Raging Right Wing Republican

For those of us who are politically informed, and therefore Republican.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Rumsfeld resigns

The President announced it earlier during the day at a press conference. The reporters there were grinding on my nerves. Their normal haughty stature was replaced by a cocky and preening post-election ostentatiousness that could only be rivaled by John Kerry. They were needling the President at every turn, who looked off his game and bewildered, over issues that had nothing to do with the conference at all. If this is going to be the marker for a President Bush that's off balance, that's troubling, especially given the new environment he'll be facing in Washington DC.

In any case, Rumsfeld got bagged. There wasn't really any good reason for him to resign, especially now. If there were reasons for him to resign, then why now, after the election? Why didn't he resign before the election, when, you know, we could've gotten some benefit from it? Instead they waited until it was too late; another bungling in a long series of mess ups.

Let's examine the various so-called "arguments" as to why Rumsfeld should have stepped down. None of them except perhaps one have any merit.
ABU GHRAIB: Yes, Rumsfeld is the Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon, but I'm assuming that when you assign blame to people you're going to do it on the basis of who actually did something to earn that ire. The despicable acts in Abu Ghraib was the handiwork of a few deranged individuals who no more represented Rumsfeld or American policy any more than a random criminal off the street does.

GUANTANAMO BAY: More reverberations of Abu Ghraib, except this time under the assumption that it's somehow going on under secret approval without anybody blowing the cover off of it despite the fact that it's the most transparent detention facility in history. Many cite so-called egregious human rights "abuses," but they're picking them up from gullible human rights groups who get those reports from the captive terrorists themselves, who are trained to lie and defame their captors. It's like asking a rapist if his victim was willing; of course he'll say whatever it takes to discredit the other side. Others simply are too queasy at the prospect of "coercive interrogations." To those I say: tough. We have to get information from the terrorists somehow, and the techniques we've used hardly qualify as "torture" in any sense of the word. If you count psychological stress as "torture," then the word has been stretched to the point of losing all meaning, and virtually any tactic whatsoever is off limits. Even "good cop, bad cop" falls under this umbrella because it involves pressuring the suspect.

What's perhaps most telling of the nature of Guantanamo Bay is that the detainees themselves don't want to leave once they enter, and that they gain 20 pounds, which is a first for a so called "concentration camp."

WAR PLANNING: This is where I can see legitimate criticism made of Rumsfeld's handling of the war. And yet, the most criticized aspect of it, the troops counts, is also one that isn't so cut and dry. When the decision was first being made, it wasn't so obvious which would give better results: a smaller faster army or a larger more conventional one. Since we didn't want to have a heavy American footprint in a country we didn't want to alienate under a crushing occupation, and because having soldiers everywhere would make us clumsier and more susceptible to the hit and run attacks the terrorists in Iraq excel at, it made sense to send a more maneuverable force into Iraq and to keep the peace.

It may turn out that having a soldier and a tank on every street corner may work out better, but this isn't some sort of example of gross negligence on Rumsfeld's part that his critics have made it out to be.
So aside from these reasons, if they aren't truly worth going after him over, why do people hate him so much?

It can be attributed to the military itself. It is one of the most firmly entrenched bureaucracies and institutions to ever exist, and by its very nature, is conservative and fiercely resistant to change. Rumsfeld was tasked with the job of modernizing the military and turning it from a mostly conventional army into a "shock and awe" lightning squad that could break the enemy's back with precision and efficiency. In this, he's succeeded, but as in any bureaucracy involved in violent shakeups, you will make many enemies along the way, as there are people in every sector who make a living doing the various tasks which may be considered outdated and unnecessary.

As far as I can see his resignation was for purely political reasons; the pressure after the election was about to break the Administration's back and they had to give something, anything, to get breathing time.

Still, it'll probably only embolden Bush's critics and encourage another headhunt. What a waste.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Tom said...

I agree completely. I can't believe that Bush STILL does not get it. Giving in to the wacko leftists will never gain anything. They will just move on to the next target. I can't think of a single Democrat who had to step down, no matter what they did, including Ted Kennedy. But I can fill this page with Replublicans who had to fall on their swords.

Wed Nov 08, 04:57:00 PM EST  

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