Sunday, May 17, 2009

True Believers

The above picture is one of eleven cover sheets featured in the GQ article And He Shall be Judged, a damning exposé on former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

The amateurish cover sheets adorned top-secret intelligence briefings approved by Rumsfeld and featuring triumphant images from the Iraq war effort. But it's the quotes above the images that reveal way too much about Bush's crusade. Straight from the Bible they came: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand."

I can only see this as a cynical and crafty move by Rumsfeld:
The Scripture-adorned cover sheets illustrate one specific complaint I heard again and again: that Rumsfeld’s tactics—such as playing a religious angle with the president—often ran counter to sound decision-making and could, occasionally, compromise the administration’s best interests. In the case of the sheets, publicly flaunting his own religious views was not at all the SecDef’s style—“Rumsfeld was old-fashioned that way,” Shaffer acknowledged when I contacted him about the briefings—but it was decidedly Bush’s style, and Rumsfeld likely saw the Scriptures as a way of making a personal connection with a president who frequently quoted the Bible. No matter that, if leaked, the images would reinforce impressions that the administration was embarking on a religious war and could escalate tensions with the Muslim world. The sheets were not Rumsfeld’s direct invention—and he could thus distance himself from them, should that prove necessary.
So this is why I never again want a "true believer" as president. Bush was too easily manipulated. Convinced he had a calling from God, he shunned diplomacy, rushed to war, and was simply reckless.

It's a miracle we didn't all die in a big mushroom cloud.

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