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How Not to Interview Donald Rumsfeld

by William Hughes Monday, Dec. 18, 2006 at 8:33 PM
liamhughes@comcast.net

Cal Thomas is a Right Wing hack, who has shilled for the bloodbath that is the Iraqi War. On Dec. 7, 2006, he interviewed Donald Rumsfeld, the outgoing Secretary of Defense at the Pentagon. “BaWa Walters, herself, couldn’t have done a worst job of puffery. No questions were asked by Thomas about U.S. or Iraqi casualties, WMD, or the fact that Rumsfeld has been charged with war crimes. Thomas’ shameless spiel mocks the idea of a Free Press.

      How Not to Int...
bush_and_rummy.jpg, image/jpeg, 452x381

“Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.“ - Noam Chomsky

I always thought that Barbara “BaWa” Walters, who does all of those silly, celebrity gabfests, was the worst interviewer--ever! I confess I never liked her, even when she was doing the nightly news for ABC TV. She’s just too know-it-all for me. I also hate how Walters grovels to the glitterati, no matter how brainless they may be. And, when she kowtows to those in high public office, like ego-inflated Henry Kissinger types, I hope that the party being interviewed will throw up on her. Now, after reading a column by Right Wing huckster, Cal Thomas, which focuses on his recent tete-to-tete with Donald Rumsfeld, a failed Neocon and fired Secretary of Defense, I think differently. Thomas has to be the worst interviewer--ever! Worse than even ”BaWa” Walters!

The Pentagon was the setting of Thomas’ puff piece. This was appropriate since it has been wasting about billion a month on the war in Iraq, counting from March 20, 2003. Naturally, there was no mention of that fact in Thomas’ article, entitled, “Mr. Rumsfeld’s Parting Shots,” which appeared on the Op Ed Page of the Baltimore Sun, on Dec. 13, 2006--six days after the duo’s sit down at the center of America’s lethal War Machine, in Northern Virginia. Thomas also didn’t bring up in his piece, the subjects of the 25,000 U.S. military casualties in the conflict; nor the torture scandals concerning detainees at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo Bay and at torture rendition sites around the globe; nor the fact that Rumsfeld has been charged with war crimes. (1) The names of the notorious Neocons, Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas Feith, weren’t mentioned either in the article. Wolfowitz, the prime architect of the Iraqi War was Rumsfeld’s No. 2 at the Pentagon, and Feith, his No. 3 honcho. (2) The 650,000 innocent Iraqi dead were also ignored by Thomas in his cozy, talk-about-no-real-evil get together with Rumsfeld.

This confab definitely had a surreal aspect. Windbag Thomas also considers himself Pro-life. I think Pro-fetus is a more accurate description of him. Someone who can condone and defend what has happened in Iraq, a war based on serial lies and massive deceptions, like the sanctimonious Thomas, cannot be said to be genuinely Pro-life. The record shows that he’s been a shameless apologist and a shill for the Iraqi bloodbath. The Fox News ranter, who poses, too, as a pious Christian, has also endorsed forcefully removing the Palestinians--both Christians and Muslims--from their ancient homeland. (3) Thomas is such a mindless Right Wing ideologue that he doesn’t even stop to ponder this relevant question: How can there be a Holy Land, without the presence of a vibrant Christian and Muslim community? (4)

What did Thomas talk to Rumsfeld about? Well, he let the embittered Defense Secretary whine on about how he regretted using the phrase, “the war on terror.” He said that gave the American people the wrong impression that the conflict might be ended quickly, “within 30 or 60 minutes, like a Soap Opera.” According to Thomas’ account, the ultra-sensitive Rumsfeld, who was dumped by President George W. Bush for Robert Gates, felt like the people didn’t understand the “intensity of the struggle” there and what a “very complicated thing” this kind of war is.

Obviously, smarty-pants Rumsfeld didn’t understand it either. His flawed preempted military strategy re: Iraq was an unmitigated disaster from the very beginning. An out-of-control Rumsfeld fired the then U.S. Army Chief, Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, when he dared to suggest to a Congressional committee, it would take hundreds of thousands of more troops than Rumsfeld wanted, to invade and occupied Iraq. The arrogant War Hawk didn’t want to hear that kind of honest advise. Rumsfeld’s insane war plan for Iraq created a lightening rod for extremists who hate the U.S. for its actions there, and elsewhere in the Middle East. That didn’t stop him from telling Thomas that if the U.S. pulls out of Iraq, it will be bad for the region “and the United States.” The idea that his stupid war was bad for the region and for the U.S. doesn’t cross his mind.

