Donald Rumsfeld, under fire from a platoon of retired generals who have called for his resignation, went on the offensive by appointing himself a retired general.
Accompanied by a currently employed general, who, as the head of The Joint Chiefs Of Staff, is his usual sidekick, he stated, As The Secretary of Defense, I think I should at least be on an equal footing with a retired general, and, after careful consideration, I decided to become one.
A reporter then asked, As a retired general, what is your opinion on Donald Rumsfeld?
I think hes doing an outstanding job, Rumsfeld replied. In fact, I think, while Ive said no one is indispensable, theres always an exception to the rule.
How about his handling of the war in Iraq? another reporter queried.
What war in Iraq? Rumsfeld countered. The war in Iraq was over the day we pulled down Saddam Husseins statue. Whats going on now is the post-war recovery.
There are some who say you underestimated the resources that would be required in the post-war period. Can you comment on that?
As a retired general, the post-war scenario is not my specialty. On the other hand, as The Secretary of Defense, I can say that, while I used all of my absolutely first-rate foresight, I am not clairvoyant. Therefore, I could not know beforehand how many Sunnis, who had it better under Saddams tyranny, would rather destroy their own country than live in peace with the Shiite majority. Since I couldnt know that the two warring Muslim factions would destabilize their own country, I could not possibly anticipate how much stabilization wed have to try to establish. Nor could I anticipate how many members of al-Qaeda would come rushing in and try to turn the self-destabilized country into the next frontier of their suicidal goal of establishing a pan-Arab medievalist Islamic tyranny.
Would you change anything in hindsight? another reporter asked.
Of course, I would. Like everybody else, I do have clairvoyant hindsight. First, I would have made myself a retired general a long time ago, so I could have been the first one to stand up for myself, instead of taking all the potshots Ive had to before I realized how to deflect them. Second, during the invasion, I would have dropped a ton of leaflets on Iraq that predisposed the population to peace.
What kind of leaflets? a reporter asked.
Ones we would have, at that early date, been able to translate into their language with an Iraqi-English dictionary: Shiite + Sunni = Nice Peaceful Country. Shiite Sunni = Lots of Dead People.
Do you think those leaflets would have made a difference? a reporter asked.
Of course. While no leaflet is indispensable, it would have helped these warring factions realize if you cant live in peace with each other, you cant do anything together except kill each other.
The final question came from a reporter, who asked, Do you plan to retire?
You missed the point, Secretary Rumsfeld replied. I already retired. How do you think I became I retired general.
I mean, do you intend to retire as Secretary of State?
I think one retirement every decade or so is plenty, dont you?