Wednesday, August 25, 2004

John McCain speaks out for amnesia

James Schlesinger says Rumsfeld shouldn’t resign because that "would be a boon for all of America’s enemies." Possibly that was a misspelling and he meant to call Rummy a boob. That quote could, in theory, be read in either of two ways, and I’d like to point out that in practice we have all discarded one of those meanings out of hand (including the press, which didn’t ask Schlesinger to clarify). The discarded possible meaning: Rumsfeld is so wonderfully competent that he is indispensable and the republic would collapse without him. The real meaning: the US would lose face if it admitted to any mistake or misdeed by holding someone accountable for that mistake or misdeed. This is an argument based solely on PR, on appearances rather than realities. A man who could even make that argument, in public, is a man who set out to write a cover-up.

Another example, from the report: Gen. Myers is criticized for not having "appreciated" the "impact of the photos." Not the reality of what was depicted in them, but the impact of the photos themselves on public relations. His failure was not that he allowed the torture to occur, but that he failed to effectively manage the perception of that torture, the spin. Rumsfeld, likewise, was more annoyed that there was documentation of torture than he was about the torture itself, saying in May that he’d never told Bush about it before the pictures came out because "The problem at that point was one-dimensional. It wasn’t three-dimensional. It wasn’t photographs and video." Click here for my post on that from the time, it’s a good post.

Forgot to say: Mark Thatcher’s "alleged coup in Equatorial Guinea" (as he called it), was all about oil.

India had its first execution in 15 years earlier this month. One result: in 3 separate incidents, children playing at executions have accidentally hanged themselves.

The Najaf police chief once again had all foreign journalists rounded up at gunpoint and brought to his office so he could harangue them.

And Israel deports a British journalist after a court decides that her "naivety and convictions" left her open to, well, believing what Palestinians might tell her.

John McCain says he is "sick and tired" of the wounds of Vietnam being reopened. "It’s time to move on," he said. In fact, he doesn’t like the Kerry campaign using his own words from 2000 in an ad. "What happened to me in the year 2000 is over. I have put it behind me." He really is the perfect person to speak for Bush at the R convention, where he can make the case for forgetting everything that’s happened in the last 4 years. Because if we remember the last 4 years, except for you-know-what, the terrorists win.

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