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Guest Opinion: Why Rumsfeld doesn't deserve a 'distinguished' post at Hoover

Original post made on Oct 30, 2007

My freshman year at Stanford, I took a humanities class in which the professor, former Stanford University President Gerhard Casper, banned tape recorders during lecture.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Wednesday, October 31, 2007, 12:00 AM

Comments (35)

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Posted by D
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2007 at 1:54 pm

Very well said!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 30, 2007 at 3:32 pm

Eric,

Not so well said.

You failed to mention the total failure of the petition to ban Rumsfeld from Hoover. It has, as of today, 3909 signatures, out of a potential pool of over 180,000. It did not explode, as Prof. Zimbordo predicted.

You quote Bernstein. Why? He is the history professor who said that the dropping of the A bombs on Japan was not justified by poetential casualties of an allied invasion. Worse, he said Japan was about to surrender without an invasion. There are very few credible history professors of the WWII period who would agree with that assesment. Big credibility issue, Eric.

Rumsfeld used the army he had to overthrow Saddam. I notice that you did even mention that brutal dictator's name. How could that be, Eric? Last I heard, Saddam was captured, tried and hanged. One would hope that you could at least celebrate that fact. Do you?

In case you haven't noticed, the tide of the war in Iraq is swinging towards a victory (for Iraq, the U.S./British/other committed U.S. allies and Rumsfeld...and Bush and Rice and neocons, etc.). Al Quaeda is on the run, and the Sunnis are now teaming up with U.S. forces. If the Democrats, other leftists and various other appeasers don't snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, Iraq will have a very hopeful future...potentially a democratic state that stirs up the region in revolutionarily positive ways. It would be the end of Al Queada, worldwide.

BTW, did Don Kazak talk to you about writing this fluff piece?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stanford's Shame
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2007 at 3:41 pm

It's too bad Casper isn't still at Stanford. This appointment could be halted at the top. Anyone who claims it can't be thus halted is ignorant about the vagaries of university politics.

Where is President Hennessy on all this? To endorse people like Rumsfeld with an appointment is a bloch on Stanford's name.

Hennessy has managed to raise a lot of money in the Valley, and it's well known that some very deep pockets here LOVE the Rumsfeld/Bush initiative.

It would be interesting to see where the new Stanford endowment moeny is coming from, and how much of it is coming from individuals who are sympathetic to the Bush cause.

This appointment is way over the top. Let Rumsfeld speak at Stanford. Why not? But to *honor* Rumsfeld - someone who has caused so much *unnecessary* mayhem and death, and been caught doing so?

Stanford - a great institution - can do better than that, *unless* it's just about the money.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 30, 2007 at 4:08 pm

Shame,

I certainly hope that sane people are giving their money to crack open the leftist coffin at Stanford. Long overdue. Let freedom ring!

Shame: Are you Eric?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by alumnus
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 30, 2007 at 4:44 pm


This is a dead issue all that is left is senseless bickering-- which
some posters clearly enjoy dragging on and on and on.

The best thing Casper did at Stanford was to appoint Condy Rice-- fortunately she will be back soon. Then we can have ROTC here

The fights in academia are so very ugly because the stakes are so very very low--


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Posted by Observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2007 at 5:31 pm

Gary,
Calm down and take a deep breath. The world is not going to end because of one letter.

First, the petition does not call for a "ban" of Rumsfeld from Hoover. It says:

"We, the undersigned members of the Stanford community, strongly object to the appointment of Donald Rumsfeld as a "distinguished visiting fellow" at Stanford's Hoover Institution. We view the appointment as fundamentally incompatible with the ethical values of truthfulness, tolerance, disinterested enquiry, respect for national and international laws, and care for the opinions, property and lives of others to which Stanford is inalienably committed."

See? It objects to his appointment as a "distinguished visiting fellow".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by .
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 30, 2007 at 5:35 pm

Gary-- You're a three-trick pony. "The petition didn't explode." "Bernstein questioned the use of the atomic bomb." "We're kicking @$$ in Iraq."
And with those three lines, you demean and dismiss every person who questions this appointment. Do you believe in free speech?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 30, 2007 at 6:21 pm

Observer,

"Calm down". Really? Why? I have always run on 'go'.

