Monday, October 27, 2008

Men of Power

I was walking down Connecticut Avenue in the Dupont Circle in Washington DC when Donald Rumsfeld passed by me, probably on his way to the Hilton. His age shown clearly on his face; he was somewhat bent over at the shoulders, and his gait was perceptively unsteady.

I was momentarily struck by a feeling of disbelief not by the fact that he was there in the flesh, but because such a singularly inconsequential-looking man could have yielded such power over the life and death of the country of Iraq.

Donald Rumsfeld, chief architect of the Second Iraq War, is essentially a war criminal guilty of horrific crimes against humanity, yet he freely walks among us and enjoys life in the rarefied atmosphere of the wealthy. He is a man enraptured by the hollow dream of empire; he was emboldened by the power of the State.

Donald Rumsfeld is a reminder of the fragility of the mantle of civilization and the wisdom inherent in the US Constitution's clearly defined stipulation that only Congress has the power to declare war.

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