We met the height of hypocrisy on Friday when Bush gave Grotesque ParadeRumsfeld a “Going Away Parade” while Dick Cheney danced in the grass with admiration — not for the dead — but for the deadly, in the guise of his old-school pal, Rummy.

The parade was also a smiling burial ceremony for the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations.

There’s nothing quite as atrocious as throwing a parade to celebrate all your failures that are measured in pints of blood and countless coffins and not ribbons and flags.

Rumsfeld was given a color guard, marching musicians with piccolo players, a 19-gun salute — Cheney’s shotgun was reportedly not part of the festivities — and the undying applause of his best neocon buddies who all helped him perpetuate the Iraq war in America when we only wanted to pay back Afghanistan.

All that seems predictably crass enough, but the pinnacle of the “Incredible Inappropriate Comment” happened earlier in the week when Bush told People Magazine, “I must tell you, I’m sleeping a lot better than people would assume,” and if that wasn’t insult enough to the families of the dead soldiers who bled their hearts out in Iraq, he also told Fox news his presidency has been “joyful.”

I can’t think of a single parent that would ever be “joyful” standing over the coffin of their buried child, who served a sleeping and joyous president, while finding death in duty from the dirt of Iraq. Why let death and mayhem ruin a parade?

Grotesque Parade

Joyce Rumsfeld, Rummy’s wife, even received a “Distinguished Public Service Award” ribbon for placing around her neck.

“Today, it should be clear that not only is weakness provocative,” Mr. Rumsfeld said, standing at a lectern with President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney at his side, “but the perception of weakness on our part can be provocative as well.”It was a clear parting shot at those considering a withdrawal from war that would define his legacy and perhaps that of the president. “A conclusion by our enemies that the United States lacks the will or the resolve to carry out missions that demand sacrifice and demand patience is every bit as dangerous as an imbalance of conventional military power,” Mr. Rumsfeld said in a buoyant but sometimes emotional speech.

The real parade sunders below them all in their infinite indecision.

Grotesque Parade

In opening remarks, Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, did refer indirectly to the Abu Ghraib torture scandal, which Mr. Rumsfeld has called the low mark of his tenure. But General Pace did so in complimenting Mr. Rumsfeld for ultimately taking the blame for prisoner abuses for which the general placed blame on others down the chain of command.Mr. Cheney’s declaration that “Don Rumsfeld is the finest secretary of defense the nation has ever had,” was more in keeping with the tone of the event. With Mr. Rumsfeld’s resignation — forced by Mr. Bush as he seeks a new approach in Iraq — Mr. Cheney is losing one of his closest allies in the administration. Mr. Rumsfeld hired Mr. Cheney to work in the Ford administration.

Both men served as White House chief of staff, in the House of Representatives and as secretary of defense. (Mr. Rumsfeld has been secretary of defense twice, the first time for President Ford.)

It must be time for the rest of us to take a nap and try to dream up the joy that comes so easily to minds that only worry about their place in history and never the deaths at the hands of the infinite now.


  1. It was unbelievable to watch, Nicola. It was like these adult men playing dress-up and having a private party in public where they grin and boast over their losses that they think are wins. It was surreal.

  2. “Charlie’s Angels” is so funny, Anne! That was a great 70s television show and the three old men walking down the green on Friday sure did look like Farrah, Kate and Jaclyn!

  3. The question is one of accountability — or the lack thereof, Anne. The election seems to not have had an effect on any of them.
    I realize the Democrats want them to keep digging their own hole but the price of that waiting game is the death of more soldiers.

  4. Yes, Anne, but we need one more Constitutional amendment before we start all over again: “No government sponsored parades allowed while the nation is at war.”

  5. Ah, Nicola! Outstanding questions!
    It was a full-bore military parade. I’m sure it cost a good deal of money and there are absolutely hungry mouths to feed.
    The mainstream media reported it as some sort of reverent event instead of the crass circus it was. We have no context any longer.

  6. i’m confused. Are Hannibal Lecter and Rumsfeld the same guy? How come Rumsfeld smiles sometimes and Hannibal Lecter just gets out a little smirk every once in a while? And who really killed more people if they’re not the same guy? And how come Hannibal had to wear that iron mask and Rumsfeld goes Scott free all the time? If they try Rumsfeld for war crimes will he have to wear the mask too? Would his wife be allowed to trade in her medal to get him off?

  7. You ask great questions, fred!
    It’s fascinating to me that two weeks ago the plan was to let Rummy stay until he beat McNamara as “the longest serving Secretary of Defense” and then suddenly Rummy was being tossed out 10 days before the record was his and we were quickly having a parade for him instead.
    McNamara and Rumsfeld: Such idealistic company deserves no records or ribbons or victory wreaths.
    Someone in the administration was smart enough to get ole Rummy out the door so the record would not be his and stain the Bush legacy forever in the same historic breath. They’ve never short of cunning.