Ah, yes, the petition calls for a ban on Rumsfeld at Hoover ("strongly object to the appointment of Donald Rumsfeld as a "distinguished visiting fellow" at Stanford's Hoover Institution"). Hoover is entitled to appoint Rumsfeld, in whatever fashion it chooses. The petition wants to ban this choice. It failed. Time to face reality.

Why was this "guest opinion" published by the Weekly? It was not just some letter to editor. Did Don Kazak invite Eric Z. to opine?

Fess up Don and Eric. You got something going here?

.,

Yes I question the motives of those who hate Rumsfeld, and his appointment at Hoover. Next question?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Oct 31, 2007 at 3:11 pm

The Left's last hope - censorship.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Librarians and Tree Huggers
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 31, 2007 at 3:22 pm

"The Left's last hope - censorship"

Does this mean you are admitting the Right controls essentially all powerful institutions, including think tanks, mass media, elite schools, finance, corporations, law enforcement, judiciary, State Dept., military, defense contractors, covert operations, intelligence gathering, etc?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 31, 2007 at 4:37 pm

According to Paul Krugman, who defends the liberal national security record, the left is as strong in most of those areas as the right.

Go complain to him.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Librarians and Tree Huggers
a resident of Stanford
on Oct 31, 2007 at 9:49 pm


Back it up, Gary.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2007 at 3:49 am

When was the last time rightists shouted down a leftist?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Librarians and Tree Huggers
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 1, 2007 at 7:58 am

Right-wing warmongers called peace activists "traitors" and "terrorists" for opposing the Iraq war.

The same wingnuts are still smearing those of us who have known all along that The Surge would not work.

Have you heard USA may force diplomats to serve in Baghdad because so few want to risk their lives to work there.

And who can forget GWB's immortal words:

"You're either with us or against us"

So Walter, when will you name even one powerful left-wing institution?



 +   Like this comment
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 1, 2007 at 10:09 am

LTH, I express an opinion of your ideas. I do not demand you be banned. How about Soros, the NEA, the AFL, the UN, Public employee unions, Hollywood, Public Broadcasting, most universities as examples of left power? Plus, of course, the Communist Internationalle.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Librarians and Tree Huggers
a resident of Stanford
on Nov 1, 2007 at 11:39 am

Wallis:

It's really odd, because none of those "left-wing" "institutions" lifted a finger to stop the Iraq Invasion.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2007 at 12:02 pm

LTH,

Krugman was on NPR within the past couple of days. One of his main points was that the liberals are as strong on national secuirty as is the right. He claims it is just misperception that has labelled the left as weak in military affairs. You can probably find the show if you look for it on NPR website. BTW, I don't buy his thesis but, hey, it's a free world.

You say the surge has not worked. Today a report from the Iraqi government said that casualities, across the board, are dramtically down. Back up your stuff, LTH.

It is abundantly clear to me that the left in this country would rather see a defeat (thus a victory for Islamists) in Iraq, than to see George Bush get the credit for a victory. Yes, that does seem traitorus to me.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 1, 2007 at 12:14 pm

Gary--then if you believe that people expressing their opinions on the war in Iraq (or as you put it "the left in this country would rather see a defeat (thus a victory for Islamists) in Iraq, than to see George Bush get the credit for a victory") are being traitors, I suggest you get in touch with the FBI, Homeland Security and other law enforcement agencies and demand that these people be charged, arrested and prosecuted. then maybe we will have some court decisions which will define what is a "traitor".


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2007 at 2:02 pm

Marvin,

Traitors, as those I have described, haven't been prosecuted in the U.S. for most of our history. When they cross over to being actual spies, as opposed to mere traitors, they sometimes get their just rewards (Rosenbergs, Hiss, Hansen, etc.). Even Fonda, who gave material support to the coumminists in N. Vietnam, was not convicted of being a traitor, even though she was.

Marvin, permit me to ask you a simple question: Would you like to see a U.S./Iraqi victory over Saddam, and the Iraqi people with purple fingers, or would you prefer that Saddam still be in power? An extension of this question is whether you would credit George Bush with bringing about such a revolution of freedom?

