Resignation by Rumsfeld Demanded

Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld is on the hot seat again. The Ross Report at SF Gate received an advanced copy of the text of an editorial scheduled to publish Monday, November 6, the day before Election Day.

Rumsfeld's opponents are demanding resignation stating in the editorial:

"It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads."

The editorial states that military officials toed the line regarding the job performance of Rumsfeld, but later a few retired military generals stepped forward to question his strategy. Anti-war critics believe the generals should have spoken up while still in uniform, whereas war supporters feel the matters should be discussed behind closed doors.

The editorial will appear in military newspaper publications Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times. This is the second time the publications have demanded Rumsfeld's resignation.

The editorial also claims:

"This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:

Donald Rumsfeld must go."

Blue Crab Boulevard responds:

"Of course it is about the midterms, and of course they are doing their level best to help drag the Democrats across the finish line. This is all part of that media crescendo."

A CNN article states:

"In May 2004, when the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal broke, an Army Times editorial said, "This was not just a failure of leadership at the local command level. This was a failure that ran straight to the top. Accountability here is essential, even if that means relieving top leaders from duty in a time of war."

To blame military leaders and the Secretary of Defense for crimes committed by American soldiers is outrageous.

If I were sexually harassed at work, should my manager be held accountable for the actions of my attacker? Should the CEO of my company be forced to resign because he didn't have complete control over the employees that he ostensibly leads?

It is incomprehensible that these American soldiers committed these crimes. It is they who were to be accountable for their abuse of prisoners. They were punished and they deserved it.

It seems there is a lot of blame being placed on Donald Rumsfeld. Democrats believe he has lost credibility with our troops and with Congress, and that the troops will suffer.

Perhaps the President and his advisors were too optimistic on the ease of war, desperately trying to inspire hope for the future after the tragic events of 9/11.

The majority of Americans do support the war in Iraq. We have many personal stakes in this war. Our fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, friends and neighbors are fighting for our country. They are fighting for our freedom and the freedom of others. War is not easy. It's a difficult job that few Americans will do. It is a job in the hands of our brave military.

Americans are worried about National Security. We are concerned about our borders. We pray for world peace, but we will do anything to help those in need.

We are Big Brother to the world. Shall we cease our participation in this role? Shall we say, "Screw Iraq! Fend for yourselves! We've lost enough lives and we can't afford to fight for yours!"

Did the troops of World War II give up? Of course not, they fought until an evil dictator was destroyed. They didn't give up until our country and the countries of others were safe from invasion by those who wished to destroy us.

What has happened to our Patriotism?

As John F. Kennedy said:

"And so my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: Ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man."

What has happened to fighting for our fellow man, regardless of what country he calls home?

If any country can get the job done, America can, and it's about time we start to believe it.

Posted by Dana J. Tuszke at November 4, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #193310

You need to read State of Denial if you want a real good sense of how much the military hates Rumsfeld. There’s only one reason why he’s still there: Bush.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #193312

Rumsfeld offered his resignation to Bush twice. Both twices, Bush refused to accept his resignation.

“To blame military leaders and the Secretary of Defense for crimes committed by American soldiers is outrageous.”

You are wrong, Dana. The military chain of command is different from a civilian business heirarchy. In the military, you delegate authority, not responsibility. If someone further down the chain messes up, the responsibility still belongs to the person who delegated the authority. It may seem harsh to a civilian, but people who have served in the military, especially officers, understand this perfectly well. It is not outrageous. In the military, no one ever said anything about fair. Rumsfeld (and Cheney) have made many critical mistakes. The fault lies with Bush, for refusing to accept the resignation.

“The majority of Americans do support the war in Iraq.”

You are wrong again. Have you been following polls?

“Do you favor or oppose the U.S. war in Iraq?”
Favor Oppose Unsure
34% 64% 2%

Personally, I think your best argument is for the moral obligation which we owe Iraqis, to re-instate order. Unfortunately, so many bad decisions have been made, the situation seems to be beyond recovery.

