When Dubya was assembling his cabinet, many observers thought that Colin Powell would be a better fit at Secretary of Defense rather than his eventual position as Secretary of State. In the case of Donald Rumsfeld, the press and public went easy on Dubya.

As a Cold War relic that served as Defense Secretary under Ford in an administration that was never elected and never meant to be, Rumsfeld entered the same position in an administration that was never elected and never meant to be–the current Bush Administration.

After US inspectors arrived to examine the crashed spy plane on Hainan Island, Rumsfeld issued a very specific order stating that all military contacts with China were suspended.

Being the crazy old fart that he is, Rumsfeld clearly missed the implications of his position. The last thing the US needs is a diplomatic tit-for-tat because our Defense Secretary is one dead brain cell away from going nuclear.

The only way to recover the plane is through continued engagement with China. The only way to keep the Chinese government and military stable is through continued engagement. Cutting off contact is uncalled for and puts US interests in Asia at risk.

Spin from the White House said that a Rumsfeld aide had “misinterpreted” the objective of the memo. Of course. That’s exactly what happened.

It’s easy to blame someone who is just trying to climb the government ladder on a career track. It’s much harder to simply say that Rumsfeld is completely out of his league in handling the interdependencies of modern global politics.

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