Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Bush Supports "Don" Rumsfeld

The White House deftly changed the Defense Secretary’s name to “Don”, Tuesday, to avoid confusion with the embattled Donald Rumsfeld who has come under sharp criticism from critics and military generals. President Bush unveiled the new name today in a press conference.

“I stood up and said, ‘I don’t appreciate this speculation about Don Rumsfeld; he’s doing a fine job; I strongly support him,” the President said. And then he added, “I listen to all voices, but mine is the final decision and Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job.”

Bush then mentioned in consecutive sentences that “Don” Rumsfeld was helping America fight a war on terror, in-case anyone hadn’t known. This is not Donald Rumsfeld oft criticized for ignoring advice and sending too few troops dressed in inadequate body armor to maintain peace in Iraq. This is "Don" Rumsfeld, a military transforming maven conquering evil world-wide.

“He’s fighting a war on terror,” The president said. And then to clarify, “He’s helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld. I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I’m the decider, and I decide what’s best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense.”

A forgiving Don Rumsfeld gave comments at the Pentagon after Bush’s spirited defense. “With all of those challenges to try to get from the 20th century, the industrial age, into the information age, to the 21st century, from conventional warfare into a regular and asymmetrical warfare, is a difficult thing to do. And, by golly, one ought not be surprised that there are people who are uncomfortable about it and complaining about it.”

Rumsfeld seemed comfortable in his new, albeit minuscule, name change.

But on small things do larger things rest! Will this bit of slight-of-hand fool others from criticizing Don Rumsfeld? Is the Donald Rumsfeld of old--the grumpy, haughty, war hawk--gone forever; replaced by an old, southern slang-speaking, forgiving "Don" character? Will this name change, released in the wake of introducing new cabinent member Robert "Rob" Portman, quietly take hold in people's subconscious? Only time will tell but you can bet the new stage name is no accident.

Historians are already pointing to the echoes of 1967 when President Lyndon Johnson suddenly began referring to Robert McNamara, his embattled Secretary of Defense, as “Bob”. Robert “Bob” McNamara resigned in 1968. In 2003 he was the subject in the documentary “Fog of War” explaining eleven lessons he had learned from his life, mainly focusing on hindsight gained from high-level mistakes made during the Vietnam war. It is unsure if Donald “Don” Rumsfeld has seen the film.

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