The Anchoress points to two very salient articles this past week, both of which call for Rumsfeld’s resignation. Ben Stein’s article goes so far as to provide a pre-fabricated resignation speech, although Rumsfeld claims to have tendered his resignation twice only to have it refused by President Bush.
Boston Herald’s city editor, Jules Crittenden, discusses the erroneous yet increasing perception that Iraq has become the new Vietnam and lays the blame at the feet of Donald Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld made the critical error four years ago of thinking he could do Iraq on the cheap. He thought he could fight a multifront war with a downsized, post-Cold War army. He thought he could, overnight, transform a politically and psychologically traumatized, ethnically divided nation.
It is one thing to make mistakes, and another to fail to learn from them. It is time for someone who can make the case for Iraq without becoming the issue himself. (Source: Boston Herald.)
I have long called for Rumsfeld’s departure (see the category “Rumsfeld Bites” for a long list of reasons). If you’ll pardon a bit more self-linking I’ll explain:
As I’ve written previously in other contexts, Rumsfeld has been a long-standing potential political liability for the President in the same vein as Cheney. We’ve watched as the Left pointed toward Rumsfeld as “proof” of the Bush Administration’s hawkishness, and we’ve watched as moderates and centrists have been increasingly alienated by Rumsfeld’s apparent belief that the American public should not know certain facts about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Remember the photos of the coffins we weren’t supposed to see? Or the Pentagon’s urging of the media to stop calling it a “War in Iraq” in favor of calling it the “Fight for Iraq”?) All that has been manageable until now, when Rumsfeld appears to believe that even the President does not need to know certain facts about the war. And that stance may very well cost Bush the Presidency.
The single greatest weakness of the Bush Administration – IMVO – has been the President’s heavy reliance on advisers who may have their own agendas and who, we’ve repeatedly learned, have not been fully candid with the President. Obviously, a President is supposed to rely on his advisors instead of micromanaging in a Carter-esque fashion, but the danger for Bush – which goes back as far as the 2000 campaign – is the appearance of over-reliance on his advisors. (Source: EV entry: “Foreshadowed and Forewarned“.)
That over-reliance is, of course, a product of what The Anchoress terms the famous “Bushian loyalty,” but which she also notes “is also famous for finally doing the Bushes themselves in.”
That entrenched loyalty is not costing the Bushes alone. It is costing taxpayers as well, now that the Pentagon has hired a PR firm to defend the SecDef against those critical of him.
The Pentagon has begun a new “rapid response” operation to quickly respond to news media stories critical of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the war in Iraq, as well as other stories the Defense Department leadership doesn’t like.
The operation is similar to those used in political campaigns, but officials say the new organization was not started specifically because of rising criticism of the war.
Defense Department Press Secretary Eric Ruff could not immediately provide statistics regarding the cost of the new operation or the number of people involved. He confirmed, however, that it is expected some of the new staff members will be political appointees or contractors. (Souce: CNN.)
While I wholeheartedly concur with the notion of counteracting the anti-war tirades of the Left (and the left-leaning MSM), I can’t help recalling that Rumsfeld ordered the DoD to bar any criticism of himself and his policies.
That prohibition against criticism, coupled with these new PR efforts, smacks of disinformation and the intentional misleading of those within government service in the hope that eventually the voting public will be misled as well.