The anti-Bush crowd must be getting pretty tight sphincters at this point. The surge HAS worked, and Iraq is heading towards freedom. Of course, anything can happen in war (Turkey?), so nothing is a sure bet, but this one is heading north very fast.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 1, 2007 at 2:25 pm

So they are traitors only in your eyes--not in the eyes of the government or the courts. As others have pointed out--the technique of labeling opponents of a war etc as traitors/unpatriotic/supporters of terrorism etc has been used for ages to attempt to discredit people who do not think like thos ein power and/or to discourage free speech and lawful disagreement with those in power.

We beat Saddam within weeks of the start of the war--what we bungled was the immediate aftermath through a series of mistakes carried out by people in power with no military experience and who though they knew better and discounted advice from those commanders on the ground (i do not need to mention names, you know who I am referring to)--these mistakes included not having enough soldiers and those soldiers were not properly outfitted and supplied, disbanding the Iraqi army, to name a few.
Of course lying to the american people about WMDs and Saddams "ties" to 9/11 did not help.
You should really ask the people of Iraq whether they are happier without Saddam or not. But I guess what they want does not matter to Bush/Cheney/rumsfeld/Condi/rove etc,


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2007 at 3:05 pm

Marvin,

The majority of the Iraqis welcomed the American coalition forces as liberators. If they wanted Saddam relesed, after he was captured, they would have demanded as much. In fact, they wanted him dead. He is dead. That is a good thing, right Marvin?

There were no lies about WMD. You lefties keep saying that, without any substance. There MAY have been miscalculations, but that is quite different than lies.

There were many retrospective mistakes in Iraq. As with any war. Your point is?

It looks like Iraq will emege from their decades old nightmare to become a relatively free Mid-East state. Not a done deal yet, but looking good. Surely, you can celebrate that, Marvin...yes? no?

Marvin I never expect you to credit GWB for such a tremendous outcome. But, surely, you can feel good about the liberation of Iraq.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Marvin
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 1, 2007 at 3:15 pm

Gary--

"The majority of the Iraqis welcomed the American coalition forces as liberators. If they wanted Saddam relesed, after he was captured, they would have demanded as much. In fact, they wanted him dead. He is dead. That is a good thing, right Marvin?"

That was then--let's ask them now after all that is happened and see what they say.

"There were no lies about WMD. You lefties keep saying that, without any substance. There MAY have been miscalculations, but that is quite different than lies."

You can spin this any way you want (a perfect example of your spin is you calling anyone who says that the administration lied about WMDs is a lefty)--Bush and his cronies lied about the WMDs.
It was a deliberated and calculated lie to try to tie Saddam and Iraq into the events of 9/11 by preying on people's fears.
Bush, ROve, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condi, even Powell lied through their teeth about it. They lied, they knew they were lyingand they still did it.
Spin it any way you want.


"There were many retrospective mistakes in Iraq. As with any war. Your point is?"

There were mistakes that should not have happened. Bush/Cheney/rumsfeld, with their years of military experience, did not know how to run a war. Remember Rumsfeld's "you go to war with the army you have, not the army you want" quote? They also ignored advice from military leaders. Rumsfeld thought he knew better from his comfy office in the Pentagon. They sent in the troops underquipped--families of troops were spending their own money for vests, armor etc for the troops.
It was bungled completely by Bush and his cronies.
The point is that hundreds of troops losttheir lives due to gross incompetence and negligence by our "leaders".

"Marvin I never expect you to credit GWB for such a tremendous outcome. But, surely, you can feel good about the liberation of Iraq."

I have to admire you for putting such a positive spin on such a debacle--spoken like a true Bush/Cheney acolyte.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 1, 2007 at 4:05 pm

Marvin,

Most wars are debacles, even the so-called good ones. This one, in Iraq, is relatively low on that scale. If Iraq emerges as a liberated and relatively free state, the cost would shrink in comparison.

Have you ever seen that nighttime satellite view of Korea? You know, the one that shows S. Korea ablaze in lights, and N. Korea almost completely dark? The Korean war was immensely more costly than the Iraq war (blood and treasure and civilian casualties, etc.). It was not popular in the U.S., yet the U.S./UN perservered to prevent a communist takeover of the south. Too bad the north was saved by the Chinese, but that is now its problem.

