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or a pretzel (10-23-3)

A memo purported to be written by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld criticizing the progress in the War on Terror found itself leaked to the press and the public just days after President Bush made it clear he wanted no more leaks.

Bush demanded of his staff, ?no more leaks. I mean it,? to which the staff replied, ?anybody want a peanut?? One staff member who did not get the reference added, ?or a pretzel,? bringing up painful memories for the Commander in Chief. He was summarily shot and then fired from his position, his wife and children relocated to Camp X-Ray.

Now, the memo didn?t have all the flare of Rumsfeld?s speeches, with all the jingoist energy the Defense Secretary puts into his appearances before the press, but it sounds like him, numerous sentences that don?t quite repeat one another but don?t quite add anything to the overall message either, short, simple, republican (if you will) sentences. But, of course, then there?s the message of the piece, that our progress in the War on Terror could be a great deal better and it will be a ?long, hard slog? getting things finished properly in Afghanistan and Iraq.

In light of the President?s recent remarks regarding leaks and in light of the regular cheerleading done by Bush and his people, including Rumsfeld himself, in favor of our great success so far in the War on Terror, this memo amounts to one of two things:

And, it will be so easy to nudge the warmongering Right right past the issue of our War on Terror not going so well, for how could we, America, ever lose anything? We won World War I. We won World War II (and don?t you forget it, France). We kicked yellow ass in Korea and Vietnam and in Iraq Part I, we routed those Iraqis like it was nobody?s business. And, if not for that draft dodging, intern screwing, liberal Bill Clinton we would have had Saddam out of the picture back then, of course. And, don?t even get us started on how the Iraqis and the Afghanis are thanking our soldiers every day for saving them from the horrific regimes of Terror in their respective countries. We all read the same letters, and if all those soldiers had exactly the same things to say about those thankful Iraqis, it has to be true.

And, stepping past the issue of our less than spectacular progress in the War on Terror, there?s little to the Rumsfeld memo except to say the CIA doesn?t have the authority it needs to protect us from Terrorists the world over and the military needs a new, more Homeland Security centric branch (not to say the existing branches aren?t right there jumping into the fold every day to save us from evil) to do it part in protecting us from those same Terrorists.

So, the question is, how smart is Rumsfeld, how conniving is the Bush regime and how real (read: unplanned) are the White House leaks?

And, since we?re asking questions, isn?t it mightily convenient how Daniel Pearl was now killed by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who previously was little more than a suspect in a bunch of unprosecutable crimes?

And, why do we need a ?culture of life? in America (see Bush?s line about the Terri Schiavo case) when so much of what we do lately is mete out death across the globe?