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  • Rumsfeld: The man, the myth, the legend...

    There has been a lot of talk about US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld lately. His hawkish stance on military issues combined with his on-camera charm has quickly made him a favorite among many. President Bush recently quipped that he was considering taking lessons from "Rummy."

    Born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1932, he attended Princeton University on scholarship (AB, 1954) and served in the U.S. Navy (1954-57) as a Naval aviator. The 13th U.S. Secretary of Defense, the youngest in the country's history (1975-1977). In 1977, Mr. Rumsfeld was awarded the nationís highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.




    What do you think?
    32
    This is one badass Sec Def. Don't mess with Rummy!
    15.63%
    5
    He's a capable leader, and doing a good job.
    12.50%
    4
    He has a lot of talent and experience, but I don't trust his judgement 100%
    25.00%
    8
    He's okay, but I've seen better.
    3.13%
    1
    This guy is a loose cannon. Replace him while there is still time!
    43.75%
    14
    Editor-in-Chief
    GameSquad.com

  • #2
    Rummy or Dummy?

    Hello,

    I suspect that our little Rummy would sell out his mother if he thought he would gain something politically or financially.

    I guess it's me who's cynical of our government. I always thought that our government has a policy of "revolving door" where business people would go in as government agents, but in reality, working to promote their business interests. When they retire or leave the government work, they often carry their access to confidential files and other resources available to USA for their business interests, thus the "revolving door" policy.

    Don't forget that Bush is first and foremost an oil businessman, who probably had no qualms about selling us out for higher oil profits. That's exactly what Senior Bush did during the Gulf War.

    I don't buy the crap that we went to war to liberate Kuwait, if Kuwait had no oil, then who cares?

    We did not go to war with Serbs in NATO-Yugoslavia conflict simply for the humanitarian reasons, no, it was purely a political reason: the Europeans couldn't risk an escalating conflict in Balkan states, E.U. or NATO couldn't afford that one as it would look embarrassing to them.

    Clinton did lift a finger to stop the Rwandan massacre simply because there's no strategic value in saving more than 100,000 Hutsi or Tutsi (I'm not sure), there's nothing left value in Rwanda anyway. The Europeans didn't want to do anything about it.

    I always believed that our government is a cold one, and requires certain steel nerves to do cold political calculations that bore little resemble of humanity. Indeed, can there be anything good out of our current Administration? For what it's worth, I prefer having Bush Jr. than Al Gore who would rather launch tomahawks than actually sending American troops to subdue the bad boys in Afghanistan.

    So, is Rummy good for us? I'm skeptical of that.

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

    "Aim small, miss small."

    Comment


    • #3
      Cheetah772, you might be too cynical of the government and Rumsfield.

      The Middle East has oil. We need oil. Saddam threatened the oil supply by invading Kuwait. And only made matters worse by threatening Saudi Arabia. The US has a long standing agreement with Saudi Arabia, established under the FDR Administration. They would always provide us with oil. And the US would always protect Saudi Arabia.

      When Iraq invaded Kuwait, most people within the Bush Administration basically said "who cares." They all agreed to protect Saudi Arabia, but few thought much about Kuwait. The turning point came in a meeting between British PM Margaret Thatcher and Bush at Camp David the weekend following the invasion. The President asked her what she thought about Iraq.
      Her reply, "we should kick him out. And we should do it in a manner that will make sure he would not try it again." This was the rather concealed view of President Bush and NSA Gen. Brent Scrowcroft. (Forgive me if I mispelled his name.) He shocked his cabinet upon returning to the White House and delivering his "this will not stand" statement. JCS Chairman, Gen. Collin Powell later joked to Scrowcroft, "that's the last time we leave you with the President at Camp David alone!"

      President Bush, SR was a very experienced political leader and foreign dignitary. True, he was the first person to drill in Kuwait, (if I'm not mistaken) but I don't think that weighed as much in his decision. He saw Saddam Hussein as a serious threat to the vital interest of the US. He knew of Saddam Hussein and understood the man's true desire. That's what drove him.

      Bush, SR earned my respect by the way he handled the Iraq crisis up to the end. The man led, not followed. He knew from the begining that Saddam would not back down. And he knew the American people, and the military were not very interested in fighting Iraq. He mounted one of the greatest political ploys in US history. Bush used every tactic he could think of to slowly guide everyone. And what's more important, Bush backed every decision up with his office and career. He was resigned to the fact that he could be removed from office if the war went bad. he accepted this as a risk. Bush made it clear that he was ready to suffer political death to kick Saddam's a** our of Kuwait. That determination and conviction inspired a nation, and a world onto victory. I only wish he met the end of the war with the same determination and skill he used throughout the crisis.

