Sunday, September 03, 2006

Resign, Rummy!

In New Jersey, a Republican candidate seeking to oust Democratic congressman Robert Menendez has called for Donald Rumsfeld to resign. Joe Lieberman, the "Connecticut for Lieberman" (that's the actual name of his party) candidate to retain his own senate seat has said the same.

I'm bad at predicting political events but I'll go out on a limb here: with more than 60% of the country now believing that the war in Iraq was a mistake and not worth the costs of lives and money, a lot of vehement pro-war supporters are going to turn on Donald Rumsfeld as a way to skirt the issue during the midtem elections. It just makes sense -- by attacking Rumsfeld, a candidate can attack the handling of the war without admitting to being wrong about supporting the war in the first place or having the criticize Bush directly.

I hope this tactic fails. Truth is, the war was the wrong thing to do. A different Secretary of Defense might have used different tactics and some of those tactics might have produced better results, but the war wasn't wrong because it turned out to be hard (critics of the war warned it would be hard well before we invaded) it's wrong because it's a war that we didn't have to fight because Iraq posed no threat to the U.S. If some magical Secretary of Defense had been in place who had a strategy that would have turned Iraq from dictatorship to democracy in three days with no loss of life on either side, it STILL would have been the wrong thing to do. It diminished our ability to handle Al-Qaeda, who had actually attacked us, and it diminished our ability to use the threat of force against Iran and North Korea, who are actually on a nuclear path, and it drained our economy of a lot of money at a time where we need cash in order to not only keep our government solvent, but to fund the government's promises to its citizens.

Don't mistake me -- Rumsfeld has really screwed up and he should have resigned a long time ago. But, Rummy is only part of the problem. Ill-conceived policies that come from the president are the real issue.


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