Rumsfeld: Farewell to a Misapplied Ideology

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In parting remarks, exiting Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld warned of weakness being provocative. What he was saying is that perception of weakness invites war. Regretfully, that ideology was grossly misapplied in this new age of terrorist enemies.

Rumsfeld's argument is that it is not enough to sit atop the world's largest nuclear arsenal or the most advanced military capacity the world has ever witnessed. His argument implies one must use it to prove one is not weak. But, I would argue that Rumsfeld is wrong. As a Lt. Cmdr. in the movie Crimson Tide says, "You don't put on a condom if you aren't going to screw". In other words, contrary to Rumsfeld's argument, having invested in the largest, most capable military on the face of the earth, is in fact, sufficient evidence to all reasonable persons, that one is willing to use it if attacked.

Our invasion of Afghanistan was proof that our military might was not just for show. Now, who here is going to argue that Osama bin Laden is a reasonable guy? For you see, while it is true, having the greatest military is proof enough to reasonable people that the owner will use it if attacked, nothing one can say or do will change the mind of enemies who are unreasonable, not even attacking them with the military. In fact, attacking al-Queda emboldened them and their message that the U.S. is an aggressor toward Islamic nations.

So, Rumsfeld's argument falls flat on its face. Perceived weakness in the U.S. with its military is not a rational perception. And therefore, preemptive attack is not a rational response to such irrational persons as Osama bin Laden in search of a following. In fact, Osama bin Laden sought a military response from the U.S., so powerful, so deadly, and so broad against Muslim populations, that it would increase Osama bin Laden's capacity to recruit, train, fund, and grow his terrorist Jihadist movement. Regrettably, Bush, Rumsfeld, and Cheney dealt OBL a winning hand when they decided to invade Iraq.

And our own intelligence reviews now admit that invading Iraq has aided, abetted, and grown the terrorist threat against us. Rumsfeld's remarks reflect an outdated cold war ideology that said nuclear weapons were no sign of strength, the willingness to use them was. But, that ideology was based on the assumption of dealing with rational heads of foreign states who did not want to rule over a cinder of a nation.

It is a different kind of enemy we now face, where using our military might against the wrong persons, in the wrong places, at the wrong times, can actually aid and abet our enemies causes. This was a lesson lost on Donald Rumsfeld, Pres. Bush, and VP Dick Cheney, and judging by Rumsfeld's remarks, still is. Let's be clear, the Bush administrations ideology regarding weakness being provocative, is still valid when dealing with nation states like China or Russia. Mutual Assured Destruction only works as a peacemaker if both sides believe the other will not hesitate to retalliate in a nuclear fashion.

But, the gross negligence of the Bush Administration to act on this ideology in regard to Iraq, as if it would strike fear into the hearts of the terrorists, was appalling and costly beyond measure to our nation and people for many decades to come. For in that act of ignorance and negligence, the Bush administration has emboldened, aided, and grown the enemy of our nation. This is not interpretation. This is hard cold fact as reported by our own intelligence agencies that the invasion of Iraq grew the terrorist threat against us.

So, I say farewell to Donald Rumsfeld and his misapplied ideology. I wish he had not risen to his level of incompetence in our government, but, what is done is done. Many have learned from these mistakes: some in the White House, many in Congress, surely some in the al-Queda organization and, of course, many American citizens and voters. Relearning lessons of the past however, is a waving of the flag of ignorance. Terrorism is not a new phenomena. We dealt with it in Viet Nam. To have had to relearn the lessons of Viet Nam in Iraq, has been a most horrible and costly reeducation.

Voters, let us not permit our ourselves or, our children to forget this lesson of history, so that our children may not have to pay this horrible price of reeducation, yet again.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on December 16, 2006 5:25 AM.

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