect bullets and bombs. Members of
Congress favor another model, called the M1117 [$700,000], which can endure 12-pound explosives and .50-caliber armor-piercing
Unlike the Humvee, the Pentagon's vehicle of choice for American troops, the others were designed from scratch
to withstand attacks in battlefields like Iraq with no safe zones. (Michael Moss, "Safer Vehicles for Soldiers: A Tale of
Delays and Glitches," New York Times, 26 Jun. 2005)
Why? It turns out that US capitalists are at war with
The Defense Department continues to rely on just
one small company in Ohio to armor Humvees. And the company, O'Gara-Hess & Eisenhardt, has waged an aggressive campaign to hold onto its exclusive
deal even as soaring rush orders from Iraq have been plagued by delays. The Marine Corps, for example, is still awaiting
the 498 armored Humvees it sought last fall, officials told The Times.Soldiers' lives are evidently less important than intellectual property rights that confer monopoly profits
on capitalists. The Iraq War is the best crash course in the ABC of capitalism.
In January, when military officials tried to
speed production by buying the legal rights to the armor design so they could enlist other venders to help, O'Gara demurred,
calling the move a threat to its "current and future competitive position," according to e-mail records obtained
from the Army.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Robert F. Mecredy, president of the aerospace and defense
group at Armor Holdings, the parent company of O'Gara, acknowledged that the
company was protecting its commercial interests. (emphasis added, Moss, 26 Jun. 2005)