Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Words of Truth from Donald Rumsfeld

I don't agree with very much of anything that U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld says. Whatever Rummy may ever have known about the realities of military campaigns, he has clearly forgotten in the decades since he retired from active duty. He was so attached to his own plan for the war in Iraq that he refused to listen to the generals in the field who consistently told him that his plan was leaving U.S. forces vulnerable to the Fedayeen Saddam, who subsequently helped form what we now know as "the insurgency."

However, even Rumsfeld occasionally says something truthful. Last week, he said:

We have learned some important lessons in 200 years of American history. ... Military strategists and war fighters need to always be prepared for the unforeseen and the unexpected. ... America can only prevail in Iraq if we're in it all the way.
That last sentence is crucial. America can only prevail militarily in Iraq if we are in it all the way, no holds barred, "all in," pedal to the metal, petal to the medal, completely committed. I quite agree.

However, there is one little sticking point: America isn't in it all the way. We never have been, we aren't now, and we never will be. Domestic resistance to the war effort will not just vanish before our eyes; indeed, the anti-war movement is on the ascendant.

The only option is to retreat in as orderly a fashion as we can manage. "Weakness is provocative; it tempts agressors. Appeasement is dangerous." Again, quite true. The problem is, standing your ground when you've walked blindfolded into an ambush is a sign of weakness, not strength, just as "staying the course" when your ship is headed straight for an iceberg is a sign of stupidity, not steadfastness.

Technorati tags: , , . Tip of the hat to CBN News for carrying the Rumsfeld sound bite.