Wednesday, April 19, 2006


Donald tries to duck

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has been increasingly bashed recently. Some of us, of course, have been doing it for years, but lately a growing batch of retired generals are taking up the charge:

Several of the six retired generals who called for his resignation were involved in the invasion and occupation of Iraq, such as Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who led troops on the ground in Iraq as the commander of the Army's 82nd Airborne Division, and Maj. Gen. John Batiste, who led the First Infantry Division.
These are not just random people, but are some who are in the best position to judge his competence, his performance, and his management of the Department of Defense.

His boss, of course, the Cowboy in Chief, is supporting him, but that might seem the kiss of death, in a "Rummy, you're doin' a heckuva job!" kind of way. And Rumsfeld himself is giving new meaning to his title by spending his time in his own defense — telling us, rather than showing us, what a good job he's doing.

Gratifying though it is to see senior officials in the Bush administration being held to account, I'd prefer to see Bush himself held to account. We're seeing a restructuring of King George's court, with the replacement of his chief of staff and re-filling of some other positions, and we're told to expect others. Rummy Donald will likely become one of those soon, as the increasing and increasingly credible criticism makes it clear that he's a liability to his boss in the polls. That will be good. But it won't be enough.

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