As Don Rumsfeld is tossed overboard by the panicky Bushes (who value loyalty to themselves above all other virtues but never, ever, practice it toward others; there will be many more bodies left behind as the Family rallies to clean up Junior's mess again), Steve Gilliard steps in below to remind us that what we are actually dealing with here is not politics, not some Beltway horse race, or some idiotic media game of "who's up, who's down." The issue is mass murder -- thousands of Americans, hundreds of thousands of Iraqis -- and human suffering beyond imagining for millions more.
This is the reality. This is what really matters about Rumsfeld and the other architects of the war crime in Iraq. And although all the talk about the election's political ramifications for the Bush Administration is entertaining and diverting, as most gossip is, and not without some importance, on the most essential level it is a moral obscenity.
For when Bush opens his mouth, clotted bits of corpseflesh tumble out; when he walks, he wades through pools of human blood. And behind him, skittering and scooting in the blood-slick on their hands and knees, come all his ministers, handlers and toadies, come all the media sycophants who eagerly peddled his lies, come all the war profiteers who fill their bank vaults with hacked limbs, blown guts, crushed heads and mounds of viscera -- their treasure, their prize. Are we really supposed to be concerned about the political standing of such wretches? Should we not be outraged that they are allowed to walk among free people, much less exercise power and dominion over the nation? Why do they have any "political standing" at all?
And yet, they do. This too is reality, and we must deal with it.
The American power structure -- across its (extremely narrow)
ideological spectrum -- will never acknowledge the true extent of the
criminality, inhumanity and moral evil that the war of aggression in
Iraq represents. How can they, when Bush's policies are only slightly
more radical, slightly more brazen versions of the bloodsoaked
arrogance, aggression and impositions of the glorious bipartisan past?
They will continue to see the Bush Regime's depredations as through a
glass, darkly; discerning hazy outlines of misdeeds that they can then
label as "mistakes" or "incompetence" or, in a very few instances,
"corruption" -- things that can be rectified with a resignation here,
an isolated prosecution of small fry or scapegoats there. And having
deliberately infected themselves with this moral glaucoma, they will
get on with "business as usual" with the president and his associates,
ignoring the stench of putrefaction that clings to them from their
daily trafficking with the dead.
So we too will doubtless go on chewing over the political jockeying, the "business as usual," because that is the reality of the world as we find it. But we should never forget the deeper reality behind the dark glass, too hideous to behold for long in the stark light of day, perhaps, but still there -- a presence, a doom, a judgment, a weight, like the inescapable fact of our own eventual death.
Steve Gilliard on Rumsfeld's resignation:
It took two elections and the lives of 2800 men for this war criminal to resign. Walter Reed and Arlington are filled because of his ego, maybe 700,000 Iraqis lie dead because of his hubris. He should be dragged from the Pentagon and tossed on a plane to The Hague for war crimes trials like the Balkan war criminals.
America has suffered many incompetents, but even for a record of incompetence, Rumsfeld is in a special place. Blind, deaf, dumb, to reality, contemptuous of the men he led, demanding lickspittle advisors, all of these are enough for any man to be fired.
Now, as I watch Bush fumble his way to not understanding that his war is over, I can only hope, no pray, that someone forgives us for letting these fools kill so many innocent people.