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Location: Nipomo, Central Coast, California, United States

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Friday, April 14, 2006

Should Donald Rumsfeld Resign?

According to George Bush: No! Like Michael Brown (aka Brownie) he's doing a heck of a job:

"The president believes Secretary Rumsfeld is doing a very fine job during a challenging period in our nation's history," the White House spokesman, Scott McClellan, told reporters on Thursday.

According to these guys, all retired generals from the United States Military:



(From left, Major General Paul D. Eaton, General Anthony C. Zinni, Lieutenant General Gregory Newbold, Major General John Batiste, Major General John Riggs and Major General Charles H. Swannack Jr.)

Absolutely yes! Today's New York Times reports:

The widening circle of retired generals who have stepped forward to call for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation is shaping up as an unusual outcry that could pose a significant challenge to Mr. Rumsfeld's leadership, current and former generals said on Thursday.

Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as recently as 2004 as the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, on Thursday became the fifth retired senior general in recent days to call publicly for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster. Also Thursday, another retired Army general, Maj. Gen. John Riggs, joined in the fray.

"We need to continue to fight the global war on terror and keep it off our shores," General Swannack said in a telephone interview. "But I do not believe Secretary Rumsfeld is the right person to fight that war based on his absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq."

Another former Army commander in Iraq, Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who led the First Infantry Division, publicly broke ranks with Mr. Rumsfeld on Wednesday. Mr. Rumsfeld long ago became a magnet for political attacks. But the current uproar is significant because Mr. Rumsfeld's critics include generals who were involved in the invasion and occupation of Iraq under the defense secretary's leadership.

There were indications on Thursday that the concern about Mr. Rumsfeld, rooted in years of pent-up anger about his handling of the war, was sweeping aside the reticence of retired generals who took part in the Iraq war to criticize an enterprise in which they participated. Current and former officers said they were unaware of any organized campaign to seek Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster, but they described a blizzard of telephone calls and e-mail messages as retired generals critical of Mr. Rumsfeld weighed the pros and cons of joining in the condemnation.

Among the retired generals who have called for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster, some have emphasized that they still believe it was right for the United States to invade Iraq. But a common thread in their complaints has been an assertion that Mr. Rumsfeld and his aides too often inserted themselves unnecessarily into military decisionmaking, often disregarding advice from military commanders.

The outcry also appears based in part on a coalescing of concern about the toll that the war is taking on American armed forces, with little sign, three years after the invasion, that United States troops will be able to withdraw in large numbers anytime soon.

So, the question naturally arises, who do we believe? Do we believe a guy who availed himself of every opportunity to avoid active military duty when his country called him at at time of war, to defend the Texas borders from Arkansas? A guy whose military records are so incomplete now, or conveniently lost that we don't even know if he completed the obligation he agreed to assume in exchange for staying out of Vietnam? A guy who took America to war on selectively picked intelligence at best, and at worst, outright lies?

Or, do we believe men who actually served their country in times of war, who legitimately wore the uniform, who had the character to place their lives on the line for their country, who didn't cower and avoid the draft to land a cushy job as a national guard airforce pilot? Men, at least one of whom actually commanded troops on the ground in Iraq?

Call me crazy . . . I'm going with the guys whose rubber hits the road. Not the clown who currently occupies the Oval Office. Rummy . . . your 15 minutes are up--it's time to go!

6 Comments:

Blogger annegb said...

Yes. Who would you suggest to replace him?

5:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush and Rumfield operate under the guise of "plausible deiability" unfortunately.This combat veteran believes that they were probably given selective information. That is NOT to say they are not responsible for their actions. The biggest problem is the CIA, just as in Vietnam. This organization has complete power over intelligence and they are used to doing things their way. They are above the law, even though no one should be. They will never share information with the FBI no matter what. It is sad to see that such an organization can feed the American public propaganda through our public officials. The fact that Bush and Rumsfeld allow this, is their crime and ultimately they will pay for it just as Nixon did. Well, at least if anything at all gets done. Our troops are in harms way and the way I see it, this administration put them there. If we want to protect America, bring them home so they can do that job.
Bin Laden's desire to kill Americans was make easier since we came to him. He now does not need to come to us, he just need to threaten to.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Annegb, I would ask Colin Powell to step up, and ride out the rest of the Bush term. I don't think Bush, however, would agree to do that. He would be smart to do that; but, smart is not a quality with which Mr. Bush is blessed. Thanks for stopping by.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Guy Murray said...

Anon, It's interesting you invoke Mr. Nixon's name. I was thinking about this the other day. There are two presidents in all of my lifetime, who I absolutely detest. One is Mr. Nixon, and the other Mr. Bush. Not only has Mr. Bush put our troops in harm's way, he has done so with an arrogance unseen since Mr. Nixon's time. Like you, I hope he eventually pays for his hubris.

I also agree with you that we need to bring our troops home, and now. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts

8:40 AM  
Blogger annegb said...

No, Guy, I disagree with you. I think there must be lots of people qualified to assume this post (none that I know of, but I'm undereducated), but Colin Powell would not be one of them.

I heard Rush Limbaugh the other day say that Donald Rumsfield was the only person qualified to assume the post from Donald Rumsfield (Rush was trying to be clever).

And I thought, "no way, in this country there is only one person?" To you, I would say, we can do better than Colin Powell. I have had some small personal experience with him and I don't believe he has personal courage. I think he's ultimately self serving.

I do think there must be others who are well qualified, though. I think Rumsfield has to go.

8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a conservative Republican and I too feel Rumsfeld should resign. The only comparison I can think of is McNamara during the Vietnam War, and we all know how that ended. It is never to late to right the ship, even if it means changing horses mid-stream. That argument gets worse and worse the longer we wait. The only people we are hurting are those that are in the line of fire. Something needs to be done soon.

10:48 AM  

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