Given the chance to take responsibility for their own country, the Iraqis have used the opportunity to give their primary allegiances to religious & ethnic factions, rather than to the country as a whole. That was their choice, and we enabled that choice through our own disastrous choices, choices made by Bush & Cheney & Rumsfeld.

Now, there really are no good choices. Merely changing tactics has failed. Perhaps the commission by Jimmy Baker & Lee Hamilton will come up with a change of strategy worth pursuing, but sadly, Republicans have played politics with the lives of our troops, and refused to publicly acknowledge the need for the change of strategy.

Republicans have foolishly painted themselves into a corner: stay the course, cut and run, and suggesting that withdrawal equals surrender used make resonant talking points. Now Americans have turned against this foolishness. Incompetence and corruption are no longer acceptable, even for conservatives. Republicans will pay the price this Tuesday.

Posted by: phx8 at November 4, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #193313

Ack! Sorry- correction- “both twices” should be “both times.”

Posted by: phx8 at November 4, 2006 5:37 PM
Comment #193314

For those who want Rumsfeld’s head on a platter, who would you choose to replace him. My choice is to leave Rummy alone and let him do his job.

And good post Dana.

Posted by: tomh at November 4, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #193317

Noble sentiments Dana. However, it seems to me that the US was attacked by Japan before entering WW2, and Hitler also declared war on the US. Therefore its involvement in both campaigns was in response to these facts. The US did not enter that war for the destruction of dictators or the advancement of mankind. Saying this is not to dishonour the massive US contribution to the defeat of these tyrannies.

As to the US being big brother to the world? Sorry, the US, like all great powers always have done, serves its own interests. As a British diplomat once said, countries don’t have friends, they have interests. And the name Big Brother also has some very negative connotations. As for the freedom of man and what we can do togeher? Well, it seems that Bush really wanted to go it alone on this one, apart from his poodle in 10 Downing Street.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 4, 2006 6:12 PM
Comment #193318

Rumsfeld is fighting to protect Iraqi oil revenues from falling in the hands of the al-Queda. A threat that would not have existed had we not invaded. That aside.

Rumsfeld, allowed his preconceptions for a small tactical and surgical military to override the actual needs and requirements of invading Iraq and securing the nation for our posterity and security. Rumsfeld allowed that preconception to dismiss Gen. Szenscecki’s (sp?) advice for vastly increasing our troops shortly after the invasion to secure the nation. And the General’s opinion was not a lonely one. The same opinion was expressed by the Pentagon and CIA. Rumsfeld’s insistence that he knew better, has been proven wrong, time and time again.

But, Rumsfeld remains. And the reason is elementary school yard simple. To remove him is tantamount to an admission that the war in Iraq was mismanaged. And that could not possibly enhance the legacy of either GW Bush, or Rumsfeld.

Therefore, for legacy’s sake, many more American troops will die, get maimed and burned, and 100’s of more billions of dollars will funnel into the war supply corporation’s profits, to be partly recycled back into campaign dollars to the Republicans who keep Iraq so lucrative for these corporations in the first place.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #193320


Everything I have read leads me to believe that the military’s ineptitude, torture of innocents, and failure to achieve it’s goals was the result of orders and management of the top. Frankly, I cannot believe you think these things are the soldiers fault. No matter what side of the fence you are on, you have got to believe we have some mighty fine soliders.

Also, this war is no way like WWII. There’s no comparison. There was no threat from Iraq. We need to go back to the excellent leadership and plan provided by Bush Senior to manage Iraq’s future risks without occupying the nation.

Posted by: Max at November 4, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #193326

I do not dislike Rumsield personally, as many who want him gone seem to do, but it is pretty apparent that he has bungled the handling of this war. I supported the invasion and still do, but by comletely mismanaging the post-invasion the way that Bush and Rumsfield have it is clear that if a change does not occur their party will not be there to keep mismanaging it in the future. At stake would be that the American people would put someone in office that would handle it worse, it almost happened in 2004.

This is one of Bush’s biggest failures in my eyes, the inability to see that ‘it isn’t working’ and fixing it, instead just going down the same path.

