Calling for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation is becoming something of an alternative national pastime. Neoconservative icon Bill Kristol, founder of the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) of which Rumsfeld was a key member, was advocating giving Dandy Don the boot clear back in July of 2001, prior to the 9/11 attacks. Between then and now, almost everyone from the left, right and center whom the press will cover has demanded that Rummy be given the ax.
Now six retired generals have joined the chorus. A fat lot of good that’s going to do, even if Rummy actually resigns this time. Which he won’t.
Rummy deserves a lot more than getting run out of the Pentagon in a rail and feathers ceremony. He deserves a special room in the McNamara suite at the LBJ Hilton in hell. But sending him there tomorrow won’t fix the disaster he’s helped create.
Rumsfeld deserves the bulk of the blame for mis-micromanaging the war, and he had much to do with the policy of preemptively invading Iraq. But he didn’t come up with the idea of thumping Hussein from his throne with military power all on his lonesome. Bill Kristol, one of the first neoconservatives to turn on Rummy, was a ringleader of the PNAC cabal that first publicly proposed an Iraq invasion in 1998. Other members of this flock of hawks included Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, John Bolton, Richard Perle, Scooter Libby, Jeb Bush, and a whole cast of unsavory characters that have since infested every department in the administration.
Firing Rumsfeld as SecDef will effect about as much fundamental change in the Land of Bush as replacing Andrew Card as White House Chief of Staff did.
In its 1997 Statement of Principles, the PNAC castigated the Clinton administration, stating that, “American foreign and defense policy is adrift,” and promised, “We aim to change this.”
They changed it all right: from adrift to bow down in the water. In retrospect, foreign and defense policy wise, 1997 looks like the good old days.
The “best trained, best equipped” military in all of history has proven itself impotent in the face of an asymmetric opponent. As John Murtha and others have said, competitor countries like China and ideological enemies like al Qaeda are laughing in their sleeves as we grind national treasure into hourglass fill in Iraq (as if Iraq didn’t have enough sand in it to begin with). Nobody except England wants to play ball with us. The only guy left in England who likes us in Tony Blair, and everybody else in England seems to be getting sick and tired of him.
Regardless of whether it does any immediate good, I’m glad to see all these retired generals speaking up, if for no other reason than forcing the Rove patrol onto the information pavement to perform its standard song-and-dance counter-attack. The more the public sees the likes of Senator George Allen (R-Virginia) try to pawn off the same old polly cracker talking points in defense of the administration, the more of the public that isn’t completely Limbaugh lobotomized will realize what a flaming bag of dog plop on America’s front porch the Bush administration and its supporters are.
And the more they realize that, the more they’ll realize the need to stomp that flaming bag out come November by smothering the GOP oxygen that feeds it.
Otherwise, the flaming bag of dog plop will burn the whole house down.