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Rumsfeld Must Go

Bush Administration Donald Rumsfeld Criticism

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#1 BklnScott

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 06:17 PM

Time magazine

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From 2000 until October 2002, I was a Marine Corps lieutenant general and director of operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff. After 9/11, I was a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of Iraq—an unnecessary war. Inside the military family, I made no secret of my view that the zealots' rationale for war made no sense. And I think I was outspoken enough to make those senior to me uncomfortable. But I now regret that I did not more openly challenge those who were determined to invade a country whose actions were peripheral to the real threat—al-Qaeda. I retired from the military four months before the invasion, in part because of my opposition to those who had used 9/11's tragedy to hijack our security policy. Until now, I have resisted speaking out in public. I've been silent long enough.

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Enlisted members of the armed forces swear their oath to those appointed over them; an officer swears an oath not to a person but to the Constitution. The distinction is important.

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Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's recent statement that "we" made the "right strategic decisions" but made thousands of "tactical errors" is an outrage. It reflects an effort to obscure gross errors in strategy by shifting the blame for failure to those who have been resolute in fighting. The truth is, our forces are successful in spite of the strategic guidance they receive, not because of it.

What we are living with now is the consequences of successive policy failures. Some of the missteps include: the distortion of intelligence in the buildup to the war, McNamara-like micromanagement that kept our forces from having enough resources to do the job, the failure to retain and reconstitute the Iraqi military in time to help quell civil disorder, the initial denial that an insurgency was the heart of the opposition to occupation, alienation of allies who could have helped in a more robust way to rebuild Iraq, and the continuing failure of the other agencies of our government to commit assets to the same degree as the Defense Department.

My sincere view is that the commitment of our forces to this fight was done with a casualness and swagger that are the special province of those who have never had to execute these missions—or bury the results.


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The consequence of the military's quiescence was that a fundamentally flawed plan was executed for an invented war, while pursuing the real enemy, al-Qaeda, became a secondary effort.

Edited by _ph, 09 April 2006 - 06:28 PM.

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#2 tennyson

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 06:21 PM

I've not exactly been a Rumsfeld fan and ever since about 2003 I've thought he should resign. 10 years of planning mucked up because of his transformational military doctrine and not listening to the area experts.
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#3 Nonny

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 06:32 PM

I'm glad he finally spoke out.  This is the best, most carefully articulated version of what's been said at VAMCs by veterans of all ranks.

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#4 Captain Jack

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 07:45 PM

Shoot, not only Rumsfeld, but Bush and Cheney also need to get out...
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#5 Lin731

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Posted 09 April 2006 - 09:59 PM

The whole lot of them need the boot if you ask me. I've never seen such imcompetence. All this surrounding themselves with yes men or removing anyone that wasn't one, has been a disaster for the country.
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#6 rponiarski

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Posted 11 April 2006 - 10:02 AM

Seems like a lot of military men are telling it like it is recently. Pity that it has taken so long...
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#7 BklnScott

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 07:48 PM

New York Times said:

Rumsfeld Faces Growing Revolt by Retired Generals

By DAVID S. CLOUD, ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER
Published: April 13, 2006
WASHINGTON, April 13 — An expanding group of influential former military officers is calling for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation in a public rebellion that has become a significant challenge to the Pentagon's civilian leadership.

The uproar is significant because for the first time the criticism of Mr. Rumsfeld is coming from some recently retired generals who were involved in planning or execution of Iraq policy.

Though their critiques differ in some respects, a common thread is that Mr. Rumsfeld's assertive style has angered many in the uniformed services as he has sought to establish more clear-cut civilian control over the Pentagon and at times involved himself in the details of war-planning more than his predecessors.

The outcry against Mr. Rumsfeld also appears to be part of a coalescing of concerns among military officers that, three years into the Iraq war, the effort is taking a mounting toll on the armed forces, with little sign that the American troops will be able to withdraw in large numbers anytime soon.

Today, 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, became the fifth retired senior general in recent days to issue a public call for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster.