Marvin, you carp about this or that, but you miss the big picture. Bush sees the big picture. The left has been left behind by history.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Observer
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 3, 2007 at 8:11 am

In fact things are going SO well in Iraq that now the Turks are thinking about invading!
Wait -- I thought the Kurds were supposed to be on our side.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Forest, not trees.
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 4, 2007 at 7:25 am

You can thank the Dems, as usual, for this set-back. The Dems are so desperate for a failure in Iraq, they voted for yet another condemnation of Turkey for the genocide of the Armenians in 1915. The THIRD ONE in the last 90 years. Why now???? It is obvious, to &^%-off the Turks, who clearly stated that if the Congress did this, they would no longer hold to their agreement for restraint against the Kurd terrorists crossing the Iraq border into Turkey, trying to establish ( a completely hopeless cause) a separate Kurdish nation.

So,if this turns into another war, you can call it Pelosi's war. In fact, the dems have been busily back-pedaling trying to undo the damage they did, because it was such a completely obvious and anti-Iraq stunt, it is blowing up in their faces.

It was a completely irresponsible attempt to de-stabilize the region while BUSH is president. They cared not one whit about the effect on our nation nor the effect on Iraq, except as it pertains to drawing political blood on Bush. If a Democrat were president, they would not have done this. In fact, if a Democrat were in charge, they would not have undermined the war at all, Iraq would have calmed down sooner, and we would have fewer troops there. But, the Dems have been very successful, with media help, at encouraging the belief in the world that we are still a nation that will quit before the job is done, who doesn't have the stomach to finish, who will turn tail and run and give Iraq over to dictators. So, of course, the forces of dictatorship keep trying hard to "make it so", and the blood of many more people is on the hands of the Dems, who have prolonged this war through their actions.

Ah, but, of course, only the next generation will be able to acknowledge this, just like the generation after Vietnam is the one who can see that the same people who protested in the streets then and run the Democrat party now are the ones whose propoganda actions resulted in withdrawing from Vietnam on the cusp of victory, and who are responsible for the resultant slaughter of millions in Vietnam and Cambodia.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Mellow
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Nov 5, 2007 at 7:17 pm

Blackwater. Blackwater. Blackwater.


Just take a look at Blackwater. Then you'll see why Rumsfeld is a disgrace.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by huh?
a resident of Midtown
on Nov 6, 2007 at 12:50 pm

wow, now Rumsfeld ran Blackwater? Amazing amount of power for an advisor..


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 6, 2007 at 1:22 pm

Blackwater serves an important function in Iraq. Among other things, it ensures that diplomats get to where they need to get, safely. Private security will continue to grow, until the Islamists, around the world, are defeated. Why not? These guys tend to be highly trained ex-military, and they can cash in on their previous low-paid official jobs. They are a real resource. Even the Iraqi government, which plays the populist card when a serious dustup occurs, doesn't want them banned (just suspended while an investigation can buy some time).

Rumsfeld did not run Blackwater (or other privates), but he was smart enough to hire them to provide their services.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Facts
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 6, 2007 at 1:42 pm

Gary--Don;t let the facts get in your way:

Web Link
Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 6, 2007 at 2:27 pm

Facts are important things. I always respect them, especially when they are surrounded by other facts.

Facts, you should read your won stuff:

"While the Blackwater name may be removed from security operations surrounding U.S. diplomats in Iraq, American officials and members of the security community in Baghdad said the company's men and other assets in Iraq would likely be taken over by one of the many security companies currently working in Iraq."

The facts are that private security companies are important, and will continue to be for some time in Iraq (and other places). Blackwater has been in the PR crosshairs for a long time. Not that they are different, in any essential way, from other major privates, but they are connected with the Bush administration (via their founder).

The Iraqi government is buying time, becasue it know that the privates are doing a good job. Once the attention on Blackwater is gone, it will probably be back on the streets.

Blackwater deserves praise for a job well done. Same for the other privates.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Facts
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2007 at 6:26 am

Gary I did read my own stuff:

My link stated ( and you quoted):
"While the Blackwater name may be removed from security operations surrounding U.S. diplomats in Iraq, American officials and members of the security community in Baghdad said the company's men and other assets in Iraq would likely be taken over by one of the many security companies currently working in Iraq."

