Home Page

carol gould

Join our email list for updates.




We hope that you'll feel our website is worthy enough to contribute a few pounds to the bandwidth bills.



Our Person of the Year
Last uploaded : Saturday 27th Dec 2003 at 19:41
Contributed by : The Editor



Last year our Person of the Year was Daniel Pearl. Kidnapped by Islamic terrorists and beheaded on video after reciting ?I am a Jew? for the murderers? camera, we felt Danny represented the best in journalism. Danny was fascinated by Islamic and Arab culture and wanted to know what made shoe- bomber Richard Reid?s friends tick. He ventured into Pakistan and trusted his contacts in the field. His courage and instinctively inquisitive nature -- essential in any reporter worth his salt -- proved fatal.

To the anguish of his family, friends and colleagues at The Wall Street Journal, his disappearance, and then the news of his death in captivity, dramatised the gap between the rest of the world and the mind of the terrorist.

This year we have chosen a man who has come under fire from every corner and has suffered the slings and arrows of Generals; world-renowned Editors; award-winning cartoonists and satirists not to mention Democratic candidates and liberal pressure groups. The photograph of him shaking hands with Saddam Hussein in December 1983 has been plastered all over the world. Like Franklin Roosevelt, Yitzhak Rabin, Moshe Dayan, Golda Meir and Bill Clinton, millions will see him as imperfect.

However, at Current Viewpoint we value leaders who see good in their Jewish citizens and in the people of Israel. We are based in the UK and live each day dreading the perpetual barrage of Israel-bashing on British radio, British television, newspapers, magazines and books and even on children?s programming. We dread attending friends? dinner parties, as Jews in the past three years are invariably set upon by dinner guests as if we come from a freak race of murderous masters of ?genocide? and ?apartheid? who ?use the Holocaust? to justify ?stealing Palestine from the rightful inhabitants .? British MPs feel free to accuse the Bush Administration and Tony Blair of being bullied by a ?cabal of Zionists? and a mainstream magazine, ?The New Statesman,? feels no constraint about having on its cover a giant Star of David impaling a Union Jack with the caption ?A Kosher Conspiracy?? British columnists think nothing of telling their readers that they do not bother to open mail from people with ?Jewish sounding names? and ?The Evening Standard? and ?Guardian? are happy to run articles entitled ?Israel Simply Has no Right to Exist? and in which writers suggest the Jewish State should be dismantled.

Our Person of the Year has the courage to defend Israel with intelligent answers and represents the many positive attributes of the American people: he is a tireless worker (the British papers did laud his workaholic schedule when our Defence Minister, Geoff Hoon went on holiday during a crucial period this year); when the hijacked aircraft hit the Pentagon on September 11, 2001 he did not escape to a bunker but helped carry burning victims from their offices to safety.. He cares about the destiny of his people. He knows who he is.

He is Donald H Rumsfeld , Secretary of Defence of the United States and head of the Pentagon. Rumsfeld first came to the world?s attention on September 11, 2001 when he held a press conference with Senators John Warner and Carl Levin in the Pentagon Briefing Room that afternoon as the building smouldered. It is notable that in the days before 9/11, New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was, in the words of Jimmy Breslin, regarded as ?a bum? and was in the doghouse from all directions. After 9/11 he was lionised. In the lead-up to the events of that appalling day, Washington pundits were already naming a successor to Rumsfeld, their slings and arrows accusing him of alienating Pentagon brass in his efforts to transform the cumbersome, costly defence department.

After 9/11 the articulate, witty and well-informed Defence chief became a national hero; what we see as his secret formula was his ability to project his total love for his nation and commitment to its safety and survival. One felt comforted the minute he opened his mouth. That sort of personal magnetism and self-assurance cannot be bottled.

Before readers groan that Rummy has few admirers these days, it is important to note that some of the world?s most distinguished journalists and historians, including Sir John Keegan, Stephen Pollard, Mark Steyn and Michael Gove have supported his continued reign as Defence chief throughout the darkest days of post-war Iraq and the controversies over Halliburton and Lt Gen Boykin. It is reported this week that when TIME was trying to select this year?s Person of the Year and had shortlisted Rumsfeld, it was he who suggested they pick the American soldier as Person of the Year, which they went on to do.

