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"History will be kind to me, for I intend to write it."-Winston S. Churchill

"The wandering scholars were bound by no lasting loyalties, were attached by no sentiment of patriotism to the states they served and were not restricted by any feeling of ancient chivalry. They proposed and carried out schemes of the blackest treachery."-C.P. Fitzgerald.

Thursday, October 23, 2003

The Straight Talker 

In an age of contrived "straight talkers", such as Howard Dean, it is refreshing to find that our Secretary of Defense, Donald H. Rumsfeld, is willing to challenge his people to think outside the box. It is also symptomatic of the times that a memo written by Rummy to prod his combatant commanders into thinking anew is being used by Democrats to criticize the Administration for having "no plan" to win the war.

The "Rumsfeld Memo" was leaked (of course) to damage the Administration and the Secretary. Instead, it makes him look as if he is in command, is challenging his subordinates to think anew, and is definitely not Robert S. MacNamara. The text of the memo can be found here.

What slays me are the lengths to which antiwar Democrats, among other chatterers, are willing to spin this story into a confession that Rumsfeld believes we are "losing" the war or need to change our strategy.

Don Rumsfeld concentrates on the itty bits...

If one reads the text, one perceives a man challenging his subordinates to think outside the box and come up with new tactics and means for measuring success. This is vitally important in any orgnanized endeavor. Don Rumsfeld is nothing if not a pragmatic improviser, an individual who is quite willing to challenge people within the building to challenge themselves. In a leader, that makes all the difference.


Meanwhile, the controversy over the remarks made by Lt. General William G. Boykin appear to be grist for the mill of the Secularization crowd. Boykin is an evangelical Christian who lives his devotion to Christ and doesn't mind sharing his opinions with others. So it has gotten him into trouble. Thankfully, Conservatives are coming to this man's defense. Cliff May gives a good defense of Boykin in this day's NRO. Apparently, liberals believe that this man's devotion to the concepts of Good and Evil, God and Satan, will make a billion and a half Muslims madder at us than they already are.

Personally, I am tired of catering to a people whose distinguishing characteristics appear to be paranoia, fanaticism, and a willingness to lick the boot of any Fascist who comes along and promises to provide a good swift boot to the head of the nearest Jew. I am sure that Bush will keep this general. He's a fighting soldier; we can't spare his kind.


Governor-Elect Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) appears to be storming Sacramento. He gets sworn in on November 17th, and has already spoken of a Special Session of the Legislature to reform California's workmen's comp laws and to deal with the Budget.


George W. Bush appears to have had a relatively successful trip to the APEC Conference. While there, he made sure to touch base with the Pacific Allies: Japan, Australia, Thailand, and Singapore. Bush also met with President Roh of Korea. I suspect two objectives in this trip (aside from the usual Meet-N'-Greet to which the APEC Summit has degenerated): gin up cash and support for the Iraqi transition and promote a consensus among the Western Pacific Powers about North Korea. What to do about the Chia Pet who rules the Mad Hatter State of North Korea remains the central concern of East Asian policymakers. China holds the hole card here, and is in no mood to be helpful right now, despite protestations to the contrary.

Why should China solve a strategic quandary for the United States without getting anything in return?
It makes no sense for the Chinese to cooperate in strategic terms. North Koreas nuclear weapons, if they have them, are no threat to China. They do give the United States headaches, however.


In other surveys, Victor Davis Hanson turns in another workmanlike effort in last week's National Review. Meantime, Mark Steyn hacking away in this week's issue of The Spectator, argues that the Tory Party must become more like the American Republican Party if it is to return to Whitehall anytime soon. Finally, as definitive proof that Great Minds Think Alike, Andrew Sullivan agrees with Yours Truly that a Bush-Rice ticket is the path to the Promised Land in 2004.

Don't get me wrong, I love Dick Cheney. I think he's great. But the Republican Party needs to promote a new generation of conservative leaders, of which Bush the Younger is but the first. Besides, Cheney needs to get back to fly-fishing and take care of that ticker of his. Condoleezza Rice is conservative and is hard as nails in the international relations department. When given the authority to command, that is what she does.

Condi in style...


In addition, she looks good in blue.



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