Dada Rumsfeld: Absurd Words From Washington’s Highest-Profile Loser
Dadaism was a wacko cultural movement dreamed up by artists, writers and musicians. First announced in neutral Zurich on Bastille Day, July 14, 1916, in the middle of World War I, it was the “reaction to what many of these artists saw as nothing more than an insane spectacle of collective homicide.”
Dadaism quickly spread across Europe and came to New York, its main proponents being avant-garde photographer Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp, whose iconic “Nude Descending Staircase” is featured in every art history course that deals with the modern era.
The basic tenet of the Dada art, music and literature was screaming, wrenching, fingernails-on-the-blackboard absurdism.
Rumsfeld is a modern-day Dada absurdist—a man who totally ignored the lessons of history and then bitterly complained that critics of his work “seem not to have learned history’s lessons.”
Rumsfeld and History
The U.S. military has been in the war business for more than 250 years. It has an institutional memory. Its commanders—from Washington and Grant to Pershing, Eisenhower, MacArthur, and Colin Powell—knew their military history and strategy. They understood how wars work.
Rumsfeld opted to ignore history and mount a radical new and untested war. In The National Review Online of March 31, 2003, Stanley Kurtz wrote:
Secretary Rumsfeld is an advocate of military “transformation”—the use of advanced technologies (smart bombs, night vision, surveillance drones, etc.) to achieve victory without the need for large numbers of ground troops.
The upshot: Rumsfeld’s Iraq campaign broke hundred-year-old rules of warfare. An invading army needs large numbers of support troops to follow it—civil affairs specialists, military police, medical and engineering units, as well as supply companies—to maintain order, deal with prisoners of war and administer the newly conquered territory.
The most egregious failure of Rumsfeld’s theory—indeed criminal negligence—was a dearth of troops to secure the vast Iraqi weapons caches and ammunition dumps that were allowed to be looted by the insurgents and are directly responsible for the three-year killing spree.