      Now Kosovo is another story. Indeed, the Clinton Administration bit off more than it could chew. I always had the impression that he did not want to be there. And I think he was goated by others outside of Washington. Clinton was likely told that air power would rapidly defeat FRY and bring the Serbs to the negotiating table. There were strains throughout that crisis that showed an Administration in conflict.

      I thought our response to the Kosovo crisis was anything, but acceptable. We stood by and watched hundreds of thousands die and be booted from their homes. FRY had an butt-kicking coming to them, and we didn't give it because we were scared of casualties. I can't imagine any soldier who would not have cracked a round on FRY after seeing what those forces were doing. It was far different from Vietnam, or Somalia. The world bears the blood of the dead in Kosovo and Rwanda.

      Rwanda was a problem. It occurred not too long after Somalia. The Clinton Administration was scarred. We should have done more, but things did happen very fast. Those killings occurred so fast, it was frightening. US troops throwned into that chaotic situation would have incurred some serious casualties. However, we could have provided protection. I don't think the rebels would have been so quick to execute men, women, and children with a few hardcore "real" soldiers (those that have honor) backed up by some serious firepower been saying. "I dare ya."

      Problem was Clinton and the American people viewed the October 3, 1993 battle as a military defeat. It wasn't. TF Ranger suffered some serious casualties, but they kicked some serious a**. The defeat was political. Clinton never realized or accepted that. Had we more carefully reviewed the battle, alot of people might be alive today.

      ==============================================

      Now what all that had to do with Rumsfield, I'm not sure yet. Might have to clue me in Cheetah772.

      ==============================================

      In my opinion, the jury is still out on Sec. Rumsfield. I feel he might be alittle too gung-ho. Not every situation demand military action. However, I do believe he has improved ties between the National Command Authority and the military. The Clinton Administration really hurt those ties. I don't really blame the Sec. of Defense's, at least the last two. Dr. Perry was a solid man. I have nothing, but respect for him. He saw the nation through what could have been the Second Korean War. His was a committed military politician, and I really liked him.

      We need to see what Rumsfield is doing behind the scenes. It's clear that he has a major impact on decisions. I will reserve my official ruling until after he leaves office and more is learned about how he advised the President.

      I will say this though, we could not have asked for a better Administrations. I might disagree with the current route they are heading on Iraq, but I'm not in the White House, with all the information. Cheney, Powell, Rice, and Rumsfield are solid and very experienced advisors. It's like the National Command Authority is a "Dream Team" taliored to handle the War on Terror. If Rumsfield is gung-ho, Powell is the dove. No matter how the President decides, no one can say he wasn't informed.
      "As soon as men decide that all means are permitted to fight an evil, then their good becomes indistinguishable from the evil that they set out to destroy."-Christopher Dawson - The Judgement of Nations, 1942

      Comment


      • #4
        Rumsfeld seems alright, but as with any career politician I do not 100% trust the man.

        Now someone who outright scares me is Ashcroft. That man wants to destroy 200 years worth of work.

        _Tim
        "Have you forgotten the face of your father?"

        Comment


        • #5
          Seeing him beating on the war drums sends a chill down my spine. It scares me alot. Terrorist cells are one thing, but going up against Iraq frightens me. Russia says no France says ....ummm who cares what France says. All I see when I turn on the tv is the Bush adminstration Beating the drums of war, and to this boy it looks like Bush Jr. is trying to finish what Bush Sr. started. It's like a stain on the family name or some other offense. Now I'd like to see Iraq burn just like any other red blooded American and Rummy talks a good fight, but I have a feeling that when it does hit the fan its going to be messy. for both sides.

          Comment


          • #6
            Deltapooh

            Hello,

            This is a reply to Deltapooh's post.

            What does Rumsfield has to do with my long and rambling post about how cold-hearted our government?

            I honestly felt that many of Bush's top aides were involved with oil business or some other special interests that had nothing to do with serving the public. I always had a feeling that Rumsfield wasn't necessarily doing anything in the national interest of America, but rather in his own personal interest.

            Did you know that Rumsfield had previously met Saddam in 1984? I think, that was when Regean and his aides decided to support Saddam by sending him arms and other heavy-grade weapons to combat Iranian armies. If Rumsfield felt it was profittable to keep Saddam around during that time, then it wasn't for his impeccable human rights record. Saddam had more political value that time.

            Granted, it was in the waning years of Cold War, and we needed some friendly dictators to keep the communists away. But that doesn't excuse Rumsfield's poor judgment of Saddam.

