Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rummy ginned

CNN.com is reporting "Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down".

My first thought is it's about time.

Don't get me wrong: I fully support both the War on Islamofascism (aka the "War on Terror") and the War in Iraq. But Rumsfeld has made enough goofs that he needs to be put out to pasture. We need someone with a military background as defense secretary. Rummy ain't it.

I wonder if we could talk Norman Schwarzkopf out of retirement?

UPDATE: Now I am reading that former CIA Director Robert Gates is going to replace Rumsfeld. Another former buddy of Bush's dad. Another guy with no real military experience.

If Bush keeps this up, I may have to start agreeing with the moonbats about his intelligence.

11 comments:

Myrhaf said...

My impression is that a lot of the criticism of Rumsfeld from people like Andrew Sullivan is undeserved. They talk about Iraq being a mess. Yes, it's a mess. And you know why? Because it's full of Arabs. They have no tradition of liberty. There is nothing Rumsfeld could do about that.

EdMcGon said...

But Rumsfeld should have taken that into account. Frankly, we don't have enough troops there by a long shot.

Strategically, my main issue has been with the private militias being able to operate unimpeded in Iraq. We should have shut those down a long time ago.

William R. Barker said...

The buck stops at Bush's desk - not HIS SecDef's.

Although my impression of Rumsfeld has been "generally" favorable, I have no problem with his resignation. (And by the way... that's what I think happened... I DON'T believe that Bush "fired" Rumsfeld, but rather that RUMSFELD wanted to resign.)

No doubt... Rumsfeld must be assigned responsibility for the failures in Iraq. That said... Rumsfeld was NOT operating on his own in a vacume. My guess is that aside from BUSH ultimately being responsible for both the successes and failures of our Iraq policies, Powell and Bremer are far more responsible for wrongheaded policy than Rumsfeld.

Listen... we KNOW Powell's record. Back in the FIRST Gulf War it was POWELL who insisted on allowing Saddam's Republican Guard Units on the "highway of death" to escape so that they could be used to slaughter the Kurds at a later date and keep Saddam in power.

It was BREMER who "ran" post Gulf War Two Iraq... ran it into the ground that is.

Ask yourself... from what we know of Rummy, his history, his personality... do you really think that RUMSFELD was the one who argued against taking a strong stand against rioters, looters, local "militias" and other disruptive and ultimately deadly opponents of U.S. policy in Iraq?

Com'on! The "playing politics," the failed "realpolitik," the negotiating with the bad guys instead of going after them and KILLING them... that has Powell's and Bremer's fingerprints all over it.

And Gates? A mini-Powell. A "Bremer-lite." A stuffed suit more used to Washington dinner party "combat" than desert warfare against a terrorist foe.

We're screwed.

BILL

EdMcGon said...

Bill,
If Rummy didn't push the idea, then he at least agreed with the idea of trying to maintain the peace in post-war Iraq "on the cheap", with only 140,000 troops. THAT is his greatest failure.

William R. Barker said...

You might be right, Ed... but as far as I can tell you're guessing. Or am I wrong? Is there any evidence you're relying on? Any books, articles, first or second hand accounts?

I mean... I'm guessing too... but I'm quite aware that I am. You sound very confident.

Here's the problem, Ed... we just don't know what Rummy's position was vs. Powell's position. Oh, we know that in broad terms Powell was opposed to Bush's Iraq war decision and that Rumsfeld (at least if you believe the not exactly pro-Rummy portrayal of Woodward's first two books) was "positive" that it could be done if not exactly a neo-con in the sense of being sure it SHOULD be done.

I admit... I still haven't gotten around to reading Tommy Frank's book. Have you?

I guess all I'm saying is that we're both "guessing" to an extent (unless you can point to proof) and relying on conjecture, but as I've written at length... we have the Powell record of decades vs. the Rumsfeld record of decades. Powell - and remember, Bremer was POWELL'S guy - is the one with the record of pulling back and using "boardroom tactics" rather than battlefield tactics.

All I can do is ask you... do you REALLY care to dispute what I wrote in paragraphs 4/5/6 of my 11/13 post? (*SMILE*)

BILL

EdMcGon said...

Bill,
I was guessing at it until this story came out:
http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/11/
04/war.games.ap/index.html

As for comparisons to Powell and Bremer, I am not a huge fan of either of them.

It's funny, but the more I think about Iraq, the more I think Bush had the right idea, but all the wrong people to execute it.

William R. Barker said...

I tried to plug in that link and got "Page Not Found."

