Donald Rumsfeld's Heart
by Mickey Z.

February 9, 2004

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When Secretary of Defense (sic) Donald Rumseld recently defended US motives and actions in Iraq, the man Henry Kissinger called "the most ruthless" he'd ever met, summed up his feelings as such: "I know in my heart and my brain that America ain't what's wrong in the world."

Those eloquent words called to mind something Bush the Elder once said: "I will never apologize for the United States of America. I don't care what the facts are."

To paraphrase the Australian philosopher Barry Gibb: "How deep is your denial?"

In case you're thinking it's a male thing, Condoleeza Rice, US National Security (sic) Advisor for Bush the Lesser, displays just a touch less shortsightedness: "There is nothing wrong with doing something that benefits all humanity, but that is, in a sense, a second-order effect."

And for you Kerry voters out there...it's not just a Republican thing.

CBS Correspondent Leslie Stahl asked Bill Clinton's Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, this question: "We have heard that half a million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And-and you know, is the price worth it?"

Albright famously replied: "I think this is a very hard choice but the price-we think the price is worth it."

For some bi-partisan myopia, there's always Dr. Kissinger, a man whose loyalties swung from LBJ to Tricky Dick to Ford, Carter, and almost Dubya (9/11 Commission): "Almost as if according to some natural law, in every century there seems to emerge a country with the power, the will, and the intellectual and moral impetus to shape the entire international system in accordance with its own values... In the twentieth century, no country has influenced international relations as decisively and at the same time ambivalently as the United States. No society has more firmly insisted on the inadmissibility of intervention in the domestic affairs of other states, or more passionately asserted that its own values were universally acceptable...No country has been more reluctant to engage itself abroad."

In this election year, I propose a lack-of-reality TV show called "Who Wants to be a War Criminal?" It'll be hosted by Madeleine Albright, the Queen of Denial and author of this classic: "The United States is good. We try to do our best everywhere."

The winner gets four years in the White House and a free DVD of "Bowling for Columbine."

Postscript: A 1996 Amnesty International report concluded: "Throughout the world, on any given day, a man, woman, or child is likely to be displaced, tortured, killed, or 'disappeared,' at the hands of governments or armed political groups. More often than not, the United States shares the blame."

Mickey Z. is the author of two upcoming books: A Gigantic Mistake: Articles and Essays for Your Intellectual Self-Defense (Prime Books) and Seven Deadly Spins: Exposing the Lies Behind War Propaganda (Common Courage Press). His most recent book is The Murdering of My Years: Artists and Activists Making Ends Meet. He can be reached at mzx2@earthlink.net.

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