It really is a shame neoconservative Douglas Feith, current undersecretary for policy for the Department of Defense (“Death Dealer, Level IV” on the federal government pay scale, I believe), is so dangerous, ‘cause the guy comes up with stuff that would otherwise be hilarious. Feith, whom General Tommy R. Franks once called “the dumbest ******* guy on the planet” (no small achievement, considering Dubya also is an Earthling, probably), recently uttered this gem, according to the Los Angeles Times’ John Hendren:
“[I] don't think that there's anything in our Constitution that says that the president should not protect the country unless he gets some non-American's participation or approval of that.”
I can hear some of the rejoinders now:
“That’s right!” and
Feith’s wacky crack alludes to the Pentagons’ formal approval, per Hendren, of “provisions for launching preemptive strikes against nations thought to pose a threat to the United States.” Hendren again: “The changes codify the more assertive defense policy adopted by the Bush administration since the Sept. 11 attacks and are included in a ‘National Military Strategy’ and ‘National Defense Strategy,’ reports that are part of a comprehensive review of military strategy conducted every four years.”
Perhaps, though, I’m being too unkind to the likes of Feith and similarly-minded PNAC pnumbskulls. Sure, they’ve all prodded us into a criminal war that’s knocked off 1,500 American soldiers and 100,000 innocent Iraqis, physically and emotionally crippled countless others, poisoned an entire country with depleted uranium for generations to come, cost the U.S. untold billions of dollars, invited worldwide enmity, and provided genuine terrorists a country-sized training facility absolutely scot-free, not to mention their organizers a guaranteed pool of jihadist trainees for decades down the IED-laden road.
But we all have feet of clay, right? So what if some folks’ heads are similarly constituted?
So, to be fair, let’s look at Feith’s point (no, not the one atop his clay cranium), even if he is, Franks-ly speaking, TD*GOTP.
What I’d like to ask is this: Just who is this non-American to whom Feith alludes? And how did he or she acquire this astonishing power to trump George W. Bush (which I thought only the possessed Dick Cheney possessed)?
Given a certain exasperating, broken-record GOP obsession, it’s quite possible Feith really is pointing a barely-disguised middle finger at Bill Clinton, because as any neocon worth his defense industry stock knows, all ills bedeviling America today, from terrorism to Michael Jackson, are the fault of our last elected president.
This would also mean, of course, that Clinton lied on his application for president about being a U.S. citizen -- twice. Where is Ken Starr when you really need him?
Honestly, though, the only thing that’s barely disguised is Feith’s Bushspeak attempt at suggesting that America’s security is somehow in the hands of others, like, oh, hell, I don’t know, maybe some sort of world body along the lines of, we’ll just say for example’s sake, the U.N., for instance.
Indeed, the neocon-reviled United Nations is, of course, exactly to what Feith refers, an insinuation comprised of such pure hogdoodle that only overwhelmingly stupid Americans would believe it, and just how many of those can there be?
OK. Moving on, I discovered a couple of minor flaws with America’s attack-first-don’t-even-ask-questions-later-pal-if-the-word-“rendition”-means-anything-to-you policy, despite Feith’s best efforts at acting the distracting fool:
One: It’s kinda arrogant and intimidating. Yes, I know, that’s exactly the point, since the ruling fascists in the White House consider these as mighty fine traits. Used to be, though, as recently as One B.C. (Before Cowboy), there was this thing called “diplomacy.” It’s an ancient Spanish word, I think, or Canadian, the literal translation for which means: “Understanding there’s more to the world than Texas barbecue and blowin’ up stuff.” Some of you may even remember back in the good old days (like when Richard Nixon was considered a stone-cold lock for worst president ever) when we’d make fun of the French, yet actually refrain from renaming foodstuffs. Now that was diplomacy.
Two: If this type of official idiocy -- I’m sorry, strategy -- emanates from a country’s leadership that avoids honesty like the plague or a forced viewing of Gigli (actually, there may be no other kind), especially when it comes to justifying the invasion of a land full of people who don’t appreciate being killed for their own good and, well, their own oil, it tends to tap into other countries’ trust issues. This is magnified when the bully nation that owns way more tons of super-duper-extra-mega lethal weaponry than anyone else, and thinks it a kick to blow children, women, and men to bloody bits while crowing about its love of peace, seems to be particularly devious when it spews untrue news of a nuclear hue.
