Dueling Doyens

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William F. Buckley says Rummy staying on might be a "strategic mistake." William Safire says "Democratic politicians" are out to make Rummy a scapegoat and declares that, "Nor does it make strategic sense to remove a war leader in the vain hope of appeasing critics of the war." So there's that.

What I do not get is how every leader in the Pentagon is utterly blameless in the matter. Isn't shock and maul a logical progression from shock and awe? Isn't every Iraqi just one near-miss JDAM or glow-stick away from punking out and being America's bitch? This is a contest of wills isn't it? The strategic goal of the invasion and occupation was to demonstrate the will to invade and occupy, after which all the bad guys would think twice about trying to flip Uncle Sam.

I think Dubya should glow-stick Saddam at high noon on the Fourth of July. By God, that'll show 'em.

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  1. At the risk of being obtuse I offer the following:

    Shouldn’t the Dems heed the old warning of “be careful what you wish for” on the demands for the Rummy firing? If he goes he will be offered up as the scapegoat as in “See, we saw the problem and have handed you this head on a platter, as you suggested/demanded. Problem fixed, next question.”

    I’m sure the Dems will be able to dream up more and new things to bitch about, but won’t much of the substance of their complaint go out the door with Rummy? Won’t GWB look pretty decisive by firing him? Won’t he benefit from demonstrating that our principles do matter, i.e.; those responsible were held to account for their action/inaction?

    Just wondering.

  2. “What I do not get is how every leader in the Pentagon is utterly blameless in the matter.”- I don’t know Jeff, if it turns out that Nick Gillespie has been embezzzling funds from the RPPI does that mean that EVERYONE at Reason has been? IF, the mayor of San Diego is a crook, does that make Diane Feinstein a part of the conspiracy, ipso facto?

    “Isn’t shock and maul a logical progression from shock and awe? Isn’t every Iraqi just one near-miss JDAM or glow-stick away from punking out and being America’s bitch?”-Uh short answer, “NO” They’e not. Ummmm, if this were true there’d be a LOT more dead Iraqi’s. No more so than any women is just a hair’s breath away from rape in the presence of men.

    “This is a contest of wills isn’t? The strategic goal of the invasion and occupation was to demonstrate the will to invade and occupy, after which all the bad guys would think twice about trying to flip Uncle Sam.”- It is a test of will and to the extent that this sort of thing undermines OUR will and strengthens the enemeies it is counter-productive. AND the goal was to transform the Middle East, in a positive manner. had we simply wanted to scare them and transform them in a negative manner, well we had several hundred thousand tons equivalent in our nuclear arsenal to do that. Had we turned Iraq into a parking lot, we’d have been sending a message, but not the intended one.

  3. Rumsfeld has been, and continues to be, an asset to the Bush Administration. Those who want Kerry to be President would be glad to see him go. While there has been much handwringing by some Republicans, they’re not thinking straight. They mistakenly believe the Democrats can hang the present problem on Rumsfeld and continue to hurt Bush, but holding fast behind a popular figure will be better than firing him. All that would do is show weakness and after the Democrats will be on the attack all the more.

  4. Plus, the Dems can play back to back to back soundbites of Rummy mocking the Geneva convention and then crying piteously about it-

    Also, if he’s still around, he’ll make great kindling when the other shoe drops in Gitmo.

  5. The problem is all of the strategic goals the military is actually useful for have been accomplished. Forceful and complete WMD inspections, regime change, terrorist ties to the regime severed.

    Transforming the middle east in a positive manner should not be considered a military mission.

  6. To further Joe L.’s point, there is a message to be sent to the dictator and a different message to be sent to the people.

    The dictator is to know that we will throw our army at him personally if we perceive him to be a threat- so he shouldn’t act like one. He should not feel that he has protection by hiding behind his subjects or by whining to the UN.

    The people should know that we will do everything we can to bring some good out of a bad situation that required us to stomp their glorious leader.

    In my estimation we have delivered the first message, but with atrocities being committed by our own troops, utterly failed in delivering the second.

  7. “Transforming the middle east in a positive manner should not be considered a military mission.”-You are correct, sir…. HOWEVER, it will take the military. Have you forgotten the 9 year occupations of Germany and Japan? The enemy’s military and insurgent forces must be defeated, and it is not simply a linear thing, “OK the Wehrmacht is defeated, NOW we’ll rebuild the nation.” And the Iraq situation is not simply DoD, they are the folks in the news, but not the only ones on the ground.

  8. You have gotten the theory exactly correct. I wish I could have said that! Very good, EXCEPT for “…but with atrocities being committed by our own troops, utterly failed in delivering the second.” i’m not sure that Iraqis are ready to throw us out over Abu Ghraib. Does one incident overturn all godd accomplished. I think you overstate your point. Better to say it harms and muddies the message we send to the people. OTOH, an investiagtion and punishment MIGHT send a subtle message too, we ARE different from Saddam or Bashir or Mubarak or the Mullahs next door. There IS an upside.

  9. Jeff:

    No, it is definitely NOT a logical progression.

    The rules of war are different from the rules of peace. The rules for an enemy combatant are different that the rules for an enemy prisoner.

    This is so obviously true that I am surprised and disappointed to see your post.

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