You have my email. Sent me a link.

BILL

EdMcGon said...

Bill,
Here is the story from CNN.com:

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A series of secret U.S. war games in 1999 showed that an invasion and post-war administration of Iraq would require 400,000 troops, nearly three times the number there now.

And even then, the games showed, the country still had a chance of dissolving into chaos.

In the simulation, called Desert Crossing, 70 military, diplomatic and intelligence participants concluded the high troop levels would be needed to keep order, seal borders and take care of other security needs.

The documents came to light Saturday through a Freedom of Information Act request by George Washington University's National Security Archive, an independent research institute and library.

William R. Barker said...

Ed, I'll do you one better. Here's the actual report: http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB207/index.htm

(*SMILE*) You're welcome!

Now... Ed... take a moment to re-read my post of 11/13/2006 11:13 AM. Done? O.K., now let's here what General Zinni had to say on the subject back in 2004:

"...it struck me then that we had a plan to defeat Saddam's army, but we didn't have a plan to rebuild Iraq. And so I asked the different agencies of government to come together to talk about reconstruction planning for Iraq. . . . I thought we ought to look at political reconstruction, economic reconstruction, security reconstruction, humanitarian need, services, and infrastructure development. We met in Washington, DC. We called the plan, and we gamed it out in the scenario, Desert Crossing.

ZINNI THEN CONTINUED...

The first meeting surfaced all the problems that have exactly happened now. This was 1999. And when I took it back and looked at it, I said, we need a plan. Not all of this is a military responsibility. I went back to State Department, to the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, Department of Commerce and others and said, all right, how about you guys taking part of the plan. We need a plan in addition to the war plan for the reconstruction. Not interested. Would not look at it.

ED... do you NOW see why I'm always so damned insistent - obstinate if you'd rather... perhaps throw in sarcastic and condescending - in calling for people who want to discuss issues SERIOUSLY to do the work necessary to look into things like "primary sources?"

I don't want this post to get too long so I'll end here and continue fresh.

BILL

William R. Barker said...

So, Ed... in my usual (*GRIN*) condescending style... (*SMILE*)... let me ask you if you're with me so far?

FOLLOW THE SEQUENCE, Ed!!!

Zinni said FIRST: "...it struck me then that we had a plan to defeat Saddam's army..."

Now, Ed... let me ask you... WHICH cabinet Secretary is responsible for DEFEATING an opponent's military? That's RIGHT, Ed... the Secretary of DEFENSE. (*WINK*)

Did or did not the Rummy pushed "light force" totally destroy Saddam's military and take over Iraq in three weeks... with one of those weeks being a sandstorm that halted everything?

So, Ed... keeping with proper SEQUENCE...

Zinni said SECOND: "...but we didn't have a plan to rebuild Iraq."

Ed... for good or ill... that job WASN'T given to Rumsfeld. It was given to POWELL'S STATE DEPARTMENT!!!

Ed... who "ruled" post WW-2 Japan for the United States? THAT'S RIGHT...!!! GENERAL MacArthur!!!

"Trivia" question for you, Ed. After Gulf War 2 was the "role" of General MacArthur played by A) GENERAL Tommy Franks; or B) AMBASSADOR Paul Bremer?

(*SADLY SHAKING MY HEAD*)

Ed... I'm NOT... and I NEVER HAVE... given Rummy a "pass" for his mistakes. And heaven knows, perhaps things would have turned out differently if 400,000 troops had been sent in to POST-WAR Iraq... but we'll never know. Even the report you point to that I actually READ admits that.

One thing we do know... the MSM has a selective memory and when it comes to the MSM and academia and even "mainstream" politics... Powell can do no wrong. He's the good guy. That's their story and they're sticking to it. If it means also affording a shield to Bremer... to Armitage... to Tenet and Wilson and Plame... than that's what they'll do.

All I'm calling for is some basic fairness, Ed.

Yes, there's plenty of blame to spread around between Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Powell, Tenet, Bremer, and Rice... all I'm saying to you is that when it comes to APPORTIONING blame... don't buy the MSM spin.

BILL

EdMcGon said...

Bill,
Where is Bush in all this? If blame belongs with people other than Rumsfeld, why isn't Bush having them resign instead?

Frankly, the fact that 400,000 troops was "maybe" enough, and we tried to do it with 140,000 troops, shows the insanity of the plan.

The truth is I am beginning to hate Bush for exactly the opposite reason of Rob and AIP. Bush has not done nearly enough in Iraq.