Tag Archives: Donald Rumsfeld

Too political?

My daughter told me that I’ve become too political. That set me thinking. It is true that I pay much more attention now.

I hardly paid any attention in the 70s and 80s. I was too preoccupied with small children in the first of those decades. Graduate studies, two teenagers and an inter-city commute took over in the second decade. In the 90s, Clinton and his impeachment, his relentless pursuit by members of the political establishment who abandoned even the pretense of commonality, riveted my attention.

When an unprecedented, horrific attack on a complacent nation spurred the newly installed triumvirate of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld to curtail our civil liberties with the Patriot Act, I was galvanized. I warned anyone who would listen to me that proud and prosperous German Jews were decimated because they believed “it can’t happen here.” It can happen here. History has taught us that no government, no society, is immutable. I was afraid we were falling down a slippery slope, and indeed, that was when Americans lost not only their privacy but their faith in the impregnable fortress America. The same powerbrokers plunged us into a war we couldn’t win. Surveillance, fear, and torture insinuated themselves into the American experience.

In the Obama years, blind hatred and the corrosive antagonism between Democrats and Republicans further undermined American democracy and paved the way for the clownish but unfunny despot who is doing his best to undermine and sabotage the institutions that made America powerful and just.

How can one not be “political”? How can one ignore Trump’s peevishness, his enthrallment with himself and his desires, his reckless onslaughts on long-established norms, his ignorance, mendacity and deliberate sabotage of arduously wrought pacts to rescue the planet and provide care for the poor and the sick?

American democracy is under siege. Only activists, roused by anger and fear, can sway the politicians who have the power to save the Republic.

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Filed under American Society, government surveillance, Politics, Trump

Colbert v Rumsfeld

Two worthy opponents sparred Monday night. Comedian Stephen Colbert is famously good at skewering his subject (will anyone ever forget how he demolished George W. Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents’ Dinner?) and former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is very adept at avoiding awkward questions, turning the thrust back at his questioner. (In response to a soldier who who asked why they had to dig through rubble to find armor for their tanks, Rumsfeld replied, “You go to war with the army you have, not the army you might want or wish to have.”

Last night on the Late Show Rumsfeld told his host, “If it’s a fact, it’s not intelligence.” Watch Colbert put Rumsfeld on the spot:

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Filed under Journalism, Politics