Kerfufal over Rumsfeld is ridiculous

Senators with bruised egos are complaining about "insensitive" treatment from the Secretary of Defense. What they are experiencing is a Secretary of Defense of a certain age where he does not suffers fools easily. Unfortunately, there are plenty of senators and media types who fit that category. The same people who claim that the Secretary has not paid close enough attention to the details of the Iraq occupation are acting like they are upset that the signature of the secretary on casualty letters is done by a machine rather than being personally signed.

This is an uncommonly silly basis for criticizing the Secretary of Defense. So is the criticism of the handling of the occupation. Most of the critics are just taking advantage of terrorist activity to use as a club to make a political attack. To the extent that any of the critics have offered an alternative strategy it usually consist of two items. One is that not enough troops were deployed to handle the occupation. This argument conviently ignors the fact that the Secretary of Defense has never turned down a troop request by the commander in charge of operations in Iraq. To the extent that there is any validity to this argument, the critics are just beating up on Rumsfeld because they do not have the guts are the expertise to challenge the field commanders.

The other item has to do with the disbanding of Saddam's army at the end of major combat operations. This critic is wrong on two levels. The first is that the decision was formerly made by Jerry Bremer the civilian administrator. The second and most important is that Saddam's army had disbanded itself. It had literally collapse to the point that there were no operational units. Then there is the matter that reconstituting it would have put the thugs back in charge of the hen house. More importantly, the argument makes the false assuption that keeping Saddam's army in place would have help maintain order. This is speculation and conjecture at best, since it is equally as likely that attempting to keep Saddam's army in place could have led to a more organized and larger resistance.

While it may make critics feel good to blame Rumsfeld for not anticipating the insurgency, the fact of the insurgency is no reason nbot to have liberated Iraq, and anticipating it would not have materially changed things. At this point US forces are dealing with the insurgency, and it is clear from the conduct of al Qaeda and its leaders, the US is winning. Random acts of bombing are not a measure of combat effectiveness. Wars are won by destroying the enemy. Al Qaeda and the other insurgency is too weak to take on the US so they are focusing their destruction on non combatants. Meanwhile, the US and its Iraqi allies are focusing on destroying the insurgents. If the Rumsfeld critics would take off their political blinders they would comprehend this reality and start looking for ways to support the US effort rather than trying to tear down our leaders.

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