Theobertarian Dictionary 9 (Blame it on Rumsfeld)
(Norwegian authorities recently recovered Edward Munch's "The Scream" after it was stolen at gunpoint two years ago. Officials said the damage was far less than expected, but the painting did look a whole lot more scared after the events of the last two years)
When I was young, it was a sign of having old-fashioned values even of having moral fiber to not start blaming everyone else the moment something went wrong. It was considered a sign of virtue if in the course of a fight or an argument, you took a moment to think about any ways you may have contributed to the situation. Anyone who seemed to be part of a mess who’s first reaction was to say “It was their fault” and who then started to blame everyone but himself or herself was generally considered by any thoughtful person to be a scoundrel, a bully, or Joe McCarthy. Long ago, personal responsibility was considered one of the touchstones of being a conservative. Even the Bible seemed to agree, not that Theobertarians actually read it.
"Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).
I have since learned that “blaming America first” is the cause of anything that afflicts our country. Take for instance the falsification of the evidence of weapons of mass destruction before the war. Why do people insist on blaming America for that? Clearly it’s Saddam’s fault for letting us believe it. If not Saddam’s fault, it’s the fault of those UN Weapons Inspectors who failed to turn up non-existent evidence. If it’s not their fault, it was the French who were stupid enough to tell us that we should give inspections another chance. If not the French, it was the CIA since the CIA spends all its time looking for intelligence in countries that are not America. Clearly, anyone who blames America for what Americans did can’t be a truly patriotic American. Those who are doing the “blaming” are obviously the ones who are destroying America’s credibility in the world as a nation that only goes to war when it absolutely must.
Consider Katrina which happened almost exactly a year ago. Obviously, we should blame mother nature for the fact that more than 1,800 people died. Perhaps it was Fidel Castro. Notice that Havana didn’t get flooded. If we blame the administration for not acting fast enough, we couldn’t blame the Democrats in Louisiana. Why blame anybody? Instead we should play the guitar at a rally, buy Ferragamos, or hang out with guys towing facsimile trailers who aren’t necessarily living in trailers with names like Rock Head, republican candidate for Alderman.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld had it almost exactly right in his speech to the American Legion in Salt Lake City. He pointed out that “blame America first” is responsible for the fact that there are ten times as many articles about Abu Ghraib than there are about an American medal of honor winner. He does fail to mention that 9/10s of the stories about Abu Ghraib found their way into the news as a direct result of Rumsefld’s attempts to cover it up and deflect blame from the administration. There’s also the small fact that two earlier stories about American heroism, Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman, (both of whom I consider heroes for other reasons) might have affected the credibility of actual tales of courageous-patriotic American soldiers.
There is a small distinction here that I hesitate to point out because it’s so trivial. Critics of the war aren’t blaming America. Most critics of the war are blaming Donald Rumsfeld, George W. Bush, and Dick Cheney for misleading the country, failing to plan the occupation, and for their inability to cope with the insurgency/civil war that was the direct result of their incompetence.
btw, I do know of a major politician who was very scrupulous about not blaming his own country first. He blamed the Jews instead. I know that the Secretary of Defense has studied him. He said so himself.
Many years ago, I had a history teacher who was McGeorge Bundy’s history teacher. Bundy was his star student, a relationship written about extensively in David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest . Richard “Doc” Irons taught his students that Chamberlain et. al. had made a serious mistake with Hitler because they treated a wolf like a sheep. “Hitler”, he explained, “Was clearly a predator not someone whose hunger was fed by the Munich accords not appeased or sated.”
Bundy grew up to help make American policy in Vietnam where he applied Doc Irons’s history lessons with a star student’s enthusiasm. The result was a disaster and most historians now look back and say “Had Bundy et. al. understood Asia, they would have seen that Ho Chi Minh was not Hitler.”
If I’m following Rumsfeld’s reasoning, Islamic terrorists are analogous to Hitler as he threatened to take the Sudeten. They are not to be negotiated with only destroyed. Is this the same Rumsfeld who flew to Baghdad to shake hands with Saddam during the Iran-Iraq war? Is this the same guy who recently met in 2001 an Iranian arms dealer tied to the Iran-Contra affair. If you remember, we traded missiles with some of these embryonic Hitlers. Of course, it was W’s father who was accused of trading with the Nazis, not Rumsfelds so I won’t bring it up.
If you’re going to accuse other people of appeasement though, you shouldn’t live in a glass house. I, for one, wouldn’t want to look too closely into American ties to countries filled with Islamic terrorists like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Should we be getting ready to invade those places too?
I am a little puzzled though. Hitler was the one invading other countries. As far as I know, we’re the country occupying another country right now and threatening to invade Iran with talk of teaching them American political values. If you want to go back in history some, it was the Baathists, the movment that Sadaam idenitified with, who expressed some admiration for the Nazis as literal National Socialists. Islamic Fundamentalism is religiously-based rather than national. That doesn’t mean that religious groups don’t invade other people’s homelands. Think about the Crusades.
A small clue: maybe the post World War 1 history that matters here isn't Hitler as it is the promises broken by the Western powers after the breakup of the Ottoman Empire. Has the Secretary ever shown any signs of studying that history?
One of the newer thought balloons I’ve been hearing lately is that the Left only complains and criticizes, they don’t have a plan to fix things. Yes, okay, maybe there are a few things wrong with our Middle East policy, our economic policy, and our environmental policy, but why should I vote for any group that doesn’t have a clear blueprint for fixing things.
This is how I see it. I let you take the family car because you lied about why you needed to go somewhere. When I asked you about it first, you told me that I didn’t really love you. So instead of doing whatever it was you were expecting to do, you got in a huge wreck that wiped out our insurance policies. Now you won’t tell me first what happened, won’t let me see the car, insist that I be “positive” about your accident, and won’t even let me get close enough to inspect the vehicle. In fact, you tell me that you have no plans to give it back to me.
Instead you say, “Well you don’t have a plan to fix it, so why should I trust you with it?”
Well, I saw your plan in action and as best I can tell you’re just going to get into an even worse accident. Give it back while there’s still some hope of trying to fix the thing. Otherwise, we’ll all be stuck.
So, imagine if we took this case to Judge Wopner, Doctor Phil, or even Judge Judy and let them vote on this in November….Can we say, “It’s time for some tough love?”
It sure as heck isn’t time for appeasement, because I know exactly what you’re going to do with what’s left of our car and yeah, I do blame you first, because this is about what you did. No, I’m not going to blame everyone else, after what’s happened I’d have to be Rummy to see it any other way. Got it?
note; if you happened into this from some other place, Theobertarianism is a political philosophy that combines nominally Christian moral order with none of the spirituality and libertarian distaste for government regulation without the dedication to personal freedom. It also happens to be the prevalent political philosophy in the United States.
Other entries in the Theobertarian Dictionary