Rumsfeld belongs at the Hoover Institute
What I find amazing is that with all his vast experience, Rumsfeld consistently made the wrong choices. He botched a necessary war (Afghanistan) so that he could start and botch an unnecessary war (Iraq) while squandering America’s hard-earned reputation as a country that truly believes in human rights by setting up torture camps in Cuba and Iraq.
His choices, however, were pretty much in line with the Hoover Institute’s political philosophy. Indeed, the Bush administration has largely been the Hoover Institute’s chance to put their ideas into practice, with disastrous results. Condoleeza Rice was a Hoover fellow and former provost of the university and Rumsfeld was on the Hoover Institute’s board of trustees before W.
As a foreign policy team, Rice and Rumsfeld have made consistently atrocious decisions. They ignored the White House’s chief counter-terrorism advisor Richard Clarke’s repeated warnings that Al Qaeda was dangerous and planning something in the US before September 11. They ignored just about everyone in deciding to invade Iraq under false pretences. Then, after lying their way into an invasion of Iraq, they failed to do any contingency planning if things didn’t go according to their post-conflict predictions that were so rosy they could only have been dreamed up by a fantasist on happy pills. To maintain that fantasy, Rumsfeld fired a whole slew of generals who showed their disloyalty by telling the truth while under oath at Congressional hearings. That barely scratches the surface of the folly perpetrated by the Hoover alumni.
Let’s look at a few of Rumsfeld’s eye-wateringly stupid decisions:
*Invade Afghanistan with too few troops to hold the country or hunt down Al Qaeda and Taliban forces.
*Invade Iraq under false pretences.
*Invade Iraq with too few troops to occupy or pacify the country.
*Seize the oil fields but leave the museums unprotected.
*Dismiss the Iraqi Army and all Bath Party officials leaving no one to maintain law and order or running water or electricity or any other function of government.
*Bring in private companies to do what the military should and could do and for much less money.
*Set up torture camps in Iraq and Cuba and probably in Afghanistan.
*Refuse to send military aid to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina until his decision was overridden by Bush.
There are plenty more, such as pissing off the UK by refusing to share technology in joint military research and development programs, such as the Joint Strike Fighter.
But all of that is really par for the course for Hoover. In general, on any given policy issue, the Hoover Institute can pretty much be counted on getting it wrong. So is it really any surprise that they would like Rumsfeld back? I’m pretty sure that Rice will be back there in 2009.
Don’t believe me about the Hoover Institutes? Here are a few examples of the Hoover Institutes pearls of wisdom:
On current extinction rates:
“The loss of thousands of species per year? About 1,600,000 species have been identified. Estimates of the actual number of species range from 2,000,000 to 80,000,000. No one knows the rate of extinction or the rate at which new species are arising. The best current estimate based on actual observations, and using an extremely high estimate of the likely increase in the extinction rate, is that about seven-tenths of 1 percent of species may go extinct over the next 50 years.” See for yourself here.
Actually, scientists who spend their lives studying the issue disagree by many orders of magnitude. New York’s American Museum of Natural History polled 400 scientists. According to the museum’s press release: “The majority (70%) polled think that during the next thirty years as many as one-fifth of all species alive today will become extinct, and one third think that as many as half of all species on the Earth will die out in that time.” See for yourself here.
1970: about 200 million.
2004: about 300 million.
1970: nearly 3 million.
2004: about 1.3 million.
Deployed forces including National Guard and Reserve:
1970: 475,000, down from 535,000 two years earlier (Vietnam)
2007: 180,000 (Iraq and Afghanistan)