Originally re-posted 2009-04-22 20:56:14 -0500. First printing appeared on the old Journal, linked to below. Promoted to help ensure that the information is readily accessible. -- GH
On December 16, 2006, Danse Macabre: The Return of Ja(a)far [Donald Rumsfeld] was posted on the old ePluribus Media Journal. It was a long piece that drew several analogies all keyed to variants of "Jafar" and running the gamut from Disney to Arab history to the Joint Army-Air Force Adjustment Regulations and back.
In light of the recent most-excellent exposé by Zwoof on DailyKos and the current flurry of activity regarding the torture memos, I'm going to re-post it again, this time in two parts. Tonight, first three sections, including The Art: The Story of Aladdin and Life Imitates Art: Donald Rumsfeld as "Jafar"; tomorrow, the final sections, including Turning the Corner: the Last Throes of Donald Rumsfeld, Rudy Jaafar -- "Time for Arab History to Follow its Course" and JAAFAR -- Joint Army-Air Force Adjustment Regulations (along with all footnotes and appendix).
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"The Return of Ja(a)far" examines the return of Donald Rumsfeld to the role of Secretary of Defense, a sequel that -- like the Disney flick of similar name -- should have gone straight to video. It tells how some of the same characters who were bit players in a previous mess (the Nixon Administration) keep coming back to attempt to recreate a grand scheme on the level of players much more evil and out of their league, a league playing at the level of the Kissingers, Nixons and "Poppy" Bushs. True to GWB form, they continue to fail spectacularly upwards.
Image credit: Jose Guadalupe Posada, calavera del catrin
Along the way, we'll learn why Ja(a)far isn't always bad, and that, sometimes, he can be more of a "what" than a "who."
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
- George Santayana, The Life of Reason, Volume 1, 1905
US (Spanish-born) philosopher (1863 - 1952)
Throughout human existence, there are many instances of the saying "art imitates life" and its corollary of life imitating art. For, as long as humanity has had the capacity of self-expression coupled with curiosity and a sense of wonder, our instinct to depict our hopes and dreams or to record our history has found an outlet from cave walls to papyrus, from blackboard to whiteboard and from paper to electronic media. Our darkest points of history, the stuff of which nightmares are made, coexist alongside tales of humanity triumphant and dreams of a better tomorrow. History demonstrates that major themes often repeat, bringing fresh wisdom or reintroducing lessons yet unlearned to each new age. Sometimes, the cycles appear to repeat quickly, as though the lesson had been incomplete.
Such a lesson was recently manifested in the form of Donald Rumsfeld, who returned to the role of U.S. Secretary of Defense in 2001 more powerful than he was during his earlier time in the same role (1975-1977).