Thursday, November 1, 2007
Rumsfeld: Muslims avoid physical labor.., wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," "link Iraq to Iran", develop "bumper sticker statements"
Rumsfeld memos show his unique spin on the war on terror
"In a series of internal musings and memos to his staff, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld argued that Muslims avoid "physical labor," and wrote of the need to "keep elevating the threat," "link Iraq to Iran" and develop "bumper sticker statements" to rally public support for an increasingly unpopular war.....
Spanning from 2002 to shortly after his resignation following the 2006 congressional elections, a sampling of his trademark missives obtained Wednesday reveals a defense secretary disdainful of media criticism and driven to reshape public opinion of the Iraq war.
Rumsfeld,....produced 20 to 60 snowflakes a day and regularly poured out his thoughts in writing as the basis for developing policy, aides said......
In a 2004 memo on the deteriorating situation in Iraq, Rumsfeld concluded that the challenges there are "not unusual." Pessimistic news reports - "our publics risk falling prey to the argument that all is lost" - simply result from the wrong standards being applied, he wrote in one of the memos obtained by the Washington Post.
Under siege in April 2006, when a series of retired generals denounced him and called for his resignation in newspaper op-ed pieces, Rumsfeld produced a memo after a conference call with military analysts. "Talk about Somalia, the Philippines, etc. Make the American people realize they are surrounded in the world by violent extremists," he wrote. People will "rally" to sacrifice, he noted after the meeting. "They are looking for leadership. Sacrifice (equals) Victory."
The only man to hold the top Pentagon job twice - as both the youngest and the oldest defense secretary - Rumsfeld suggested that the public should know that there will be no "terminal event" in the fight against terrorism like the signing ceremony on the battleship Missouri when Japan surrendered to end World War II. "It is going to be a long war," he wrote. "Iraq is only one battleground."
Based on the discussion with military analysts, Rumsfeld tied Iran and Iraq. "Iran is the concern of the American people, and if we fail in Iraq, it will advantage Iran," he wrote in his April 2006 memo.....
In one of his longer ruminations, in May 2004, Rumsfeld considers whether to redefine the terrorism fight as a "worldwide insurgency." The goal of the enemy, he wrote, is to "end the state system, using terrorism, to drive the non-radicals from the world." He then advised aides "to test what the results could be" if the war on terrorism is renamed.
Neither Europe nor the United Nations understands the threat or the bigger picture, Rumsfeld complains in the same memo.
He also laments that oil wealth has at times detached Muslims "from the reality of the work, effort and investment that leads to wealth for the rest of the world. Too often Muslims are against physical labor, so they bring in Koreans and Pakistanis while their young people remain unemployed," he wrote. "An unemployed population is easy to recruit to radicalism." If radicals "get a hold of" oil-rich Saudi Arabia, he added, the United States will have "an enormous national security problem."......"