This keeps up it'll be curtins for Rummy.  Resignation in disgrace.  Remembered by history as the architect of a shameful, bloody chapter in American history.  Like his boss.

Edited by _ph, 13 April 2006 - 07:50 PM.

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#8 Rhea

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 08:00 PM

View Post_ph, on Apr 13 2006, 05:48 PM, said:

New York Times said:

Rumsfeld Faces Growing Revolt by Retired Generals

By DAVID S. CLOUD, ERIC SCHMITT and THOM SHANKER
Published: April 13, 2006
WASHINGTON, April 13 An expanding group of influential former military officers is calling for Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation in a public rebellion that has become a significant challenge to the Pentagon's civilian leadership.

The uproar is significant because for the first time the criticism of Mr. Rumsfeld is coming from some recently retired generals who were involved in planning or execution of Iraq policy.

Though their critiques differ in some respects, a common thread is that Mr. Rumsfeld's assertive style has angered many in the uniformed services as he has sought to establish more clear-cut civilian control over the Pentagon and at times involved himself in the details of war-planning more than his predecessors.

The outcry against Mr. Rumsfeld also appears to be part of a coalescing of concerns among military officers that, three years into the Iraq war, the effort is taking a mounting toll on the armed forces, with little sign that the American troops will be able to withdraw in large numbers anytime soon.

Today, 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, became the fifth retired senior general in recent days to issue a public call for Mr. Rumsfeld's ouster.

This keeps up it'll be curtins for Rummy.  Resignation in disgrace.  Remembered by history as the architect of a shameful, bloody chapter in American history.  Like his boss.

Career military men are trained to be loyal to the C-in-C and men of their rank especially s (not to mention they'd be courtmartialed. My friend who was on Tommy Franks' staff said that most of the top military men lothe Rumsfeld and aren't fond of Bush because they made crucial decisions based not on facts and experience, but on what they wanted to believe.  Shinseki, in particular, was a big loss.

Edited by Rhea, 13 April 2006 - 08:01 PM.

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#9 Christopher

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 08:18 PM

It's amazing that Clinton got impeached for fibbing about cheating on his wife -- something that did exactly no harm to the life, limb or freedom of a single American -- while Bush can remain in office after years of the most corrupt, incompetent, dishonest, and destructive presidency in modern American history, if not all American history.

But then, impeachment has never actually been used as anything other than a tool of political one-upmanship, levied by a Congress of one party against a president of the other.  I wish it could get used properly just once, but I doubt it'll happen as long as the Congressional majority is the same party as the president, and as long as our elected officials place their partisan loyalty above their sworn duty to their constituents.

Although if Bush were to be impeached, or somehow put in a situation where he opted to resign, that would just put Cheney in charge, which would probably be no better.
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#10 Themis

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Posted 13 April 2006 - 08:45 PM

View PostChristopher, on Apr 14 2006, 01:18 AM, said:

Although if Bush were to be impeached, or somehow put in a situation where he opted to resign, that would just put Cheney in charge, which would probably be no better.

How true.  Who's third and fourth in line - anybody any better if we got rid of #1 & #2 by impeachment or resignation?

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#11 rponiarski

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 06:37 AM

View PostThemis, on Apr 13 2006, 09:45 PM, said:

How true.  Who's third and fourth in line - anybody any better if we got rid of #1 & #2 by impeachment or resignation?
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The next in line is the Speaker of the House, Hasturt, and then the President Pro-Tem of the Senate. I am not 100% sure who that is, but being appointed by Frist and company, I am not sure that he would be worth much either.

Then comes Condelleza Rice and then Donald Rumsfeld. Not a pleasant prospect in either case...
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#12 BklnScott

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 08:03 AM

Of course, this is all academic--Bush will almost certainly serve out the remainder of his term, even if the Democrats *do* retake the House, and with it, the power to impeach.  