And, of course, there was just no way Thomas was going to bring up at that Pentagon meeting that the U.S. is spending around 0 billion a year to fight less than 5,000 jihadi-type terrorists and their worldwide network of supporters. Philip Giraldi, a former CIA officer, in his popular “Deep Background” column, said this works out “to roughly million per year, per terrorist.” He added this fact about the over hyped war on terror: “The global war on terror largely benefits defense contractors and various advocacy groups that seldom serve the national interests of the U.S. It is making some Americans very rich and is ensuring that any retired general or senior bureaucrat who wants a remunerative seat on a company board will not be left behind.” (5)

Since the egomaniacal Rumsfeld is incapable of blaming himself for the Iraqi fiasco, or members of the Bush-Cheney Junta, he has to search elsewhere. Why, look, it’s those antiwar protesters! This is how Rumsfeld, doing his Emperor Nero-blame-the-Christians thing, put it: “When Euro-communism was in vogue...people were demonstrating by the millions against the United States, not against the Soviet Union. And yet, over time, people found the will---both political parties and Western European countries--to persist in a way that ultimately led to victory.” How the Cold War has anything to do with the now desperate Middle East situation, which was aided and abetted by the hubris of raving Neocons, like Richard Perle, is beyond me. (6)

Nevertheless, Thomas translated the Secretary of Defense’s blame game this way: “Mr. Rumsfeld’s implication is clear: The same leftists who oppose U.S. strategy in standing against communism now stand in opposition to America’s position against ‘Islamo-fascism.’ If they were wrong about Communism, might they also be wrong about today’s enemy?” This sounds like the identical kind of whacky line that Mona Charen, Jonah Goldberg and George F. Will, all mean spirited Neocons, were barking about when the Antiwar Movement staged a huge demonstration in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 26, 2002. It was ridiculous then and it’s ridiculous now. And, honestly, do you think of Pat Buchanan, Justin Raimondo and Paul Craig Roberts, who all oppose the Iraqi War, as “leftists?”

Notice Thomas’ use of the vicious slur phrase--”Islamo-fascism.” Just imagine the outcry, if some pundit had written the following line after Israel’s recent unjust invasion of Lebanon: “The Judaic-State Terrorist regime of Far Right Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, dropped over a million cluster bombs on the civilian population of the country only days before a cease fire was to be called.” Incidentally, where is the moral compass of the Baltimore Sun in allowing such egregious pro-war propaganda and slurs on Islam, such as Thomas’ spiel, on its Op Ed pages? This character gets space, without rebuttal, in the Sun once every week to put out the despicable fear/war mongering party line of the Neocons, the Military-Industrial Complex and the Bush-Cheney Gang crazies. And trust me, he’s not even the worst of the Sun’s Op Ed Right-leaning ranters! It’s a free press all right, but free for whom?

Not one word was brought out in Thomas’ article about those so-called WMD, or Saddam’s supposed ties to Al Qaeda and connections to the 9/11 tragedy. Nothing! No questions from Thomas to Rumsfeld about any of those damnable lies which helped to get the country into the war in Iraq. (7) Not a single word. And, Thomas calls himself a “journalist,” while the Baltimore Sun labels itself as a news organ that is a “Light to All.” Really! Let me suggest that a high school freshman could have done a much better job interviewing Rumsfeld than the sycophantic Thomas did. By comparison, Al Neuharth, founder of the USA Today newspaper, has labeled Rumsfeld “one of the worst” holders of the office of Secretary of Defense in the last century. I agree. He said that Rumsfeld promised that his “shock and awe” attack on the Iraqis would result in a quick submission, instead the legacy of his “ill-advised” expedition is one of “shame and sorrow.”

Finally, there is some good news to report. Friday, December 15, 2006, was Rumsfeld’s last day on the job at the Pentagon! This means that besides not having a public office to go to every day to wreck havoc around the planet, that Mr. Warmonger doesn’t get any more free limo service courtesy of the taxpayers! Take the Metro, Rummy! I’m sure, however, he will soon head down to his multimillion dollar pad at St. Michaels, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, to write his self-serving memoirs. V.P. Dick Cheney is one of his neighbors there. I hope, despite the fabulous sunsets that he will witness over the Chesapeake Bay, that Rumsfeld has endless nightmares about the hell on earth that he has created in Iraq. May God forgive him for his evildoing, that he, and many others of his ilk, have caused, because I know I never can or will.

Notes:

1. http://www.democrats.com/Bush-Torture-Mongers-Charged-With-War-Crimes and

http://jurist.law.pitt.edu/forumy/2006/11/donald-rumsfeld-war-crimes-case.php

2. http://batr.net/neoconwatch/

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cal_Thomas

4. http://morewhoiswho.tripod.com/palestinian.html and

http://www.hcef.org/index.cfm/ID/130.cfm

5. TAC magazine, Jan. 15, 2007 issue.

6. http://www.iasps.org/strat1.htm and

http://www.irmep.org/Defaults.asp

7. http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/

© William Hughes 2006.

William Hughes is the author of “Saying ‘No’ to the War Party” (Amazon.com). He can be reached at liamhughes@comcast.net.

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