Every visit to Iraq by U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld over the past two years has been like a bad omen, a harbinger of bad times. All but his most recent trip on April 12.
On this last visit to Baghdad, Rumsfeld must have felt like he was reciting his own obituary.
He came to attend his own funeral and see with his own eyes his dead body being taken to an unknown cemetery.
He came to give his defeated Iraq project a final look. Poor Rumsfeld, he had high hopes for the project, and had wanted it all for himself.
He had amassed 140,000 troops and had hopes of turning Iraq into a gigantic company that would flood the entire region with its products.
But the company in which he invested so much has collapsed. His friends have turned against him and his enemies cheer as the project falls apart.
It was Rumsfeld’s ninth visit to Baghdad, but this time he came empty-handed.
He had nothing to offer the disgruntled Iraqis and had nothing to say to his grumbling troops, suffering from daily attack and frustrated because they cannot seem to accomplish anything.
Keeping Rumsfeld in his post is nothing but a persistence to repeatedly commit the same error, despite the grave consequences of doing so.
At least once, he should have visited the Abu Ghraib prison, before the atrocities committed there were leaked to the press.
I pity America, because it stubbornly persists in rejecting the best advice: That the policies of people like Rumsfeld will do nothing to improve America’s deteriorating image in the Arab world.
I wonder whether Rumsfeld will tell his White House masters of the true outcome his ill-fated Iraq project, and whether any of his plans have escaped the inferno he has created.
You have planted fear and harvested regret. You wanted to make friends, but have created so many enemies.