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Friday, November 3, 2006
What’s More Important: Keeping Rumsfeld or Kerry’s Foot-in-Mouth?
By Dr. Steven Taylor @ 12:40 pm

It is a legitimate question, asked in a column by James Klurfeld in Newsday (Forget Kerry, the joke is keeping Rumsfeld).

If anything, the amount of attention paid to Kerry’s whatever it was is disproportionate to its significance.

I certainly am not naive enough to know that replacing Rumsfeld would necessarily mean a change in policy. Further, it is possible that Rumsfeld could stay and policies could change. However, the President’s adamant support of Rumsfeld suggests that this is unlikely.

The bottom line with Rumsfeld is that the following (from the Klurfeld column) is accurate:

By deliberately and premeditatively not preparing for the postwar period in Iraq despite repeated warnings from some on his staff and a slew of experts in other parts of the government, Rumsfeld set the stage for what might turn out to be the worst foreign policy disaster in the nation’s history.

If one read Diamond’s book or Woodward’s, and I presume (based on interviews I have seen) Rick’s book Fiasco as well, one gets the decided impression that Rumsfeld wholly dismissed the need for a means to deal with the post-invasion situation and now we are in dire straits (see, for example, here for evidence of that fact).

Filed under: Iraq, US Politics | |Send TrackBack

5 Comments »

  1. If one read Diamond’s book or Woodward’s, and I presume (based on interviews I have seen) Rick’s book Fiasco as well,

    Yeah, but those guys are liberal, east-coast elitist mainstream media guys, so they are out to get the administration.

    Rumsfeld is clearly the victim here.

    Comment by Ratoe — Friday, November 3, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

  2. I Think Rummy will be gone after the mid-term elecitions. He is too much of a liability for Bush - or more specifically, the Republican ‘08ers.

    Kerry’s foot-in-mouth disease :

    Senator John Kerry has single-handedly stopped Democrat’s election day momentum (for at least 48 hours). A joke-gone-bad he uttered this week was used by Republicans to practically bludgeon him to death. The Republicans, starting at the top with President Bush and spokesperson Tony Snow, gleefully accused Kerry of insulting the intelligence of troops in Iraq, when in fact, Kerry’s undeniable intent was to simply malign Bush’s IQ. In any case, an apology was issued by Kerrry which he quickly followed with a blistering attack against “Republican thugs.”

    Let us fervently hope that the nation’s political discourse will once again return to the issues that really matter. Kerry has said he will swear off telling jokes in public. Perhaps he should forswear telling any jokes at all - anytime and anyplace. But then again, Karl Rove and company will be eagerly awaiting more Kerryisms in the very near furture.

    Comment by Peter Bakke — Friday, November 3, 2006 @ 5:43 pm

  3. I Think Rummy will be gone after the mid-term elecitions. He is too much of a liability for Bush - or more specifically, the Republican ‘08ers.

    If Bush didn’t have the courage to let him go by now, there is no incentive for him to do it after the election.

    In fact, I would argue that keeping Rummy on will actually help any Republican ‘08 aspirant.

    Given the fact that Bush doesn’t really have a plan for dealing with Iraq, the situation in Iraq will continue to deteriorate making it even more of an issue in ‘08.

    Republicans are already starting to circle the wagons around Bush and Rummy. If things keep up as they are, no one close to the administration will have much of a chance in ‘08. The only Repubs to have a chance will be those that “show their independence” by railing on Bush and Rummy.

    So keeping Rummy in will be good for the Republicans. Sure it will be bad for the country, our military, and international stability-but the Republican leadership hasn’t really demonstrated that they care about those things anyway.

    Comment by Ratoe — Friday, November 3, 2006 @ 6:43 pm

  4. Assassins’ Gate by Packer makes it very clear that the non-planning was deliberate. He recounts a scene where a couple of think-tanks are gathered to consult with the White House on post-war Iraq and the plans are nixed when AEI starts protesting that the White House is supposed to be opposed to nation-building.

    Packer also details how the Pentagon black-balled the people in the State Dept. who actually were planning for reconstruction/occupation from positions of influence and what not, making sure that they have little to no influence. This is also detailed to lesser extent in Woodward’s Plan of Attack and David Phillips, who quit the State Dept. in protest because the work he was doing on a post war plan was shelved, details this in Losing Iraq.

    Comment by . — Saturday, November 4, 2006 @ 10:36 am

  5. He recounts a scene where a couple of think-tanks are gathered to consult with the White House on post-war Iraq and the plans are nixed when AEI starts protesting that the White House is supposed to be opposed to nation-building.

    Yeah, Bush’s campaign pledge to be against nation-building is probably one of the only ones he has kept.

    In the case of Iraq his policies have certainly destroyed the nation-but there has been very little serious effort to actually rebuild it.

    Comment by Ratoe — Saturday, November 4, 2006 @ 3:00 pm

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