If the troops believe Rumsfeld: My sympathy goes with them
If a sports coach can’t pump up his team to full charge before a game, he better change careers.
If an orchestra leader can’t inspire his musicians to play their hearts out, he should turn in his baton.
If a sales manager can’t motivate his people to increase sales, he should find another kind of work.
And if the head of a mighty military machine can’t give the troops forthright, unambiguous, no-bull answers to their questions before they go into battle, he should do a disappearing act.
Honesty and encouragement before any kind of activity is a prerequisite for anyone in authority and responsibility; in short, for the well-being of his charges. This is particularly true in life-and-death situations, such as the military in war time. And most especially true if the men are going directly into a dangerous combat zone.
For this reason—but not the only reason—I believe that Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defense, is unable to inspire the troops (judging from the grumbling he got) and may be also derelict in his duty by feeding the men half-information, mis-information, and “blue-sky” facts.
Take, for instance, what was said during the latest “pep talk” Rumsfeld gave the troops at Camp Buehring, Kuwait, which was designed to encourage them before they leave for Iraq.
The first indication of Rumsfeld’s falsity was his use of “prepared” remarks; you don’t give pep talks by reading from a script.
Rumsfeld then challenged the troops to dismiss critics of the war, and to go out and win “the test of wills” with the insurgents in Iraq. I’m sure the National Guard and Reserve soldiers who were thinking of their families back home were eager to “test the will” of insurgents, if indeed they even know what the hell that phase means.
(Rumsfeld apparently also forgot what Thomas Jefferson said about criticizing authority: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”)
One soldier had the audacity to question why vehicle armor was still in short supply three years after the start of war in Iraq. To which Rumsted answered that the army was producing vehicle armor as fast as it could—besides, Rumsted added with armchair stoicism, “You go to war with the army you have.”
YOU don’t, Mr. Secretary but I HAVE to, the young man must have been thinking.
And to further soft-pedal the existence of the armor deficit, Rumsfeld let loose this monumental bit of information. ” You can have all the armor in the world on a tank and it can still be blown up.” Which must have consoled these combat-bound boys no end.
Carrying this subject further, one soldier courageously asked Rumsfeld, “Why do we have to dig through local landfills for pieces of scrap metal and compromised ballistic glass to up-armor our vehicles?” Rumsfeld, cagey politician that he is, being well-versed in a hearing-impairment at strategic moments, asked the soldier to repeat the question.
Can’t blame you, Rummy. Everybody needs time to think up whoppers.
At this point, Maj. Gen, Harry Speer, deputy commander of U.S. forces in Kuwait, threw in his two cents, saying he was unaware that soldiers were scrounging landfills for scrap metal and used bulletproof glass.
What do you think the boys were doing there, General Speers, digging for buried treasure?
During Rumsfeld’s briefing, another touchy subject surfaced. One soldier, obviously figuring that knowing the truth was worth the risk of getting a rebuke, asked: Is it true that active-duty Army units sometimes get priority over National Guard and Reserve units for the best equipment in Iraq? It didn’t seem quite fair to him.
“There’s no way I can prove it,” Rumsfeld replied, “but I am told that the Army is breaking its neck to see that there is not.”
Now, I had a three-year stint in the Army overseas in WWII, and I can’t recall anytime that we broke our necks to see that any military equipment was allocated to anybody but us. That’s not only military life, that’s Life.
Furthermore, if Rumsfeld has no way of proving this alleged inequity of equipment issuance, what does that say for his efficiency in managing his department and the level of his involvement?
Nobody expects the Boss to count the paper clips, but the misallocation of massive amounts of equipment SHOULD be his concern. If not his, whose?
In closing this article, I want to stress that Secretary Rumsfeld has, in my opinion, not only NOT inspired our soldiers but has unintentionally, or at best, unwisely, given our fighting men false hope.
Earlier, Rumsfeld and the Pentagon made promises to the men to bring them home at certain dates. Then those promises were broken. Rumsfeld has told the soldiers heading for Iraq that they should not believe talk about how the insurgents’ can’t be beaten.
“They say we can’t prevail.” Rumsfeld says. “But I see that violence and say, we must win.”
All talk. On the contrary, it will be a miracle if we ever win. Why?
First, political advisors in America already have seen this as a protracted conflict that could take at least ten years. That’s optimistic.
Second, this is a conflict that has been going on between religious and tribal factions for at least five centuries. And we propose to win it in a few years? C’mon.
Third, this is not a war. This is an ongoing battle with terrorism. Confusing the two could have dire consequences for us. Once unleashed, terrorism can never be beaten. It can turn anywhere, any time. It can be contained, perhaps, but not defeated.
Fourth, America is in the throes of a New World Order agenda.
There are two terrifying facts in this. One, ii means conquering and subjecting all nations (first in the Middle East) to the tyrannical rule of an international dictatorship. Two, it mean, of necessity, the loss of America’s sovereignty, and the rule by socialistic Global Laws to “control” our people.
If we allow false information and this creeping war-making insanity to continue, we will be through as a nation.
Being a bright man, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld knows all this, yet he has the unmitigated gall to stand in front of our soldiers and encourage them to fight for “freedom”, to lend a deaf ear to voices of dissent, to tell them that we must and will win, and to haggle about body armor.
“Published originally at EtherZone.com : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”