It’s like going to the refridgerator and pulling out some milk, drinking it and finding out that it is bad and putting it back in the fridge with the thought that it might get better tomorrow…

Or, marrying your ex-wife.

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 4, 2006 7:07 PM
Comment #193327

Germany was no threat to the US, we still fought them, we supported and funded the Allies before we were attacked by Japan.

Iraq was a threat to the US. How much of one is in debate but they were a threat, we could rehash all of it if you like…

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 4, 2006 7:09 PM
Comment #193328

(btw, we were right to help the Allies in WWII, just in case someone thinks to take from my comments that we shouldn’t have)

Posted by: Rhinehold at November 4, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #193332

People defend Rumsfeld because his resigination would be an admission of fault. Admitting fault would be losing heart, losing will, not being a team player- I mean, if there is one common thread here it is the focus on political games with rivals and the media as the plan to win the war, rather than on the practical means of victory.

Take the incident where that guy asked Rumsfeld about the hillbilly armor. Never mind that our soldiers were riding around with nothing but sandbags, plywood, and scrap metal between them and enemy’s bullets and shrapnel, oh no, the real problem was that the guy had asked an embarassing question of Rumsfeld after having talked it over with a reporter.

That’s keeping your priorities straight. If we lose this war, it’s going to be because the people in charge were too busy trying to win it on TV, to win it in the here and the now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 4, 2006 7:38 PM
Comment #193337

If we lose this war, it’s going to be because the Dems were busy trying to harm the war effort to harm Bush. Unfortunately, in doing so they also have let down America. The Dems have failed America. They have no plan for Iraq that doesn’t involve leaving hastily.

They are a party so enamored with hatred of Bush that they have lost all sense of direction. Their only cohesive activity in the last 6 years was opposing Bush.

What is their #1 priority? It is listed first on their own web-site: “We will end the Republican…” They are so focused on hate that their #1 agenda priority has to to with the other major party. This is utter stupidity! This is not something I would vote FOR. It wouldn’t make me vote for the Dems. They are lost in a quagmire of their own making.

Posted by: Don at November 4, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #193339

Just to help some understand how this fits the topic… demanding that Rumsfeld resign is just another attack on Bush. Their plan = eliminate the enemy (Bush and the Republicans).

Hey, Dems! Listen up! The real enemy is not in American government! The real enemy is not the other major party! If you want to represent the people, you should concentrate on eliminating the ENEMY and their threat.

Posted by: Don at November 4, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #193342

Don, there is an enemy within, and an enemy without. The one without, we all know as terrorists. The one within, is partisan warfare, incompetence, and all the makeshift attempts to cover-up the incompetence.

Which is worse? The one without can take down an entire city. The one within, can take down our entire nation for decades to come, and is.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 4, 2006 8:51 PM
Comment #193345

If we lose this war, it�€™s going to be because the Dems were busy trying to harm the war effort to harm Bush. Unfortunately, in doing so they also have let down America. The Dems have failed America. They have no plan for Iraq that doesn’t involve leaving hastily.
Posted by: Don at November 4, 2006 08:29 PM

Don, are you for real? You’re not winning the war now. And you haven’t been since to insurgency got going. In order for you to be winning, you would have to see some general improvement in control. Instead of that, the situation is spiralling further out of control. Now remind me, who’s been in charge throughout all of this? Would the Dems do better? I don’t know. But I do know they have less invested in what has happened to date in this war in Iraq that they can stop digging and do something different. Anything different. Doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a definition of madness. Bush cannot change his strategies because that would require him to admit that he was wrong. At this stage anyway, I suspect it doesn’t matter what you do in Iraq, it will end badly for the US and the west generally. You have let the genie out of the bottle, and you can’t put it back in.

Posted by: Paul in Euroland at November 4, 2006 9:04 PM
Comment #193346

Don: You forgot to blame Clinton. All those generals who think the greatest Sec. of Defense in the history of America is a military moron are all democrats to.
The President should declare martial law, round up the democrats and send them to Guantanamo for a little waterboarding. What do you think Don, will that get us victory in Iraq.

