Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rumsfeld Is Defiant to the End

One only needs to carefully read between the lines of Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation statement in the Oval Office yesterday to realize that he still fails to accept the obvious: the war in Iraq has become a debacle. If the ultimate blame for the decision to invade Iraq lies with President Bush, the failure of the war these last three and a half years lies squarely at the feet of the stubborn former Secretary of Defense.

“Mr. President, thank you for your kind words and the wholly unexpected opportunity you provided me to serve in the Department of Defense again these past years -- six years,” said Rumsfeld. “It's been quite a time. It recalls to mind the statement by Winston Churchill, something to the effect that: I have benefited greatly from criticism, and at no time have I suffered a lack thereof.”

“The great respect that I have for your leadership, Mr. President, in this little understood, unfamiliar war, the first war of the 21st century, is not well-known, it was not well understood, it is complex for people to comprehend. And I know with certainty that over time the contributions you've made will be recorded by history.”

It’s clear that Rumsfeld was calling all of those people, including over thirty million who voted for change just a day earlier, ignorant of facts only he knows regarding the Iraq war. It is all too “complex” for us normal folk to understand. What is not clear is whether Rumsfeld was also being critical of Bush’s decision to remove him and replace him with a man who brings the long needed foreign policy perspective of George H.W. Bush’s administration.

It is this dangerous hubris of the neo-conservatives that put American troops in the position that they are today and most likely will be for the next five to ten years. However, the age of the neo-cons is coming to an end and it was hastened by the votes of an uneasy populace. History reminds us that many were critical of Bush the father for not marching on to Baghdad in 1991. We don’t have to wait for history to remind us that the son should have listened to the father well before November 8th, 2006.

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