It brings me a no small amount of joy to know that Donald Rumsfeld is resigning. I know that for most people — well, at least most Americans — that’s all about the war in Iraq, which has claimed the lives of several thousand American soldiers.
That’s fair enough, I suppose, although frankly, a couple of thousand dead American soldiers fails to strike me as the greatest tragedy of them all, when compared to the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, including over 40 000 civilians. I realize that this is no consolation to the friends and families of the dead American soldiers, who certainly shouldn’t have died in a stupid and pointless war that was started on a blatant lie about terribly dangerous weapons of mass destruction, but which have now been magically transformed into noble motives about bringing justice and freedom to an oppressed people.
In general, I don’t think people quite realize just how many Iraqis are dying and how many of them are civilians — hell, you certainly can’t expect CNN or Fox News to highlight the vast difference in the numbers or drive home the fact that about 2.5% of the country’s entire population have been killed. The idea that you can kill that many people in a country in an invasion based entirely on a lie, and then be joyously greeted by the people you’ve just been busily bombing as beloved liberators is simply idiotic. I mean, how many people actually realize that the Americans and the British have continuously bombed the country since 1991? It’s been glossed over quite a bit over the years, but the practice of lobbing serious ordnance at Iraq most certainly wasn’t discontinued when the war ended.
Anyway. Considering that Rumsfeld was deeply involved in this fucking atrocious war, yeah, it’s not a bad reason to hate his guts.
Personally, though, I have a deep hatred for the man’s involvement in numerous human rights violations, in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. Sure, he wasn’t over there personally shooting pictures of Lynndie England while she was busy abusing prisoners, for example, but he certainly avoided all fallout of that incident and others, even though he’s not only the guy in charge but also a guy who consciously contributed to creating an environment where these things could happen. (Speaking of England, being the charming piece of morally crippled trailer trash that she is, she has apologized for appearing in the photos, but not for abusing human beings — so, apparently she’s sorry that she got caught but apparently still doesn’t feel that it was particularly wrong for her to sexually abuse helpless prisoners.)
War is one thing. I don’t like war, obviously, but at least I understand that if you’re out there with a rifle, and someone takes a shot at you, you shoot back and try to take out the fucker. That makes sense on a very primal level. Dropping cluster bombs into cities full of civilians isn’t quite as easy to justify, but at least that still fits under the broad umbrella of “warfare” — that doesn’t mean it’s okay or acceptable, but at least you’re clearly still a soldier doing a soldier’s job, for what it’s worth. But when you have guys stripping prisoners naked, putting leashes on them and dragging them around, beating them up and generally humiliating them, you can’t fucking pretend that you’re just fighting a war.
And when you’re the guy who’s supposed to be running the show and instead of taking down the scum responsible for these actions and making goddamn sure that this shit never happens again, you point out that this was abuse, not torture… well, then you are a fucking weasel. Then you are Donald Rumsfeld, and you will not be missed.
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