Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Rumsfeld as a Scapegoat

Liberals are cheering the departure of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. That fact alone may tell us more about the Liberal, anti-military ilk than the horrible name calling directed at Mr. Rumsfeld.
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Secretary Rumsfeld is a task master, autocratic in nature but highly successful in government service and in the private sector. Instead of spending endless days in Capitol Hill hearing rooms as part of the Presidents cabinet he will spend them as a private citizen.
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Liberals want their piece of flesh and they are probably not through with Mr. Rumsfeld. These feckless left-wing whiners are over matched by the articulate, intelligent and highly informed gentleman from the "City with Big Shoulders", Chicago.
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I predict history will be kinder to Donald Rumsfeld than politicians and the media have been. This also included ex-Generals who didn't like an assertive civilian doing his job and managing the military. The power shift left a vacuum military personnel found difficult to cope with as Mr. Rumsfeld made significant changes after Al Gore and Bill Clinton virtually dismantled the military to balance their budget.
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Modernization took place under Rumsfeld as the Clinton military was on food stamps, undermanned and without effective tools to conduct a war or defend the homeland. When discussion of body armor and poor equipment became politcal fodder the Democrats were quick to blame Rumsfeld. They should have looked into the mirror and at their anti-Military hero Bill Clinton.
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U.S. forces ousted the Taliban in Afghanistan with percision and speed under Rumsfelds authority. Osama bin Laden was chased into the mountains, forced to hide and live amongst Pakistani tribes and become relatively powerless.
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Saddam Hussein, now on death row, was toppled in record speed. Military historian John Keegan has called this campaign "the farthest advance at speed over distance ever recorded" in a military operation, and at the time it saved thousands of lives. The factors on the ground in Iraq today can be blamed well beyond Donald Rumsfeld as other government agencies and planners failed to prepare for insurgencies, exiled Iraqi's, and culture wars between tribes and communities.
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Rumsfeld enforced rules that made the Armed Services operate jointly, removed outmoded defense systems and eliminated much of the pork used to prop up poorly operating agencies within the military.
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President Bush is now retreating and has nominated Dr. Robert Gates, an ex-CIA Director with intelligence experience, not miitary know how. Mr. Gates is also on the Baker-Hamilton study group that Congress established to examine policy options for Iraq, and his nomination may mean Mr. Bush has already signed onto its soon-to-be-released recommendations.
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One of the proposals is reportedly a new engagement with Iran and Syria, which would make a hash of the President's "freedom agenda." I can't imagine how far any dialogue with rogue states and terrorists will go. Gates was deputy national security adviser under Brent Scowcroft in 1991, when President Bush's father abandoned the Shiite uprising that followed the first Gulf War. Scowcroft has pubicly criticized Bush foreign policy in Iraq and the Middle East.
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Mr. Rumsfeld should be applauded for all the good he did and we're sure history will provide those facts to anyone interested. For now he is a political scapegoat and deserved a better fate. We can only hope the Rumsfeld military modernization continues.

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