At a Pentagon Town Hall meeting in August 2002, when asked about Israel he said :

'If you have a country that?s a sliver and you can see three sides of it from a high hotel building, you?ve got to be careful what you give away and to whom you give it. ..Barak made a proposal that was as forthcoming as anyone in the world could ever imagine, and Arafat turned it down....... there was a war. Israel urged neighbouring countries not to get involved ...,they all jumped in, and they lost a lot of real estate to Israel because Israel prevailed in that conflict. In the intervening period, they?ve made some settlements in various parts of the so-called occupied area, which was the result of a war, which they won.?.? [Quote from Department of Defence transcript]

At Current Viewpoint we have never met Secretary Rumsfeld and have no personal view on him. We have watched him in hours and hours of Pentagon briefings as well as on his visits to Europe, the Gulf and the Far East and feel he is an eminent emissary of the free world. Whom do we have in Great Britain who can field questions from the world?s press with the thoroughness and depth with which Rumsfeld handles his inquisitors on his world travels? This year we saw Joschka Fischer publicly berating Rumsfeld at the Munich Security Conference and millions of demonstrators across the globe carrying effigies and posters declaring him a war criminal and Nazi. Would Joschka's world be better off with Saddam still in power and a nerd in charge of the Pentagon?

Frankly, those of us who have lived in Israel and who have lived in nations plagued by terror feel a sense of reassurance when the people in charge value our survival; one of the aspects of Rumsfeld?s rhetoric this year that endeared him to us was his genuine incredulity and public outrage when he learned that a group of nations that included Libya, Iran and Syria was being given authority and committee chairmanships by the United Nations on issues of arms control and human rights.

The problems of post-war Iraq are manifold and are blamed by many on Rumsfeld, but it would be nice to wake up one morning and hear that a group of Arab and African nations had got together to help in reconstruction, so that Iraq could look like Israel -- a democratic nation littered with symphony orchestras, art galleries and research institutions funded by world Jewish philanthropy. Articles are appearing this very week about the visit he made to Saddam in 1983 on behalf of the Reagan Administration and, according to some sources, again in 1984 to reassure the Iraqi dictator that America supported his campaign against Iran. We cannot be sure how this controversy will eventually affect Rumsfeld?s legacy. However, even our greatest heroes, whom we enumerated at the beginning of this article, have carried out deeds in the line of duty at various points in history in the context of the times in which they were facing crises, deeds that were later publicly lambasted.

That Yasser Arafat, whom I saw cry on the Yahrzeit of Yitzhak Rabin, was a Nobel Peace Prize winner and is now a prisoner of the Israeli authorities demonstrates the explosive nature of the politics of that region.

Donald Rumsfeld?s success story is a role-model for young people. A Princeton graduate and champion wrestler, he was a gifted Navy pilot and settled into married life as a family-oriented young man. He launched himself into a career of public service and had a good record on civil rights at a time when Republicans were not championing these issues. He was a tough businessman and his style may not be everyone?s cup of tea. However if one takes his attributes and puts them into a pot they make a finer soup than the activities of the enemies of the United States and Israel. His management of the Afghanistan and Iraqi campaigns has been criticised by many but one wonders if anyone else could have handled this staggering crisis in America?s security --- the post 9/11 world -- any better.

Rumsfeld?s assessment of the arrangement of modern-day Europe into ?Old? and ?New? Europe is astute; the outrage throughout the world at these observations brought to mind ?Methinks the lady doth protest too much.? The anger lasted for months, but few journalists around the globe stopped to reflect on the fact that ex-Soviet bloc nations understand oppression just as much as, if not more than countries who have not known Soviet-style tyranny. Yes, Germany and those occupied endured Hitler for twelve years, but the recent collective memory of the Eastern bloc puts ?New Europe? into the basket of peoples who can empathise with Iraqis.

The Defence Secretary?s frequent trips abroad have made him one of the most travelled of Pentagon chiefs. A weekly magazine criticised him for being ensconced in his office and suggested he ?travel out of Washington;? unless it is a double popping up in Afghanistan, Iraq, Japan, Old and New Europe and Great Britain in 2003, that criticism of Rumsfeld reveals a frightening lack of knowledge about America?s leaders, not any shortcoming of the man in question. We feel that an individual who has made a continuing impact on world events and who has shown dedication to the work placed before him is worthy of being selected Person of the Year.

We hope that Don Rumsfeld?s gift to the world in 2004 will be the capture of bin laden and al Zawahiri. His gift to the American people has been his devotion to the nation?s survival. We pray that the deaths of American troops will end and that he will be instrumental in making this happen in 2004.

If a Democrat is elected in 2004 we pray that a Pentagon chief as accomplished and eloquent as Rumsfeld (notwithstanding the ridiculous and insulting British ?Foot in Mouth? award to him this year) will serve in coming years in defense of the rapidly-shrinking free world.
Related links:




Photograph of United States Defence Secretary Donald H Rumsfeld by Tech Sgt Andy Dunaway ; Department of Defence.




Read more Editorials    go >>



Web Design - Web Designers
© current viewpoint .com

All Rights reserved.
No copying of any text or images allowed in any form digitally or otherwise,
without the prior written consent of the copyright holders.