Posted by: jlw at November 4, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #193348

Dana: Sadam’s sentencing tomorrow isn’t about the midterms is it?

Posted by: jlw at November 4, 2006 9:13 PM
Comment #193352


“If I were sexually harassed at work, should my manager be held accountable for the actions of my attacker? Should the CEO of my company be forced to resign because he didn’t have complete control over the employees that he ostensibly leads?”

If he allowed the same thing to happen over, and over, and over?

Whether Rumsfeld likes it or not, he is the face of our military. His arrogance after the chaos and looting allowed when Baghdad fell was inexcusable.
And his best answer was oops, sometimes shit happens?

“Perhaps the President and his advisors were too optimistic on the ease of war, desperately trying to inspire hope for the future after the tragic events of 9/11.”

Ya think.

After Sept. 11th, the President had carte blanche to do whatever it took to bring those responsible to justice. Bush had not only the support of virtually the entire country, with approval ratings of 90% on October 8th and 9th 2001, he had the support of nearly the entire world, including a goodly portion of the Middle East.

By the way, where is Osama?

Mr. Bush has said he didn’t think about him much.

Posted by: Rocky at November 4, 2006 9:29 PM
Comment #193356

You can always tell when you’ve hit the nail on the head…the other side starts swearing. Way to go guys! Turn it back to Bush, instead of answering my point, that’s the trick (always).

Truth is, the Dems have no plan, no purpose, no agenda other than defeating the Reps. They don’t give a rats whisker about terrorists. If they did they would have done more to work with (now don’t get huffy) the Reps to fight that war. There’s always some Rep that “must resign”, always some Rep that has “made terrible mistakes”, etc etc etc.

Remer, “the enemy within” is the Dems and Reps. Do I think the Reps have done well? NO. Do I think the Dems have a better plan? DOUBLE NO. I wouldn’t trust any of our present Democrat leaders to be able to fight their way out of a wet paper bag, let alone succeed in Iraq or Afghanistan (this, by the way, wouldn’t be true of the Democrat party that existed when our grandfathers were around). The present Democrat leadership is a group of defeatists, able to destroy but clueless when it comes to the skill of building.

They don’t represent America’s values. They don’t represent the good that is America. And their desire to defeat the Republicans is the only unifying force holding their party together.

This renewed effort by the Dems to eliminate Rumsfeld comes not from their assessment of his abilities or failures, but from their hatred of anything Republican. Has Rummy failed? They don’t care, because they don’t care about the war in Iraq. They don’t care about WINNING the war in Iraq. So, their only concern about Rumsfeld is that he is Republican. It’s quite sad.

Posted by: Don at November 4, 2006 9:58 PM
Comment #193366

Maybe if the Dems win 51 Senate seats (counting Lieiberman) soon after the election, Rumsfeld can go, to be replaced by a bipartisan choice, Joe Lieberman. At that point the Republican governor of Conn. can appoint a Republican senator. That leave Dick Cheney to break the ties. Sounds like a decent plan.

Posted by: Jack at November 4, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #193367

Jack: I think Arlen Specter would be a better compromise choice than Lieberman. Specter won’t see a need to invade Palestine.

Posted by: jlw at November 4, 2006 11:58 PM
Comment #193370
My choice is to leave Rummy alone and let him do his job…
Given such a “wonderful” job Rummie’s done, remind me never to invest in your company or services. I could never trust those hiring or retaining instincts. Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at November 5, 2006 12:36 AM
Comment #193383

Don said: “Truth is, the Dems have no plan, no purpose, no agenda other than defeating the Reps.”

Seems to be working! Ergo, must be a pretty good plan. And you thought they didn’t have a plan.

By having no plan, they gave Republicans nothing to shoot at, which left the Republican plans out there for the public to weigh and assess. And they did offer one purpose, change in course. And they did offer one agenda, getting our troops out of harms way in Iraq.

