Militärphilosoph

Military philosopher.

A taz.de description of Donald Rumsfeld.

(Meal eat ERR feel ose OFF.)

Krankenpfleger-, Dolmetscher- und Übersetzerpreise

Prices of nurses, interpreters and translators.

A year or two after the second U.S. invasion of Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld said the occupation was having trouble finding enough nurses and translators and he was thinking about reinstating the draft but just for people in those professions. His proposal came as a bit of a shock, but the problem was no surprise. Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni for example had criticized in the run-up to Iraq II that Mr. Rumsfeld and his people had thrown out years of resource planning the Pentagon had researched for invasions into that (and any) corner of the world.

Consequences: No drafts for that one. Maybe the next one. General Zinni appeared to be punished for speaking out and forced to retire. He wrote books, became a decent television pundit and joined the private sector, at companies like Veritas Capital and B.A.E. Systems. Initially, colleagues and clients said translators of languages such as Arabic, Pashto and Urdu had started making six-figure annual salaries working for the federal government, but then word and hourly rates or annual salaries being mentioned to me went back down again as the jobs got sourced through several hops of companies, each taking their cut.

(CRONK en fleggah,   DOLE metchah   oont   ÜÜÜ bə ZETS ah prize ah.)

Bärbeissig

“Bear bitey.” A very important force behind the amazing success of the German Green party over the last three decades was Joschka Fischer, a high-school dropout and one of the world’s most amazing politicians. The director of a documentary about Joschka described his relationship with the media as “bärbeissig” but also said, “It wasn’t always easy, but it was always open.” When the Greens were governing Germany in a coalition with the SPD, and Joschka Fischer was foreign minister, I remember my surprise at how he would answer the questions journalists asked—not providing an answer to a different question entirely, as I had gotten used to since Reagan—and yet not make the situation worse. While speaking openly and well, he makes situations better.

There’s a new book by Joschka Fischer that came out in 2011 about the war in Iraq, which occurred while the Greens and SPD were in charge. Its title is taken from something he told Donald Rumsfeld: “Excuse me, I’m not convinced.”

16-second video on YouTube:

“You have to make the case. And to make the case in the democracy you must convince by yourself. Excuse me, I am not convinced. This is my problem. And I cannot go to the public and say, well, let’s go to war because there are reasons and so on, and I don’t believe in them!”

(Bear BICE ichh.)

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