            Or maybe it's not about Rumsfield, but rather me, I have always been cynical of our government, and I knew that anybody wanting to serve in our government had to know the art of compromise and lying. Everybody is supposed to lie, it has become the norm in our government, nowadays, there's little truth in Washington, DC.

            Why else did they have spin-off doctors?

            Or maybe it's not about Rumsfield, but rather the general ignorance of most Americans, they don't know much about politics or military or economy, they tend to leave them to the "experts." But the problem is that we just handed a huge amount of power to a few select people, and that's not usually good thing to do. I believe that if Americans were more viligant in researching and more informed about different world events through their own efforts rather than depending on the highly liberal media to do everything.

            Besides, I felt that in order to succeed in our government, you had to be ruthless and be prepared to use Machiavellian tactics.

            Anyway, that's how I felt, I may be wrong about him.

            Thanks,
            Dan
            Major James Holden, Georgia Badgers Militia of Rainbow Regiment, American Civil War

            "Aim small, miss small."

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Deltapooh

              Originally posted by Cheetah772
              I honestly felt that many of Bush's top aides were involved with oil business or some other special interests that had nothing to do with serving the public. I always had a feeling that Rumsfield wasn't necessarily doing anything in the national interest of America, but rather in his own personal interest.


              All politicians everywhere are involved in "special interests." That's why they call it politics. Politics is the business of listening to what various interest groups have to say, and then deciding which group can best help you to accomplish your specific political goals. Politics demands compromise and deal making. That's the nature of the beast and it always has been that way. Most people do not have the education, connections, or discipline to operate effectively as a world class politician. I say let those who do, do what they do best.

              Did you know that Rumsfield had previously met Saddam in 1984? I think, that was when Reagan and his aides decided to support Saddam by sending him arms and other heavy-grade weapons to combat Iranian armies. If Rumsfield felt it was profitable to keep Saddam around during that time, then it wasn't for his impeccable human rights record. Saddam had more political value that time.


              Different time, different circumstances. The Russians were a mortal enemy at that time as well. Things change. All politics are local.

              Or maybe it's not about Rumsfield, but rather the general ignorance of most Americans, they don't know much about politics or military or economy, they tend to leave them to the "experts."


              There is a term for this. It's called elected representation in a democracy. As for people being ignorant about the issues...all the more reason to rely on experienced people who are not.

              But the problem is that we just handed a huge amount of power to a few select people, and that's not usually good thing to do.


              Perhaps, but that's our form of government. We do not live in a "pure democracy." Thank goodness. The United States is a republic. The citizens of this country do not have a direct say in what issues are debated in Congress nor do they get a vote in those issues. What they do get is a vote on who will represent them in government. The citizens of the United States indirectly "vote" on these issues by electing representatives who they trust to do what is in their best interests. I expect my Congressmen, Senator, President, and Cabinet Officials to be resident experts on these subjects and to make decisions based on the long term best interests of the United States.

              Sometimes it can be difficult to know whether they are doing a good job or not because they have access to tons of inside or classified information that the general public can't be privy to for obvious reasons. That information plays a huge role in their decision making process and it's hard to overstate the effect that has on the public's perception of events. We get our information form each other, newspapers, the internet, and TV. They get the same information plus the resources of the CIA, NSA, DOD, and foreign intelligence information as well.

              There is nothing wrong with being skeptical about your elected representatives, that may even be a healthy thing. However, being skeptical about the "system" is a totally different subject.
              Editor-in-Chief
              GameSquad.com

              Comment


              • #8
                A couple of points:

                If the current administration was motivated by American "Big Oil" interests, they would freeze out Israel and lift the sanctions on Iraq, Iran and Libya. Considering that they are doing the exact opposite, it's hard to suggest their Middle East foreign policy is dictated by oil interests.

                Also, the U.S. cozied up to Iraq not primarily because of the Soviet Union, but because of the fear that Iran would export their Islamic fundamentalism across the region. The Soviet Union actually cozied up even closer to Iraq than the West - notice the equipment that Iraq was using in the Gulf War. They were concerned about Iran's influence inside the the USSR's own substantial number of muslims, plus the Soviet Union long had designs on Iran as a way to gain direct access to an open seas/year round port.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Re: Deltapooh

                  Originally posted by Maddog


                  All politicians everywhere are involved in "special interests." That's why they call it politics. Politics is the business of listening to what various interest groups have to say, and then deciding which group can best help you to accomplish your specific political goals. Politics demands compromise and deal making. That's the nature of the beast and it always has been that way. Most people do not have the education, connections, or discipline to operate effectively as a world class politician. I say let those who do, do what they do best.
                  Yes , unfortunetly Polictians only seem to like to listen to the people with MONEY.
                  I geuss they didn't have much choice. If you have no concense you can either be a ccorpate officer or work in Politics.

