Monday, April 10, 2006

Another Call for Rumsfeld's Resignation

If Bush can't see the writing on the wall, it's up to Congress to start putting pressure on Rumsfeld to resign. This can be done with real investigations rather than the kind of whitewashes we have seen in the last three years and that Senator Pat Roberts has made his specialty.

Congress might begin by asking what good is it for Rumsfeld to remake the military if the military is being designed in such a way that it's not able to get the job done after major military operations are over? Not only has Rumsfeld been incompetent, he has spent far too much time on his toys and micromanagement rather than providing the resources and leadership needed for a truly flexible military; his interference in foreign policy alone should have led to his dismissal long ago. Lt. General Gregory Newbold is the latest to call for Rumsfeld to step down:
The three-star Marine Corps general who was the military's top operations officer before the invasion of Iraq expressed regret, in an essay published Sunday, that he did not more energetically question those who had ordered the nation to war. He also urged active-duty officers to speak out now if they had doubts about the war.

Lt. Gen. Gregory Newbold, who retired in late 2002, also called for replacing Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and "many others unwilling to fundamentally change their approach." He is the third retired senior officer in recent weeks to demand that Mr. Rumsfeld step down.

In the essay, in this week's issue of Time magazine, General Newbold wrote, "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."

The decision to invade Iraq, he wrote, "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."
Given that we have two unfinished wars and that the war in Iraq is not only a mess but a sign that those in charge are unable to learn from their blunders, we have no business thinking of a third costly war in five years, a war against Iran.

And let no one pretend that a major bombing campaign, one that may include nuclear weapons, will be anything less than war. Iran is a problem, but it is not an imminent problem; we need confidence that our leadership in Washington knows what it is doing and that it has an effective strategy rather than a messianic belief in its reckless arrogance. The evidence so far has not been reassuring and the continued policy of a Republican Congress of writing Bush a blank check and giving him political cover is not in the best interest of our nation. And without clear consent from Congress, meaning a vote on a clear resolution, a bombing attack on Iran will once again put Bush in violation of the US Constitution and will endanger the security of the United States.


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