This contradicts the "facts' that you stated:
" Even the Iraqi government, which plays the populist card when a serious dustup occurs, doesn't want them banned (just suspended while an investigation can buy some time)."

AS I said do not let the facts get in your way


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2007 at 10:08 am

"While DynCorp and Triple Canopy already work in Iraq, neither company is believed to have the infrastructure in place to take over Blackwater's responsibilities in the six-month period demanded by the al-Maliki government."
.
.
.

"With the investigations and reviews ongoing, it would be clearly premature to say that any definitive determinations have been made about the future of the Blackwater contract," a senior U.S. official in Baghdad said."

Stay tuned, Facts.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Facts
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 7, 2007 at 10:12 am

Well, the question is also, is Iraq really a free, independent country now (i.e. can they Blackwater) or are they a feifdom of the US


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Nov 7, 2007 at 12:01 pm

Quite a different question, Facts, but a fair one.

Iraq, if it turns out to be a success, will probably roughly follow the model of S. Korea, although U.S. forces will not be perpetually there, unless there is an imminent threat of invasion (Iran? Syria?? Turkey???). The USA will probably never be loved there (it isn't loved in S. Korea). Goes with the territory...'liberators' are only loved if they liberate and leave immediately.

The private security firms are important now, but they will eventually be replaced by Iraqi security forces. Blackwater is the most visible of the privates in Iraq, so they get the overall blame when civilians are killed. The other privates also have the same issues, but they can hide in the shadow of Blackwater.

The Iraqi government wants to faze out the privates, as it should, but it also understands the need for them at this juncture. That is why negotiations are "ongoing".


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Posted by a
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Nov 7, 2007 at 9:10 pm

Another victory for the Bush administration.

Air travelers are asking for trouble if they show up for a flight with 3.5 ounces of shampoo in their carry-on bags. But the Department of Homeland Security has decided that the government should not even trouble chemical plants to account for the storage of anything under 2,500 pounds of deadly chlorine. The department's new rules on reporting stockpiles of toxic chemicals, issued last week, have certainly made the industry happy. They should make the public worried.

Chemical plants — and petroleum plants, paper mills and other industrial facilities that use dangerous chemicals — are one of the nation's greatest vulnerabilities. An attack on such a facility could create a deadly chemical cloud that would put hundreds of thousands of people in danger. Just consider the result of an accidental train derailment in North Dakota in 2002 — a cloud of deadly chemicals hundreds of feet high and several miles long — and magnify it by what would happen if terrorists planned and carried out an attack in a highly populated area.

The government should be doing everything it can to guard against such catastrophes.

The Bush administration has shown repeatedly, however, that it does not want to impose reasonable safety requirements on chemical plants. That may have to do with its general opposition to regulations, or it could be connected to the enormous amount of money the chemical industry spends on lobbying and campaign contributions. The industry does not want to bear the expense of serious safety rules, and it fights them furiously. In a recent study, Greenpeace reported that the chemical industry spent more money in a year lobbying to defeat strong chemical plant legislation than the Department of Homeland Security spent on chemical plant security.

The rules the department issued last week are far too lax about when facilities need to report stockpiles of chemicals like chlorine, fluorine and hydrogen fluoride to the government. According to the new rules, which watered-down proposed rules that the department had released in April, a chemical plant does not have to report the storage of 2,499 pounds of chlorine, even if it is located in a populated area — or across from an elementary school.

If 450 pounds of chlorine are stolen, enough to cause mass casualties, the theft need not be reported. Chlorine has been used by insurgents in Iraq, and it is high on the list of chemicals that should be kept out of terrorists' hands.

It is troubling that these industry-friendly rules were developed in part by Department of Homeland Security employees who previously worked for the chemical industry — and who may one day work for it again. Rick Hind, the legislative director of the Greenpeace Toxics Campaign, contends that such employees have had an "undue influence." The department says it draws on former chemical industry workers simply because of their "relevant prior experience."

Bennie Thompson, the Mississippi Democrat who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, has rightly compared the chemical storage rules to "putting a Band-Aid on a broken leg." Congress needs to step in now and pass a strong new chemical plant law — one that puts more weight on the safety of the public and less on industry's bottom line.
- New York Times Editorial


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