Political Statements

evoked by watching C-SPAN
on TV at home

by Jon

We've got the Guns, now Bend Over and Hand Us the Butter

May 14, 2003
War analogies are the norm, but when describing acts of warfare a sports analogy is the next best thing, as Rumsfeld declares a "full court press" on security in Baghdad. In order to squash the impression of a shakeup, he adds that replacing Garner was always part of the plan, again confirming that if you don't share your plans, you can always say you're following them. Of course, before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee the subject should be the swollen defense budgets that gave us the hubris to take over countries, but there's just so many other questions still looming...

You can't see a session with the big DoD jockeys without getting a provincial plug for more activity in a Congressman's backyard, and this time it's Thad Cochran praising missile defense systems and pushing for more shipbuilding (in Mississippi, of course) instead of exploring cheaper options with leasing. Roll out the barrels, because with Bush in office pork is on the menu.

Rumsfeld says he shouldn't answer questions about opening Tricare to reservists, I guess because it's not a sexy enough issue for the Secretary of Defense to get distracted by. When asked if he's surprised they haven't found WMD in Iraq, his flat reply is "Not really". He did later add Iraqi people have been informed that their conditions will be made better if they come forward with information. Does that mean they get water and electricity? Sounds like a bribe to substantiate new lies.

As astounding as this all was, the greater shock and awe arrived when Dianne Feinstein inquired about the money allocated for studies on the development of smaller nuclear weapons that can be used tactically. She makes the point that such a direction will not jive with any attempt at a sincere message about non-proliferation in our foreign policy. Rumsfeld, clearly peeved, first points out the obvious: we have nuclear weapons, lots of them, and we've had them for decades. Then on the issue of proliferation, Rumsfeld gets mealymouthed as only he can: "Proliferation happens...The world is filled with proliferation." In other words, the determinism of this administration leaves us with a strategy not of avoiding Armageddon but rather ensuring the United States is the winning side.

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