The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

On Mr. Rumsfeld

Posted on | February 25, 2011 | 6 Comments

by Smitty

By the power of Kindle, I’m about 2/3 through Rumsfeld’s book, and I highly recommend it to all Americans. The initial chapters about the ’60s and ’70s alone are highly educational for the GenX and younger crowd.

Jon Stewart tries to interview and dangles very close to an important point about the effort to build support for the Iraq invasion.

The Daily Show – Exclusive – Donald Rumsfeld Extended Interview Pt. 1
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The Daily Show – Donald Rumsfeld Pt. 2
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Stewart had a prime opportunity to pull an experienced statesman back to a high vantage and ask about the direction the country has gone. Since the National Security Act of 1947 the US has passed precisely 0 proper declarations of war. Korea, Vietnam, Kosovo, Iraq, and Afghanistan have all happened under various flavors of UN auspice and the War Powers Resolution of 1973. Is this really a bow to the realities of the modern era, when information moves so fast?
Could it be that the Constitution, again, shows its wisdom in limiting the power of the Executive to put warheads on foreheads? It’s nothing but a counterfactual now, but one can’t help but wonder whether the additional effort level required to follow the Constitution as written might have been a sufficient sanity check on the available intelligence to halt the Parade of Horribles.
Stewart doesn’t consider this line of questioning. Why? In general, the Left holds the Constitution in less esteem than the Right, but the truth is that our Ruling Class Overlords both chafe at limited, federalist government, for different reasons.
In addition to our national come-to-Beavis moments on public sector unions and entitlements, We The People really need to re-consider the post-WWII Team America World Police regime. Sure, the Cold War was preferable to a WWIII, and terrorism ain’t beanbag. A lack of reflection on what the US is trying to accomplish internationally, however, is going to lead both to more Iraqi WTF the WMD moments, as well as jumbo DOD budgets moving forward. Conservatives tend to be less critical of defense spending, but it’s intellectually dishonest to go after entitlements alone, and fail to realize that the DOD is frequently just an older, better-armed version of the same government mismanagement story.
Stewart’s interview could have been a lot better if he’d queried the old duffer along those lines, in my opinion.

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