DISMANTLING RUMSFELD'S SUCCESSES
By Christopher G. Adamo
As the nation prepared for war in the immediate aftermath of 9-11, Rumsfeld’s candor and resolve, expressed daily during his press briefings, made him immensely popular among the American people. Among reporters, he was grudgingly tolerated along with the rampant flag-waving and other expressions of an America that was rising to meet its enemies head-on.
Few could credibly argue with his success during the War in Afghanistan, by which the repressive and barbaric Taliban regime was decimated. Furthermore, the al-Qa'ida network that had previously flourished there was largely dispersed and destroyed.
Barely a year later, Rumsfeld was victorious once again, this time in the Iraqi campaign, in which the Baathist Party of Saddam Hussein was toppled from power. Eventually, Hussein himself was captured by American troops, and is presently awaiting trial under the new government of Iraq, once it is fully established.
However, during the months that had lapsed between 9-11 and the Iraq invasion, the counterculture in the U.S.A regained its anti-American footing, whereupon it once again engaged in unbridled criticism of every move by the Bush administration to shore-up U.S. national security. And once again, the blunt honesty of Rumsfeld made him a favorite target.
Throughout the eruption of the Abu Ghraib scandal, Liberal pundits were undisguised in their gleeful hopes of attaching the controversy to Rumsfeld, with hopes of discrediting him and thus, the Bush Administration. But despite their incessant hysterics, he weathered that storm as well.
Recovering somewhat from the shock of this year’s elections, the Left now seeks to reassert itself politically. And that means eroding public support for those issues that garnered major Republican victories this past November. Chief among them is the threat of Islamic terrorism, and America’s response to it.
As a result, Liberals know they must diminish America’s victories in the Terror War. And that effort requires the neutralization of the most successful “warrior” of that campaign. So, once again, the spotlight is on Donald Rumsfeld.
In the past few weeks, a few events have coalesced to a sufficient degree that, in the minds of President Bush’s political antagonists, they constitute valid criticism of the Defense Secretary.
First, an American soldier stationed in Iraq, at the coaxing of an embedded news reporter, pointedly queried Rumsfeld during a “townhall meeting” regarding a supposed lack of armor for military vehicles. Meanwhile, back on the home front, it has been learned that Rumsfeld utilized a mechanical device to emplace his signature on letters to the families of fallen soldiers.
To nobody’s great surprise, the “me too” wing of the Republican Party quickly chimed in. Seeing blood in the water, Senator John McCain (R.-AZ) told the Associated Press that he has “no confidence” in Rumsfeld. Senator Susan Collins (R.-ME), a renowned Republican “moderate,” quickly followed suit, much to the jubilation of partisan Democrats and the media.
But despite the raucous cries of “foul” from Liberal Democrats and from socalled "moderate" Republicans, the substance of their complaints is all but irrelevant when compared to Rumsfeld’s overall track record in office.
The mechanical replication of signatures by high-level officials is, in fact, standard practice in Washington. At worst, the entire situation can be termed “thoughtless.” The greater issue here is Rumsfeld’s successful and efficient prosecution of two major wars, and thus the many letters that never had to be written (or signed in any manner) in the first place.
As to the vehicle armor controversy, it is a fact of war that supply lines are occasionally strained, and that personnel often need to make do under less than ideal circumstances. But upon investigation, it turns out that the vehicle armor problem was totally blown out of proportion, with all but twenty of the eight hundred and thirty vehicles from the unit in question already fully armored.
Successes for the Bush administration, particularly as they relate to the War on Terror, will continue to be a detriment to the fortunes of the political Left. Liberals will remain in the despicable position of needing to undermine those successes in order to have any hope of gaining political traction and credibility.
This, above all else, is at the root of their attacks on Rumsfeld. Therefore, it is equally crucial that America remains steadfastly in support of him.
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