Updated on April 19, 2010
Rumsfeld Disses Media’s War Coverage (Exclusive Video)
The Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld surprised us today with a visit to our humble post. I was fortunate enough to be invited to his speech. During his nearly 90 minute visit with troops and family members of deployed soldiers, Rumsfeld laid out his expectations of all military members; mainly that we stay aggressive and proactive in defeating terrorism worldwide and the insurgency in Iraq.
Rumsfeld noted that “we’ve arrived at a very unusual place. A place where, in some cases, U.S. military action in response to a terrorist attack seems as likely to be described as inhumane as terrorist attacks against innocent men, women, and children.” I doubt this is a soundbite we’re going to see in the MSM. He then goes on to rail against the MSM for their “coverage” of this war on terror.
Continuing, he says, “I’ve seen some papers that devote 5 to 10 times as many editorials to illegal mistreatment of prisoners by the few, actual and alleged, than to the terrorists beheading of innocent civilians.” You can download my video of that part of the speech HERE. Don’t worry, I’ll stick to my day job which doesn’t include holding a video camera.
He also took an opportunity to slam Communist Senator Ted Kennedy, though not naming him specifically, calling him a “prominent figure in Washington” for his comments about Saddam’s torture chambers being reopened under new managment. The US being that management. And by singling out the U.S., meaning us soldiers over there doing the right things. I’m trying to remember the last time a soldier was charged with chopping off a prisoners fingers one by one or leaning them over a butcher block to chop off their head for simply speaking ill of Bush. Can anyone give me an example? And can someone explain how this guy stays in office?
He expressed concern about polls showing concern of the war’s progress overshadowing polls that show growing Muslim support for democracy and growing rejection of terrorism. A day doesn’t pass that we don’t hear about someone expressing concern about the “quagmire” we’re stuck in and calls for us to leave Iraq immediately in the news. The media just kind of ignores the fact that Iraqis are reporting the locations of weapons caches, suspected insurgents, and IEDs more and more each day.
Rumsfeld approached a variety of topics during his speech. At one point, he even made guarded references to the Sheehan Clan outside Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas. He mentioned the hundreds of families that President Bush has met with and how he continues to visit injured troops in at Walter Reed in DC. He said that the vast majority of families the President has visited with are supportive of continuing the mission to completion.
One the things that I was considerablly impressed with were his comments on the new constitution in Iraq. He made many references to our own constitutional problems we’ve had for the past 200 years. He said that this country’s constitution has had its share of problems that only now the Iraqis are starting to see. I mean, slavery was legal under the original constitution as well as the prohibition of women voters. It took us years to get that right. Currently, there are 27 amendments to the Constitution, and more are being proposed all the time. Even after all this time, WE don’t even have it right yet. How can we expect the Iraqis to get it right on the first try? Sure, they have our help and guidance, but we can’t write their constitution for them. We can teach them our mistakes, but they have to do it on their own.
Overall, I was very impressed by the speech. My only criticism was the way the town hall-style meeting took place. Before Rumsfeld arrived, one of the officers asked for 10 high-speed volunteers for a “dangerous mission.” 10 soldiers volunteers and a family member of a deployed soldier were chosen. As they filed past me, I noticed little 5×7 cards in their hands with something typed on them. A few minutes later, they went back to their seats and the speech took place.
When he was finished talking, Rumsfeld mentioned that the floor was open to any questions the soldiers may have and directed them to a microphone in the center of the floor. Almost immediately, those 11 volunteers made their way to the microphone. The cards had contained pre-arranged questions that they would ask. In his defense, these were not cheesy or easy questions. They were difficult questions addressing the optempo (the rate at which we’re being deployed), recruiting woes, media frustrations, and other examples. However, while those guys were asking their questions, two other individuals, one a family member, walked up and took their places in line to ask questions. After about eight questions, the CG ended the Q and A session and gave the SecDef a token of appreciation for coming to the post. Those two other individuals never got to ask their questions. I suppose they were trying to avoid another potential “why are we digging through the trash for armor” type question, but I found that part of the meeting hokey. Are we not intelligent enough to ask our own questions?