Dec. 20, 2004 #01:  Political Satire/Commentary where satire is always commentary but commentary isn't always satire(but we're confident you'll know the difference)  Search PoliSat.Com Home  Tell a friend about PoliSat.Com    Subscribe   Permanent link to this installment in PoliSat.Com's Archives    Google-News list of recent updates    About author, Jim Wrenn.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld assigns self to sign condolence letters and re-sign those undersigned by machine; Bush declines design to assign Rumsfeld to resign.

            Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld in a Pentagon assignation consigns himself to assign himself to sign condolence letters and re-sign letters previously undersigned by machine.  Despite criticism of Rumsfeld by some families of troops who died serving their country, President George W. Bush declines designs to assign Rumsfeld to resign.  Commentary on this issue warrants commentary on the commentary but requires that it be done in a way to express sincere appreciation for, rather than callous acceptance of, the supreme sacrifices made by Americans of the same caliber as the Brits of whom Churchill spoke when, at the end of the Battle of Britain, he said, "Never ... has so much been owed by so many to so few."

            To contend that Rumsfeld's having allowed a signing-machine to affix his signature to condolence letters evinces a "callous" attitude toward the memories and families of troops who made the ultimate sacrifice is to indulge in moral character assassination.   In the immediate aftermath of the 9-11 blast at the Pentagon, Rumsfeld placed his own safety in jeopardy by his actions to rescue and help others.  His instincts are no less noble than those of the best among his critics (e.g., Ret. Col. David Hackworth, Sen. John McCain, Sen. Chuck Hagel, Sen. Evan Bayh, etc.) and far more noble than the instincts of most of his critics (e.g., Ted Kennedy and the rest of the Michael Moore wing, fuselage, cockpit, landing gear, and tail assembly of the current, no-more-Scoop-Jacksons Democratic Party).  Rumsfeld's instinctive actions made it obvious that he possesses the kind of selfless courage that is simply incompatible with "callousness" towards others-- especially towards those serving their country.

Resigning Designing Re-Signing.

I'm Rumsfeld, whom critics accuse
of callous decisions to use
a signing machine
in lieu of pristine
displays of my p's and my q's.

My purpose was not to disdain
recipients' losses or pain
but rather to speed
the comfort they need
to cope with such losses and pain.

I hereby resign from designing
facsimile methods re:  signing
condolence expressions--
So motives aren't questioned,
those letters I'm promptly re-signing.

In Defense of Rumsfeld.

Since Don on Eleven of Nine
put safety of self on the line
to help other victims
in Pentagon schisms,
by "callous" he can't be defined.

Though some of his critics have shown
the courage he proved that he owns,
the others have not
got half that he's got--
It's they who have callousness shown.

            Anyone with common sense (and without a political motive) can easily understand there to be a mathematical point of diminishing returns beyond which it would be a sign of incompetence for a Secretary of Defense to personally sign all condolence letters-- i.e., the point beyond which the time devoted to such actions would jeopardize the availability of time to competently perform other duties in order to minimize the risks of further deaths.  Rumsfeld's professed intent that using signature-facsimile equipment would minimize another kind of pain-- i.e., delay-- is not a sign of callousness.  Not having suffered such a loss, I cannot, of course, guarantee that such a loss would not unleash emotions blinding me to this reality, but it would be my hope that it would not.

--Jim Wrenn, Editor@PoliSat.Com.

Installment immediately preceding the one above, go here.


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Questions for Americans:

Shouldn't we be at least as generous in supporting the families of our troops killed or injured while serving our country in Afghanistan, Iraq, in America and throughout the rest of the world as we were for the families of the victims of 9-11?  Here are some suggestions:

*Salute American Heroes*  *Support Fallen Heroes Fund*

Shouldn't we recognize that many, if not most, instances of foreign anti-Americanism in the late 20th Century (like most of the foreign anti-Americanism today) focused reactionary rage against maintenance of, and willingness to use, human-rights-respecting power against forces that oppose liberty and favor the "stability" of the status quo?   See a retrospective on Ronald Reagan.   Shouldn't we recognize that despite arguments to the contrary by devotees of the United Nations that the world remains a yet-to-be-civilized place in which the wise exercise of human-rights-respecting power more than intellectual sophistry can best assure the survival of liberty?

Shouldn't we recognize that "property rights" are among the most fundamental of "human rights" and are therefore vital to the survival of liberty?  See "'Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness' versus 'Life, Liberty [and] Property.'"

Questions for secular thinkers:

Shouldn't secular thinkers be at least as respectful towards ordinary people of faith as George Bush is towards ordinary secular thinkers, and shouldn't ordinary secular thinkers repudiate fanatical secular fundamentalists at least as firmly as Bush repudiates fanatical religious fundamentalists?  Shouldn't secular fundamentalists learn to recognize the unscientific nature of their own leaps of faith before throwing stones at unscientific leaps of faith by ordinary people of faith?  See satire/commentary about Secular Fundamentalists and Religious Fanatics.

Shouldn't people professing to be secular thinkers learn to understand the difference between science and political science (i.e., politicized science)?  Shouldn't radical environmentalists learn to understand that their views are little more than modern forms of pantheism?  See Satire/Commentary about Pantheopians.  Shouldn't they learn to objectively and scientifically scrutinize theories such as Global Warming at least as rigorously as they scrutinize "creationism"?  See "Global Warming or Scientific Flatulence?"  See also the commentary on proposed "climate stewardship" legislation and the animated illustration, "Goblins of Globalized 'Warming.'" 

Shouldn't people professing to be secular thinkers learn to understand that what science reveals about human evolution supports, rather than undermines, the sensibility of a rebuttable presumption that monogamous, heterosexual marriage best serves the interests of children notwithstanding the sensibility of recognizing civil unions to accord comparable (but not identical) privileges to mutual-support partnerships?   See  commentary "Evolution versus Revolution" and the animated illustration, "Devolution versus Evolution."

Questions for people of faith:

Shouldn't people with faith that a Deity created free will recognize that compulsory piety would be offensive to such Deity?

Shouldn't people with faith that a Deity created free will recognize that political compromises limiting the power of government to compel conformity with theocratic doctrines over which other people of faith, as well as secular thinkers, can reasonably disagree would not be offensive to such Deity?  See commentary about our Founding Documents, the Constitution and the Creator.