When an action works, for something as monumental as shifting power in Congress, it is pretty hard to argue that it happened because of astrology or luck. Democrats had a plan, an agenda, and a purpose, and all 3 appear to be working with some big help by: Gay Republicans, GOP bribes for votes, by Abramoff, Ney and others, and of course our beloved incompetent Sec’y of Defense and President, Rumsfeld and Bush.

You are right though, Don, it was a very unfair tactic for Democrats not to put out an economic plan, a deficit reduction plan, and education reform plan, a save Soc. Sec. plan, etc., for the Rovian machine to attack and slime. Damned unfair. Republicans should have legislated a law against such unfair political tactics, don’t you think?

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 5, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #193405

You didn’t hit the nail on the head. You hit my thumb on the joint.

Only a superficial and incomplete examination of the events in Iraq allows one to both dislike the Republican’s execution of the war, yet give a free pass to the architects of it. Only a negligent, selective read on events nails Democrats and the media as the primary forces undermining the war.

Rumsfeld initially seemed to me to be likably witty guy with a take-no prisoners pragmatic attitude towards leadership. As things wore on, though, it just seemed to dissolve into arrogance. The wit turned demeaning. The pragmatic attitude was revealed to be anything but, as he continued to insist on the preservation of his policies, and belittle those who sought changes.

Those who think opposition to the war, the president and the SecDef are all just kneejerk really fail to understand the scope and nature of the errors made. They also rarely examine the evidence that has lead us to those conclusions, as it is often material that they’ve labeled as biased and therefore unreliable. It’s a self-reinforcing bubble, and being confronted with it is an exercise in frustration.

We are not unreasonable people, nor do we lack a certain sense of self-interest. Maybe you should allow us to make some mistakes before you start trying to hold us responsible for them.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 5, 2006 9:48 AM
Comment #193418

Don said:

[Democrats] are a party so enamored with hatred of Bush that they have lost all sense of direction. Their only cohesive activity in the last 6 years was opposing Bush.
Ahh, I get it. The Dems are behaving just like the Republicans did from 1992-2000. Shame on them.

Posted by: ElliottBay at November 5, 2006 11:30 AM
Comment #193544

I just saw the editor of those Military Times publications, and he said:

He said that Gannett had no role in the decision, and likely did not know of it in advanced. He also said it was the collective decision of the publication’s editors and writers. He also said that there was a long tradition of military subordination to civilian command, and it was a sign of active service member’s integrity that they do not badmouth their civilian superiors while under their command. After they’re retired or discharged is another matter, of course.

He couldn’t win on the timing- if he had waited, he would have been accused of some by giving the political advantage to the other side.

He also said that nobody on the ballot would have the power to fire Rumsfeld. Bush, being the only person able to do that, was not up for election.

So how does this help, I wonder?

The Republicans politicized this war, even before there was a war. They’ve made the debate about its wisdom not an examination of the facts, of the decisions and the results of those decisions (aspects whose qualities can be understood across party lines), but instead about the loyalty of the questioner to their party and this country. Your choice is flattery or opposition to the ruling political party and Bush, its leaders. This choice is conflated with support or opposition to the country itself, which infuriating and annoying to those who support their country first and their leaders second.

Ultimately, our military is under civilian control for a reason, and the President and his party are accountable to us for a reason as well. The hack piece here is not the editorial, but all the attacks accusing these people of trying to politicize the matter, despite their continued exploitation of the matter for their own political benefit.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 6, 2006 7:51 AM
Comment #193773


Its the military establishment that is repeatedly criticizing and calling for dismissal of Rumsfeld, not the Democrats. You have mischaracterized the argument here by saying it is about politics. It is very much about incompetent leadership. Any manager in any American company with such an atrocious record of ineptitude would be promptly dismissed.

Posted by: beijing rob at November 7, 2006 1:36 AM
Comment #194484


Actually, they’d prbably get a lucrative golden parachute and a time share in the corporate condo in the Bahamas… Now Rummy will be a lobbyist or go on the speaking tour, no diff…

Posted by: Dave1-20-09 at November 10, 2006 3:02 PM
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