                  There is a term for this. It's called elected representation in a democracy. As for people being ignorant about the issues...all the more reason to rely on experienced people who are not.
                  Hum, yes and no. Part of the problem though is that representation doesn't work very well anymore. not enough people vote. But that is it's own problem.....
                  Not to mention that only 435 representivies isn't very many for a nation of 278,058,881. How can those 435 truly 'represent' their populace?
                  The founders of this nations decided that one man per 30,000 is about right. If we still followed the old system we would have around 9268 representivives; that would be a true republican system. No lobbyist could buy off that many votes.......


                  There is nothing wrong with being skeptical about your elected representatives, that may even be a healthy thing. However, being skeptical about the "system" is a totally different subject.
                  When the System is has been fundementally changed from its intended method and the politicians seem to want to destroy what we have still got left of freedoms I wonder about the "system"...
                  "Have you forgotten the face of your father?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Re: Re: Deltapooh

                    Originally posted by Tim McBride
                    Hum, yes and no. Part of the problem though is that representation doesn't work very well anymore. not enough people vote. But that is it's own problem.....
                    This is a separate issue, but an important one. There are some who would suggest that many Americans don't vote because they are unhappy with government or are generally disgusted with the whole situation. That may be true for some, but I don't believe it is truly representative of most citizens. On the contrary, people tend to vote much more often when they are truly upset about something or really want an incumbent out of office. I think the reason many Americans don't vote is because they are generally satisfied with the way things are going. That doesn't mean that don't have any complaints, but they don't seem to feel any driving need to rush out to the polls to make their opinion felt.

                    Not to mention that only 435 representitives isn't very many for a nation of 278,058,881. How can those 435 truly 'represent' their populace?
                    On a purely theoretical level you may have a point, but as a matter of practicality the numbers of representatives must be kept to a reasonable level. For starters, government is expensive. Each representative needs a large, well equipped staff, office space both in the Capital building and elsewhere, pay and benefits, secret service protections, official travel vehicles, airplanes, helicopters. You can grouse all you want about Washington beaurocrats "living large," but the fact of the matter is these things are required to run a superpower. Having 6,000 representatives in Congress would simply not be doable. It would be a nightmare from a force protection standpoint among other things.

                    The founders of this nations decided that one man per 30,000 is about right. If we still followed the old system we would have around 9268 representatives; that would be a true republican system. No lobbyist could buy off that many votes...
                    The founding fathers also put into place the legal and administrative guidelines for us to make changes to our system as it grows and evolves over time. As someone once said, "the Constitution is not a suicide pact."

                    When the System is has been fundamentally changed from its intended method and the politicians seem to want to destroy what we have still got left of freedoms I wonder about the "system"...
                    What freedoms have you lost since 9/11?
                    Editor-in-Chief
                    GameSquad.com

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Voting

                      Originally posted by Maddog


                      This is a separate issue, but an important one. There are some who would suggest that many Americans don't vote because they are unhappy with government or are generally disgusted with the whole situation. That may be true for some, but I don't believe it is truly representative of most citizens. On the contrary, people tend to vote much more often when they are truly upset about something or really want an incumbent out of office. I think the reason many Americans don't vote is because they are generally satisfied with the way things are going. That doesn't mean that don't have any complaints, but they don't seem to feel any driving need to rush out to the polls to make their opinion felt.

                      On a purely theoretical level you may have a point, but as a matter of practicality the numbers of representatives must be kept to a reasonable level. For starters, government is expensive. Each representative needs a large, well equipped staff, office space both in the Capital building and elsewhere, pay and benefits, secret service protections, official travel vehicles, airplanes, helicopters. You can grouse all you want about Washington beaurocrats "living large," but the fact of the matter is these things are required to run a superpower. Having 6,000 representatives in Congress would simply not be doable. It would be a nightmare from a force protection standpoint among other things.

                      The founding fathers also put into place the legal and administrative guidelines for us to make changes to our system as it grows and evolves over time. As someone once said, "the Constitution is not a suicide pact."

