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Monday, April 17, 2006


(Keywords: politics; war; Iraq; people who drank the kool-aid )

CNN has this:

"WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The media skirmishes over Donald Rumsfeld continued Monday, as four retired generals wrote an op-ed piece in The Wall Street Journal defending the secretary of defense and suggesting that some of his critics don't understand the war on terrorism."
Are we supposed to believe that the retired generals who've come out against Rumsfeld 'don't understand the war on terrorism'? Is this anything close to a credible claim?

What Rummy's defenders are hoping you'll ignore is that the war in Iraq is going about as well as pizza did at McDonalds. If Rumsfeld's a military genius, why are we losing ground to an armed insurgency - not even a foreign army, but an unorganized group with undefined objectives. Iraq is slipping into civil war - some say it is in civil war - and we don't seem to have any plan at all to deal with it.

Sure, Rumsfeld's tough in press conferences, but you don't win wars in the press room. No amount of spin is going to make this all turn out OK. The administration seems to believe that, like Tinkerbell, all it takes to keep the neocon dream for Iraq and the middle east alive is that everyone believe. In the end, the neocon dream is no more realistic than any other utopian dream. And, like all utopian ideals, nothing on earth can shake the utopians' belief that if it just goes a little longer, if everyone gets on board and plays along, we'll arrive at the end of history where everything's perfect forever. Iraq is Canaan and Rummy is Moses (I watched Ten Commandments over Easter).

All you need is faith and a freakin' huge pile of bodies. In the end, Rumsfeld's defenders have no real argument. You can't argue that everything's going well or that everything's going to turn around and start going well. And, like it or not, that's the guy's job - to war well. His new idea for a lighter, cheaper force didn't work. Worse, it failed craptacularly.

If we measure the idea by the result, we have one seriously bad idea. And the architect of this bad idea isn't likely to come up with better ones.

It's past time for Rummy to go.