Three recent examples:
* From Dafna Linzer of the Washington Post, March 20: “In an effort to increase pressure on North Korea, the Bush administration told its Asian allies in briefings earlier this year that Pyongyang had exported nuclear material to Libya…But that is not what U.S. intelligence reported…North Korea, according to the intelligence, had supplied uranium hexafluoride -- which can be enriched to weapons-grade uranium -- to Pakistan…[which then] sold the material to Libya. The U.S. government had no evidence…that North Korea knew of the second transaction.”
It’s like I’ve always said: Why let truth muddy up a good story of foreign intrigue?
* On the domestic disinformation front (some call it lying), Matthew L. Wald of the New York Times reports on March 20: “Internal Energy Department e-mail messages written in preparation for seeking a license to open a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada show that the department made false claims about how it carried out its work.” Wald writes that “some instruments that were apparently used to measure conditions inside the mountain were certified as having been calibrated…even before the equipment was received” and “Other instruments…were used for months without calibration.”
Who needs exact measurements when wild guesses will do? It’s only radioactive material we’re talking about, for cryin’ out loud.
A March 26 article by Erica Werner of the Associated Press states: “Yucca Mountain…is planned as a repository for 77,000 tons of defense waste and used reactor fuel from commercial power plants. The material is supposed to be buried for at least 10,000 years…”
10,000 years! Or: One hundred centuries. Or: About as long as it seems since Dubya’s initial appointment. What if by the year 12005 (Zager and Evans were the names) our thoughtful instructions warning our descendants not to play with all that cool-looking glowing stuff is in a language that sounds to them like only so much gibberish? (You know, like how Bush’s language sounds to us now.)
* Back to our insane incumbent’s international intelligence-insulting insufferableness (involving India in this instance):
On March 26, Peter Baker of the Washington Post reports: “President Bush rewarded a key ally in the war on terrorism…by authorizing the [unlimited] sale of F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan, a move that reversed 15 years of policy begun under his father and that India warned would destabilize the volatile region.”
Yes, in case you were wondering, these indeed would be the same Pakistan and India that both possess nuclear bombs, are as compatible as Ann Coulter and any sane person, and, per Baker, “have fought three wars in the past half-century and have come close to the brink many more times…”
Baker quotes ex-senator Larry Pressler (R-SD), who 20 years ago wrote legislation eventually leading to both the termination of a then-deal to sell 28 F-16s to Pakistan and Daddy Bush’s subsequent restriction on such sales to Islamabad:
“This is just a disastrous thing. It raises Pakistan, a country that doesn’t stand for anything we stand for, to the level of India,” which, as Baker notes, is the most populous democracy on the planet.
With all due respect to Pressler, I think he may want to take a closer look at that Pakistani-American values (Bush era) comparison thing again.
Anyway, you see how dreary all this characteristic Bush duplicity can be after a while. That’s why it makes sense, in a Rovian sort of way, to have someone like Feith distract us serfs by acting as our macabre king’s clown messenger.
It’s only appropriate we exit with another Feithism. In Hendren’s piece, Feith, somehow trying to tie the age-old unpredictability of the world’s next hot spot to America’s new, improved, lemon-fresh policy of attacking any country the dart hits on the map during break-time down in the old War Room, proclaims: “I dare say that if anybody before September 11, 2001, was listing places that we would want to focus on as a matter of priority, Afghanistan would have been rather low on the list.”
What a joker this guy is! Even though former counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke was all but setting fire to the White House to get anyone in it to pay attention to al-Qaeda and Bush got a memo a month before 9/11 entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” and the CIA post office had Osama’s forwarding address of “General Delivery, Tora Bora, Afghanistan” on file and former CIA Director George “Anything for the Cause Including My Career” Tenet warned that “the system was blinking red,” somehow no one but absolutely no one could have known before that dreadful day that big trouble was brewing for the U.S. in the land of the Taliban. That Feith, he’s some card all right.
There is one basic problem with his act, though: It actually isn’t the least bit funny. In fact, his and the administration’s routine doesn’t leave anyone dead laughing.
Mark Drolette is a political satirist/commentator who lives in Sacramento, California. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright © 2005 Mark Drolette. All rights reserved.
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