                      What freedoms have you lost since 9/11?
                      I will tell you why people do not vote, because everyday they are told by the media that voting doesn't matter and all the parties and canidates are the same, corrupted by the system. This is plain CRAP! Not every poll is tainted there are those who have entered public service because they do care about the issues. I can not tell you how many arguments I have had with people who complain about the system, then when you ask them if they voted, doesn't matter if its local, state, or national, they say "no" because it doesn't matter. VOTING IS A RIGHT, NOT A PRIVILEGE! As a citizen it is your duty to vote, don't like the canidates then put in a write-in, Just don't complain when things are not going the way you want, and you did not VOTE, you have no right! I have voted in every election since I was 18, and I'm not exactly an exemplary citizen. SO VOTE IF YOU CARE, IF NOT SHUT THE HELL UP! Sorry about the language but as a citizen it is your duty to VOTE, and people need to realize this.

                      *figured i'd tone down the language,as the point could be made without it.
                      Last edited by John Paul; 24 Sep 02, 07:05.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        IIRC, in Oz they fine citizens if they don't vote. I wish they'd do that everywhere. I've missed one vote in my years (sick children, and no desire to bundle them up and take 2 busses in -32c weather that particular day). And I >still< feel bad about it.

                        Although I sympathize with the idea that we (or you, as Americans, I'm a Canuck) are underrepresented in government, bloating is a serious issue.

                        Canada is not a superpower. But we're super-rich. Alberta (where I live) has more oil than the entire Middle East combined. But our production levels are set very low. We discovered diamonds recently, in good quantities. We have fantastic timber resources, ore, etc. Alberta is a world leader in many high tech areas. (Macleans, Jan '02 - Alberta has the highest regional connectivity [internet] of any area in the world per capita). Medical research at the University of Alberta is worldclass, and leads the way in one or two specific fields.

                        Our problem is government bloat. We have a yearly budget approaching a trillion dollars. Over 50% of that goes to sustain the damned bureaucracy. With a limp-dick as our PM, who's soft on debt repayment, some 20-30% of income goes just to interest payments on the debt. What the hell does that leave us with to run our country?

                        Canada has been voted as the #1 country to live in for 20 of the last 21 years. (Japan ousted us back to second once a few years back). We could absolutely rock and roll if we had good fiscal management. Our government need to be chopped down to nothing if our way of life is to survive! Everyone is freaking about our universal healthcare up here; we'd have no problems keeping that up, and continuing/improving worldclass education for our students if we could slaughter our debt.

                        Klein is our Premier in Alberta (Governor for you Yank types) and although unpopular in some circles, took Alberta from a massive debt load to damned near out of debt in 6 years. (We only have 5 or 6 billion left to payoff, then we're in the black again). It was some belt tightening times, but we did it, and I'm damned glad. We (both the US & Canada) need to control these crazy debts and then much more can be done with what we do have.

                        Sorry to take it all somewhat off topic, but this bit about governments and all really pisses me off up here. When you see something you are proud of, indeed have a great love for, being squandered away and wasted, it's time to speak up.
                        "When I am abroad I always make it a rule never to criticize or attack the Government of my country. I make up for lost time when I am at home."

                        Winston Churchill

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          While I personally feel that not voting is pathetic, I'd rather that all the Joe Morons out there that can't be bothered to pay the slightest attention to what's going on in the political world NOT vote, instead of making thier decision based on the fact that getting gored sounds more painful than getting bushwhacked, or voting strait republican/democrat because thats what mommy and daddy always did. An ignorant vote is worse than no vote at all.
                          "Lord... forgive me my actions, speech and thoughts. Because, Lord, I am seriously going to kick some unrighteous ass in Your Name, Amen."
                          Princess of Wands by John Ringo (Jan 2006)

                          http://www.baen.com/chapters/W200601...9232.htm?blurb

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Coming back to Rumsfeld: I actually like him. OK, people might disagree with his hawkish stance, but at least with him you know where you are going.

                            He has a clear mind about what needs to be done: attack Iraq, boot Hussein out, replace him with a government allied to the U.S. and then drop Saudi Arabia. He wants to make Iraq the country through which America exercises its influence in the Middle East and drop Saudi Arabia for good. That's what I think he wants to do. And if the U.S. can drop Israel at the same time, I believe this could really open a new era in the Middle East.

                            The only reserve I have about him is that I wonder if really he does not believe a bit too much in his own role. I just wish he keeps inside himself a good measure of doubt. People blinded by confidence are always the one that lead nations into disasters.

                            His large involvement in government affairs also reminds me of Robert McNamara...which opens comparisons between the pre-Vietnam era and the present times, on the eve of an invasion of Iraq. But that's another debate.
                            Last edited by Tzar; 23 Sep 02, 17:49.

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                            • #15
                              Oops...sorry. This post is not good, my previous one was.

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