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June 16, 2003
RAMBO VS. RIMBAUD: The Rumsfeld / de Villepin poetry slam. Worth it just for the title.
On a more serious note, there's this suggestion that Rumsfeld is a bit more sophisticated than the "Rambo" characterization suggests:
A lot of people in Europe misunderstand Rumsfeld, not to mention underestimating him. There's a power in frankness and straight talk; it's a way of cutting through bullshit and getting straight to the issues. It may be viewed by some as being unsophisticated or uncouth but it also tends to work really well, when it's needed. And Rumsfeld is really, really good at it.
In this case, however, I think they have completely misunderstood what Rumsfeld wants. He isn't attempting to get the law repealed. He's attempting to get NATO HQ moved out of Belgium. If his blunt talk makes it politically impossible for Belgian politicians to rescind the law, Rumsfeld wins.
Of course, if the Belgians back down and rescind the law, Rumsfeld also wins. It makes the point, forcefully, that we're not going to put up with international busybodies second-guessing our politicians and military people by filing charges against them in kangaroo courts, and indirectly would help in our efforts to make clear that we won't tolerate having the ICC used maliciously against our people.