Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has increased the frequency of his random comments during Pentagon briefings. Yesterday, Rumsfeld deviated from the script and asked commentators to quit with their comparisons of the destruction in Baghdad to World War II bombings. We assume he meant Dresden, Germany—the mother of all (conventional) bombing campaigns.

The Secretary continued by describing the differences between World War II ordinance and modern ordinance. He noted that carpet-bombing was necessary long ago because the technology to hit precise targets didn’t exist.

This war in Iraq has hundreds of targets and great care has gone into making sure that the targets aimed for are the targets that get hit. Consequently, he declared modern bombings in general and the bombing of Baghdad specifically to be “an enormously impressive effort, a humane effort to do what is necessary to reduce this threat against our country and that region, and to eliminate a regime that has killed hundreds of thousands of human beings.”

Translation: the US is conducting the most humane bombing in the history of history and all peace mongering punks need to stuff it. If you could get a bombing with a level of humanity like this one, you’d have no choice but to count yourself as a very lucky son of a gun.

To everyone in the anti-war movement and, indeed, everyone who has ever been subjected to the Bush Administration’s well-oiled propaganda machine, Rumsfeld has no credibility. He speaks nonsense, and he speaks it well.

To praise a bombing campaign on its “humane effort” is ridiculous and insidious. We want to laugh it off, but we can’t get past the hellish pictures on TV.

The cameras show an empty city ablaze, dark plumes of smoke rising into the air. Nobody dying. Nobody crying. It’s absurd.

From his regular vacation spot at Camp David, Bush hinted that a lot of Iraqis are now dead when he said that Saddam has put “innocents in a place where their lives will be lost.”

No kidding. Is that place called “Baghdad” by any chance?

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