11 February 2005

truly donald rumsfeld's smile is a frightening thing to behold. this morning i was in the middle of my second mile on the treadmill when cnn had a story about the secretary's visit to wounded troops in iraq field hospitals.

following rumsfeld through a ward, the camera revealed soldiers who were sad, frightened, stoical, in pain. in a stark and rather upsetting contrast, rumsfeld's face remained locked in that forced, mirthless, ridiculous grin the entire time. he smiled and smiled and generally talked to a point about two inches above the poor wounded guy's head. it's an apt symbol of the neoconservative worldview if there ever was one: i like what i see! because i see exactly what i want to see at all times! pity about that missing leg, soldier!

also, more directly related to the article linked above: having marines act as "trainers" or "mentors" to "small, elite" counterinsurgency forces harks back to a jillion and one bad (morally; politically; practically) foreign policy decisions during the reagan years. i recognize that those were generally crazed, murderous right-wing death squads, and these are scarily outgunned police forces (also, iraqi insurgents are not so similar to the sandinistas or the fmln or what have you), but it still makes me worry.