America’s crankiest old man Donald Rumsfeld is at it again. Before a sympathetic crowd of VFW flag-wavers in Reno, Nevada yesterday, Rummy basically called everyone who disagrees with the administration’s Iraq policies cowards and losers. That would include over two-thirds of his fellow citizens. Perhaps even one or two in his audience.
The Bush administration has branded me and virtually all of the people I know as cowards and America haters. How does it make you feel to be thought of by your government as something akin to a traitor for your views? We are nothing less than enemies of the State. Patches and ID tattoos to follow.
Rumsfeld has bungled every aspect of the Iraq war from troop strength to equipment to the post-war insurgency. The military leadership hates him, conservative pundits have called for his resignation, yet we are the cowards. This is a country turned upside down.
Americans are caught in the perfect storm of political incompetence. In any other administration in any other time, Rumsfeld would have been fired or reassigned, but when you’re a President with Congress and the Supreme Court covering your back, you can pretty much do as you damn well please.
Perhaps Rumsfeld’s alienating rhetoric is a sign of panic in the White House. Maybe the wheels are starting to come off the war wagon. We should be so lucky. In reality it is simply one more cynical, Rovian attack on what most of us like to think of as the democratic process. The only cowards in this sordid affair are those in the Bush administration who are unwilling to admit mistakes, but very willing to send other people off to die as a result of those mistakes.