PostHeaderIcon Onward, Christian Soldiers!

Here is more evidence that nothing is sacred… er… let me rephrase that… Here is more evidence that nothing remains secret forever, and trying to take the edge off the dreadful business of war with a sense of humor can come back to bite anyone involved in prosecuting one.

A reader sent me a link to a powerful “GQ” article about Donald Rumsfeld. Essentially a hatchet job on the man I used to cheer for his adroit handling of the press during his daily briefings, it reveals that daily top secret “Worldwide Intelligence Update” documents frequently included bible passages over military imagery on their cover:

On the morning of Thursday, April 10, 2003, Donald Rumsfeld’s Pentagon prepared a top-secret briefing for George W. Bush. This document, known as the Worldwide Intelligence Update, was a daily digest of critical military intelligence so classified that it circulated among only a handful of Pentagon leaders and the president; Rumsfeld himself often delivered it, by hand, to the White House. The briefing’s cover sheet generally featured triumphant, color images from the previous days’ war efforts: On this particular morning, it showed the statue of Saddam Hussein being pulled down in Firdos Square, a grateful Iraqi child kissing an American soldier, and jubilant crowds thronging the streets of newly liberated Baghdad. And above these images, and just below the headline SECRETARY OF DEFENSE, was a quote that may have raised some eyebrows. It came from the Bible, from the book of Psalms: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him…To deliver their soul from death.”

This mixing of Crusades-like messaging with war imagery, which until now has not been revealed, had become routine. On March 31, a U.S. tank roared through the desert beneath a quote from Ephesians: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” On April 7, Saddam Hussein struck a dictatorial pose, under this passage from the First Epistle of Peter: “It is God’s will that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish men.”

That last one was my favorite, and it is also indicative of the agenda of Robert Draper. While he sees Saddam striking a “dictatorial pose,” I see him looking rather foolish reading something in full uniform, beret, and huge reading glasses on Iraqi TV. Anyone not humor challenged, or obsessively Politically Correct, would have naturally laughed at the biblical “caption”; and the implication that it was done seriously to pander to Bush’s religiosity is itself laughable.

One must read further to learn that it wasn’t Rummy who started the practice, although he apparently enjoyed them. Since these were “eyes only” hand delivered documents, one might have been forgiven for having a bit of “gallows humor” type fun with a dreary business. I seem to recall referring to Napalm victims in ‘Nam as “Crispy Critters.” I wonder what the PC crowd would have done with that.  🙂

Unfortunately, Draper’s central premise that these covers would be inflammatory if viewed by Jihadis is correct. Therefore, one must ask why in the world he has released them to the world at:

Firefox with NoScript installed wouldn’t let me view them, no matter how I tried to disable it, so I had to use IE to see them; but I suspect the Jihadi’s will not have much trouble. 🙁

I recognize that in the end, even the Republicans were down on Rummy, because the years of demonization by the Progressives had taken their toll, and he became a political liability at the polls; but I remain convinced that he was a Patriot, who did his best for his country during one of its most challenging periods, and his service was definitely a net plus. I suspect his attempt to drag the military out of its heavy armor and artillery oriented past, and into the 21st Century paradigm requiring light and mobile forces, created most of his enemies within the Pentagon, who assisted the chattering class in bringing him down.

While Draper portrayed it as a petulant power play inspired failing, I particularly appreciated his reluctance to send Federal troops into New Orleans for a law enforcement roll during Katrina. In contrast, I suspect the current administration would regard such a situation as “an opportunity that shouldn’t go to waste,” and would send in the Federal troops with barely concealed glee. â—„Daveâ–º

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