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Rumsfeld’s snowflakes

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld often wrote memos to his staff that he labeled “snowflakes. ” Snowflakes? How cute! Do you suppose Cheney writes “gumdrops” for his staff? Condi Rice penning “puppy kisses,” perhaps?

One of these Rumsfeld “snowflakes” is getting all sorts of attention today. As The Washington Post reports:

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.

The memos, often referred to as “snowflakes, ” shed light on Rumsfeld’s brusque management style and on his efforts to address key challenges during his tenure as Pentagon chief. Spanning from 2002 to shortly after his resignation following the 2006 congressiona l 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.

The White House is flipping out today, trying to distance themselves from these memos that label Muslims lazy. Dana Perino, current White House spin doctor, even had the audacity to say this: “We are aware that we have a lot of work to do in order to win hearts and minds across the Arab world and the Muslim world and I can understand why they would be offended by those comments.” Of course, you’d think that if the White House were really that aware of all the work they need to do in order to win hearts and minds across the Arab world, they wouldn’t be championing an Attorney General nominee (Michael Mukasey) who refuses to label waterboardin g as torture.

But I digress…Rums feld’s snowflakes, so to speak, provide some of the most brazen insight into the spin world of the Bush administrati on since 9/11. Here are some examples that literally had my jaw hanging wide open for a few moments…

  • 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.
  • 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.

Not that I had any doubt before, but this really is a 1984 world that the Bush machine has created. Test what the results could be if we renamed the War on Terror? Is this the Department of Defense, or a bunch of executives trying to repackage New Coke?

A spokesperson for the Council on American-Isl amic Relations, Ibrahim Hooper, sums this all up best, saying that these memos…er, snowflakes…r eflect the “stereotypic al attitude” that not only led us into war, but also sold war to the American people in a nicely wrapped media package.

“Our policy was never based on reality,” Hooper said. “It was based on the wild ideas of those who wanted to invade the region. … It shows you what kind of wrong-headed policymakers we had at the time.”

Welcome back to the front page, Rumsfeld. Meanwhile, if you want a Friday laugh, check out this list of synonyms for Rumsfeld’s snowflakes. My favorite is “butterfly kisses.”

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2 Responses to “Rumsfeld’s snowflakes”

  1. I wish I was shocked by this news.

  2. I want these guys to come up with a snowflake shirt

    http://tshir tinsurgency. com/

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