Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Will Somebody House-break Rumsfeld?

Seriously. Dude shits all over everything. Latest example: Rumsfeld's continuing desire to ruin Sino-US relations, even if it means hiring lying, paranoid failed academics.
In May 2002, ten months before he became president of China, Hu Jintao visited Donald Rumsfeld at the Pentagon. The meeting, as then-Vice President Hu saw it, had gone well. Routine U.S.-Chinese military-to-military contacts, which had been suspended since 2001 after a tense standoff over a damaged U.S. spy plane, were to be renewed. China's Xinhua news agency quickly put out a headline announcing the thaw: "Chinese vice-president, U.S. defense secretary agree to resume military exchanges."
But there was a problem. According to the Pentagon, no such consensus had been reached. Instead, the two sides had merely agreed that the possibility of such exchanges would be "revisited."

The mix-up, as it turned out, had a likely explanation. According to The Far Eastern Economic Review, Rumsfeld, in a characteristic interdepartmental snub, had barred the State Department's interpreter from the meeting. The man on whose language skills Rumsfeld had instead relied was not a professional interpreter but a Pentagon advisor and longtime Washington operator named Michael Pillsbury. With a proficiency (up to a point) in Mandarin, a doctorate in political science from Columbia University, and three decades of experience in dealing with the Chinese military, Pillsbury has emerged as a Defense Department favorite. That he may inadvertently have caused Hu to leave Washington with an overly conciliatory picture was also ironic: Pillsbury is one of Washington's foremost China hawks, consistently warning that Beijing represents a more serious and rapidly growing military threat than other China experts believe.
Screwing up the translation over something as important as direct military-to-military contacts isn't something minor, I would think. Nevertheless, the article makes it clear that Pillsbury is kept around the Pentagon - despite numerous ethical questions and repeated firings from other jobs - because he's useful for hyping the China threat.

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