Saturday, August 05, 2006

The Sound of One Domino Falling

This is the headline of an editorial in the New York Times about Donald Rumsfeld. Those of you who follow these things know that Rummy got ticked off by Hillary Clinton and that the generals with him told us the obvious news about Iraq: that it's falling into a civil war, that violence in Baghdad is as bad as it has been since the occupation began. -- This on the same day that several hundred thousand young men marched for Hezbullah there, shouting "Death to Israel! Death to America!"

And what does Rumsfeld tell us? This:

"If we left Iraq prematurely," he said, "the enemy would tell us to leave Afghanistan and then withdraw from the Middle East. And if we left the Middle East, they'd order us and all those who don't share their militant ideology to leave what they call the occupied Muslim lands from Spain to the Philippines." And finally, he intoned, America will be forced "to make a stand nearer home."

And this:

As for Mr. Rumsfeld, he suggested that lawmakers just leave everything up to him and the military command and stop talking about leaving Iraq. "We should consider how our words can be used by our deadly enemy," he said.

What is the sound of one Rumsfeld in the woods, if no-one hears him? Now that's a koan.