Sunday, April 16, 2006

Rumsfeld roundup

The pro-Rumsfeld generals are starting to speak up. So far we have:

1. Richard Myers, former chairman of the joint chiefs.

2. Tommy Franks, who led the invasion of Iraq;

3. Michael DeLong, who was the No. 2 officer at Central Command.

None of this is particularly surprising; Myers was closely linked to Rumsfeld, and it was Franks' war plan that Rumsfeld adopted.

Separately, my earlier attempt to quantify the number of generals necessarily left off the number of retired generals. According to the Pentagon, there are about 8,000 active and retired generals.

None of that invalidates David Ignatius' estimate that 75 percent or more of senior officers oppose Rumsfeld.

Also today, David Brooks called Rumsfeld a "past-tense man" and suggested he needed to resign. The relevant quote:

Rumsfeld the reformer never adjusted to the circumstances of wartime. Once the initiator of new ideas, he now strangles ideas. Once the modernizer, he's now the dinosaur. Amid the war on terror, he has unleashed a reign of terror on his subordinates.

If you just looked at his résumé, you might think he was the best person to lead the Pentagon in time of war, but in reality he was the worst because his whole life had misprepared him for what was to come. He was prepared to fight organizations. He was not prepared to fight enemies.

Now the bureaucracy he assaulted is rising up against him. In other times their enmity would be a mark of accomplishment, but now it's a symptom of failure. He has become a past-tense man.

Meanwhile, former ambassador Richard Holbrooke says the criticism is highly unusual, and adds that the evidence against Rumsfeld appears overwhelming (see the excellent walkthrough at the Moderate Voice).
Should be an interesting week.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

After checking your morning Wall Street Journal, you can add 4 more to the pro-Rumsfeld list:

Retired generals John Crosby, Thomas McInerney, Burton Moore and Paul Vallely.

4/17/2006 9:23 PM  

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