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  Donald "Skeletor" Rumsfeld
1000 Defense
The Pentagon
Washington, District of Columbia

Dear Mr. Rumsfeld:

Long-time admirer, first-time correspondent, Sir.

Following the weekend morning chat shows where you often appear as closely as we do, and countless thousands of my adopted countrymen have acquired that sort of intimate unidirectional appreciation that, say, Michael Perry had for Olivia Newton-John. We're almost family.

Unfortunately, as with your Germany kinfolk, this segment of your family hates you.

I had originally intended a castigation: a letter upbraiding you for
the imminent swell of arrogance and pomposity on your part that is sure to accompany any vindication of the so-called "Rumsfeld Doctrine." I had readied a demonstration that there is in fact no novelty about your "doctrine" whatever, consonant as it is the timeless American pursuit of hegemony. I had a good 500 words showing that you actually lack political agency, serving as nothing so much as a Ouija board with which administration occultists channel the unpalatable likes of Wolfowitz and Perle.

Ultimately, though, it was unsatisfactory. A depiction of you as an
imbecilic dupe, while defensible and in many senses accurate, ignores many of your early initiatives. Why, after Iraq cut off diplomatic ties with the United States in 1967, only nonentities such as Morris Draper (a name known only to students of diplomatic history) thereafter appeared in Baghdad. Philip Habib (a name which could earn its holder designation as an enemy combatant with subsequent removal to Gitmo) made paid a visit in 1976, his exception proving the rule.

That changed though when you -- special envoy on behalf of then President Reagan and former high officer of state -- stormed the Iraqi capital. No need here for cheap piosities made easy by rearview history. No need to chastise you for a thick-headed failure to divine that the Iraqi dictator would one day realize his brutish potential. The horrors perpetrated by Saddam Hussein, whose hand you shook, were then both verifiable and verified. As the indefatigable librarians of the National Security Archive noted, you made that trip fully cognizant of the fact that Saddam Hussein "had invaded his neighbor (Iran), had long-range nuclear aspirations that would "probably" include "an eventual nuclear weapon capability," harbored known terrorists in Baghdad, abused the human rights of his citizens, and possessed and used chemical weapons on Iranians and his own people." I prefer to think of you, Mr. Rumsfeld, as fully in control now, just as you were on that remote date.

Instead of leveraging the unprecedented post-9/11 swell of simpatico for the American project you staunched it. Whereas the world's newspapers once heralded, "We Are All Americans Now," March closed with a day when "There was not one pro-American editorial in... the world's leading newspapers outside the United States." As you ascended to your present office, the country had positioned itself as the hub of the dense network of commercial, cultural, and political obligations ever constructed. Your most recent idiocies have had the effect -– perhaps intended of dismantling it, of alienating erstwhile allies, of ignoring obligations, and of bringing the hapless residents of this country into disrepute. All this in the name of achieving national security.

You managed it with spectacular imbecility.

Which is essentially my point. You bring managerial equipment to the
game sufficient, perhaps, to net a faculty position under Sally Struthers or Katharine Gibbs, but when measured objectively against the task at hand, your vaunted wizardry is found wanting. The refinements that come with advantageous birth and unearned promotion cannot compensate for the fact that you are too stupid and flat-footed to operate effectively at present levels.

Public opinion polling may be in your favor, Mr. Rumsfeld, but even you know it to be a transient thing. The progress of the herd of professional historians, while slow, is constant. Their judgment of you will not be favorable.

Metal up your ass,




Grady Olivier is a man of many, many words. His hardcore blogging can be found at Warblogger Watch.