In the September 11 Commemorative Edition of Newsweek, in the “Perspectives” section (sorry, no link: I cannot be bothered to pay the money for access to the Newsweek archives to find it for you), Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is quoted as saying, in regards to the idea of international support for US military action against Iraq, “It is less important to have unanimity than it is to be making the right decisions and doing the right thing.”

God this sort of thinking makes me mad sometimes.

I do not claim to know why Muslims or anarchists or terrorists or Orthodox Christians or whoever seem to develop a hatred for our nation. But if I had to hazard an explanation, I would be very tempted to start with the supposition that this self-justifying style of thinking might constitute a pretty important reason.

What makes Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney (because if you really think Iraq is all Dubya’s project, then you’re sorely mistaken. This is the veep’s and Rumsfeld’s project. Dubya is in it in part because he likes the idea of finishing the job his daddy started) so goddamn sure they are right? On what objective evidence do they base this? Do you feel threatened by Iraq tonight?

I know Tony Blair is expected to reveal evidence that is very condemnatory of Saddam. I know the Saudis just said the US might have access to air bases. I know Colin Powell is pushing for UN involvement. And I know the Bush administration want to put the onus for all of this on Saddam. I know the news on this changes every day, as we coax world opinion around.

And ultimately, I think Rummy, Cheney and Bush will get their way, which will serve to justify Rumsfeld's thinking, at least in his own head and many others.

But I’m still incensed at the SOD’s comment. Shit, with such an ignorant statement, he may very well think he's inherently right simply because that's what he thinkg. I'm not saying he's necessarily wrong. But it's that asserted assumption of rightness that can be so American at times that pisses off so many.

Wonder if Rummy sits up and wonders why all but one other country in the world is not supportive of military action in Iraq (or very conditionally supportive), at least at the moment? Why the elected leaders of that one other nation are openly questioning Britain's support of US-led action? Again, not saying one stance is right or wrong. I'm just pissed that one of the most powerful men in the nation, who we never elected, is attempting to make policy based on his own opinion, and his own understanding of right and wrong.

For a man who has lived in a democratic society for a long time, I'm surprised Mr. Rumsfeld still misses a number of key points on majority rule, democracy and the like. At the very least, he ought to pay some lip service to the majority opinion before stuffing the "we're going to do it anyway, so you can either support us now and share the credit or let us kick ass and then deal with our anger about it later" unilateral approach down the nation's and the world's throats.

Hell, maybe he is right and Saddam really is the threat they're all making him out to be. But god, the words he uses: "better to be making the right decisions and doing the right thing" than having some consensus. Translation: everyone who doesn't not explicitly agree with me (us) is wrong. So screw you.

Damn. I cannot even articulate a decent argument about this now. Let's hope Colin Powell has a good week.