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Friday, December 10, 2004

 

transformation


justin raimondo at antiwar.com has become one of the most direct, insightful articulators of the politics of our times. his column should be a must-read three times a week. he is rarely off point.

again today, he submits a demystification of what transformation is -- rumsfeld's plan for a lighter, faster deploying, more flexible military:

The armed forces of an empire are continually in motion: At any moment, vast armies must be dispatched halfway around the world: this is what it means to be "flexible." But one must also be flexible about a rising casualty count: an imperialist foreign policy requires military action that is necessarily rushed, inefficient, and wasteful -- of material resources and human lives.
moreover, raimondo -- like washington and eisenhower -- is not insensitive to what the growth of the military means. once a military establishment both realizes its own power and lacks the moral restraint to keep from exercising it, no government by civilians can long survive.

Roman emperors feared nothing so much as their own Praetorians, and a hint of that seemed to flicker across Rumsfeld's face as he parried a second sharp question, uttered respectfully enough by a soldier from the Idaho National Guard's 116th Armored Cavalry Brigade, who asked Rumsfeld what was being done "to address shortages and antiquated equipment" suffered by National Guard soldiers on their way to Iraq. The New York Times reports:

"Mr. Rumsfeld seemed taken aback by the question and a murmur began spreading through the ranks before he silenced it. 'Now, settle down, settle down,' he said. 'Hell, I'm an old man, it's early in the morning and I'm gathering my thoughts here.'"
But why should they settle down when they're being sacrificed on the altar of an obscenely overweening ambition? How will they react when they begin to understand that they're being used as pawns in a bigger game that has nothing whatsoever to do with hifalutin' notions of "democracy" and "human rights" – and everything to do with making the world safe for Israel and fattening the wallets of entrepreneurial policymakers such as Richard Perle and former CIA director James Woolsey?

Telling them to "settle down" may not be enough.


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