  8. fred —
    I get it — it’s all evolutionary biology — but when you are losing the now so horribly your transparent endgame doesn’t have any matter or relevance any longer.

  9. David- The endgame is obvious to you and me and all of your readers here, but to many people (not that many any more thank God) with the wool pulled over their eyes, they are as easily herded as those sheep the wool came from, and as easily fleeced.

  10. David- The same money funds everyone and everything. These funds are like the life blood (or possibly death blood in this case) of the entire system. Conspiracy theories are highly stigmatized so many people don’t want to see that the media, corporations, military, even educational systems are in cahoots. Akhenaton, centuries ago tried to end war, and the whole industrial system crumbled. People “learned” from that lesson and don’t want to repeat it. Why did so few senators, congressmen and people in power support the war to begin with?, when the average “hippie” knew it was just another ruse, like all war. Peoples basic philosophy is dualistic and ridiculous, it needs to be changed at it’s roots. The same people who fund Fox news, fund Halliburton who has 100,000 people over in Iraq frauding the government and raking in the big bucks. The troops are supporting Halliburton. These same funds even support you and me and we are used by these funders for their own advantage no matter what we do. Either we’re called liberal weenies (Rush), dumb hippies or whatever. We’re all just used. Human sacrafices. We are sacraficed by “God” for we must all “die” it’s natural. These funders see this and decide to sacrafice us themselves and play “God,” and we can’t figure a way out of their game. They contol the paper we’re made to have faith in, and it doesn’t matter who is president, as some financier once said. Hillary the big supposed liberal was for the war. Wellstone was against it, but his plane crashed. As Lloyd George said “We must bomb Nigg…’s. None dare call it racism. The people are supposed to control the airwaves. They pay for it, but don’t realize it’s theirs. So is the oil, land, and natural resources. The truth is illegal. (Nietzsche).

  11. Colin Powell is on the warpath again: To resurrect his destroyed reputation —

    WASHINGTON: The former secretary of state Colin Powell said Sunday that badly overstretched U.S. forces in Iraq were losing the war there and that a temporary U.S. troop surge probably would not help.
    In one of his few commentaries on the war since leaving office, Powell quickly added that the situation could be reversed. He recommended an intense coalition effort to train and support Iraqi security forces and strengthen the government in Baghdad. Powell was deeply skeptical about increasing troop levels, an idea that appears to be gaining ground as President George W. Bush weighs U.S. strategy options.
    “There really are no additional troops” to send, Powell said, adding that he agreed with those who say that the U.S. Army is “about broken.”


  12. David- In the future they won’t. That’s the goal. That’s why i include enlightened people AND wealthy people, (perhaps my phrasing was unclear) and not just one or the other. An enlightened person with zero wealth can not even eat, as the system exists now. There seems to be a recent movement where some super wealthy people want change (Bill Gates? Branson? Soros??) but they seem clueless about where to begin. Enlightened people know where to begin, but they can barely afford to eat, as a rule. The people printing this “faith backed paper” make sure only “harmless to the system,” people get much of it. This is the way the present system works. “God” and “Mammon” have been intentionally structured to go in opposit directions. This at least 8,000 year old system is so embedded people can barely begin to comprehend an alternative. Most people are limited by the language of this system, and must get more in touch with nature to transcend those limits, and start a concrescence to counteract the concrescence of the pseudo live blood that courses thru the veins and arterys of the real living universe. Animism, was killed wherein previously everything was alive, (around the time of Descartes); all this life was then transplanted into this paper which is really as close to dead as possible, but appears to most people to be and act as if it were the blood of life itself.

  13. David- Yes. i’ve noticed that whatever happens to an ant’s nest they always know exactly what needs to be done. i’ve read if a steel plate in placed to divide a termite nest they start making a mirror image from one side to the other, so if the plate is removed they are most ready to resume from the best position. This is despite the fact that their communication is apparently cut off from each other.
    People on the other hand, get neurotic, psychotic, stymied, vicious, panic, authoritative, passive, play dead, drunk, or every word and concept that has ever been given. Perhaps we should raise ourselves to their level somehow for a start.
    One of my favorite cartoons shows the hydrogen bomb going off in the distance and one cockroach says to the other “too bad, they made nice chocolate chip cookies.”

  14. I guess when you keep digging a hole, the only life that will survive are the cockroaches.
    Let me know if you find that cartoon, fred, it sounds so good!

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