Sunday, December 17, 2006

"Dance Macabre: The Return of Donald Rumsfeld"

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Greyhawk has an encyclopedic article about the history of La Donald -- Rumsfeld, that is. He examines Rummy's political life through his decades-long association with five other high-level Bush administration officials -- Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, and Richard Armitage. Together, this group worked with and for each other in various top positions through six administrations, going back to Nixon. James Mann's 2004 book, Rise of the Vulcans (the moniker they chose for themselves during Bush 43's first presidential campaign -- Vulcan was the Roman god of fire and metallurgy) is about this group.

Here are the opening paragraphs of Greyhawk's piece, titled "Danse Macabre: The Return of Ja(a)far [Donald Rumsfeld]":

"The Return of Ja(a)far" examines the return of Donald Rumsfeld to the role of Secretary of Defense, a sequel that -- like the Disney flick of similar name -- should have gone straight to video. It tells how some of the same characters who were bit players in a previous mess (the Nixon Administration) keep coming back to attempt to recreate a grand scheme on the level of players much more evil and out of their league, a league playing at the level of the Kissingers, Nixons and "Poppy" Bushs. True to GWB form, they continue to fail spectacularly upwards.

Along the way, we'll learn why Ja(a)far isn't always bad, and that, sometimes, he can be more of a "what" than a "who."
Throughout human existence, there are many instances of the saying "art imitates life" and its corollary of life imitating art. For, as long as humanity has had the capacity of self-expression coupled with curiosity and a sense of wonder, our instinct to depict our hopes and dreams or to record our history has found an outlet from cave walls to papyrus, from blackboard to whiteboard and from paper to electronic media. Our darkest points of history, the stuff of which nightmares are made, coexist alongside tales of humanity triumphant and dreams of a better tomorrow. History demonstrates that major themes often repeat, bringing fresh wisdom or reintroducing lessons yet unlearned to each new age. Sometimes, the cycles appear to repeat quickly, as though the lesson had been incomplete.

Such a lesson was recently manifested in the form of Donald Rumsfeld, who returned to the role of U.S. Secretary of Defense in 2001 more powerful than he was during his earlier time in the same role (1975-1977).

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