BUT--if a sitting president WERE to be removed, his replacement would be emasculated.  S/he would be the leader of an Administartion, and a Party, in disgrace.  There would be no mandate.  In fact, every twitch would be subjected the the most extreme scrutiny by the opposition party AND the media.  

So, yeah, I'd call that "better" than the situation we have now.

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#13 Kosh

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 11:10 AM

View Posttennyson, on Apr 9 2006, 07:21 PM, said:

I've not exactly been a Rumsfeld fan and ever since about 2003 I've thought he should resign. 10 years of planning mucked up because of his transformational military doctrine and not listening to the area experts.

What he said.
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#14 Cardie

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 12:33 PM

Bush is totally loyal to the people he appoints, especially those that worked for his daddy, and unless Rummy actually learns a sense of shame and resigns for the sake of making things easier for his boss and his party, he'll be Secretary of Defense until 09.

Also Bush apparently believes that to fire Rumsfeld would be an open admission that he screwed up the Iraq war, and that's never going to happen either.

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#15 Robert Hewitt Wolfe

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 05:48 PM

Bush just gave Rumsfeld a ringing endorsement.

"He has my full support and deepest appreciation."

In other words, you're doing a great job Rummie!

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#16 Spectacles

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 08:31 PM

Heckuvaa job, Rummy, indeed.

:whatsthat:
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#17 Eclipse

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 08:42 PM

View PostSpectacles, on Apr 14 2006, 09:31 PM, said:

Heckuvaa job, Rummy, indeed.

:whatsthat:


Following closely on the heels of:
Heckuvaa job, Brownie ...........
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#18 Spectacles

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 09:02 PM

http://www.nytimes.c...r=1&oref=slogin

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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.

So naturally Bush dismisses these generals as a bunch of malcontents and supports Rummy.

Amazing....
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#19 Christopher

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Posted 14 April 2006 - 09:04 PM

I wonder if maybe Dubya's famed "loyalty" to his friends and advisors is really just another manifestation of his constitutional inability to conceive of being wrong about any decision he's ever made.  If he decided that such-and-such a person would be a good person for such-and-such a job, then it must be so because he decided it, and no preponderance of fact will ever change his mind about a decision he's made.
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#20 Spectacles

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Posted 15 April 2006 - 11:40 AM

The White House has trotted out Generals Myers and Franks to defend Rummy. But the generals who're speaking out aren't backing down.

http://www.nytimes.c...=rssnyt&emc=rss

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Far from being daunted, one of them, Maj. Gen. Charles H. Swannack Jr., who commanded the 82nd Airborne Division in Iraq as recently as 2004, went further in his criticisms during a telephone interview on Friday. He said the number of forces that went into Iraq was insufficient for the ultimate task and said of Mr. Rumsfeld, "His arrogance is what will cause us to fail in the future."

But late Friday new allies took to cable news to defend the administration.

On CNN, General Myers said he regretted that the retired generals were speaking out. "My whole perception of this is that it's bad for the military, it's bad for civil-military relations, and it's potentially very bad for the country, because what we are hearing and what we are seeing is not the role the military plays in our society," he said.

Myers I have no respect for. In fact, I was horrified last summer when, before he retired from Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, I saw him on PBS claiming that everything was going well in Afghanistan and that there had only been X number of deaths there thus far that year. I had just read an article detailing the INCREASE in fatalities in Afghanistan and the worsening security situation there. Sure enough, I did the research and Myers had given a ridiculously low number of troops killed in Afghanistan for the first part of 2005.

As with Bush, you don't know if Myers is a liar or just too incompetent to ferret out the facts before he opens his mouth.
Either way, it's disturbing that the Chair of the Joint Chief of Staffs would blithely give wrong casualty rates.

Franks also strikes me as more politician than general. I don't know how Franks is feathering his nest with his connections to Bush and Cheney, but I bet there's some mutual back-scratching going on there.
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"Although health care enrollment is actually going pretty well at this point, thousands and maybe millions of Americans have failed to sign up for coverage because they believe the false horror stories they keep hearing." -- Paul Krugman



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