It seems almost cruel to jump on Don Rumsfeld for his sudden bout of candor, his admission that the recent level of fighting in Iraq surprised him. Rummy needs to be encouraged to level with us more often. But the truths that retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni speaks need to be heard too.
Of Rummy's comments Zinni told the San Diego-Union Tribune: "Anyone could know the problems they were going to see. How could they not? … I think that some heads should roll over Iraq. I think the president got some bad advice."
Zinni goes on to pin-point the pickle the Bush administration now finds itself in. It cannot rebuild civil society in Iraq by itself, the UN is not inclined to help, and the Iraqis themselves are not taking the lead:
"We're betting on the UN, who we blew off and ridiculed during the run-up to the war. Now we're back with hat in hand. It would be funny if not for the lives lost. … In the end, the Iraqis themselves have to want to rebuild their country more than we do. But I don't see that right now. I see us doing everything."
And there is nothing funny about that.