In England during an interview with a tv station recently, Colin Powell stated that he did not agree with the troops level sent into Iraq in the original deployment. This had been rumored forever but Powell himself had not publicly stated it before. He, however, thought he had done so and did not realize he was putting out a juicy tidbit during that interview. Poor guy had to immediately go on the record that he in no way meant to belittle Rumsfeld or anyone else in decision making positions.
Colin Powell said he completely agreed that the President and the administration should listen to the military generals on the ground for the decision making process. The military is under civilian rule with advice from the military. Recently Rumsfeld has been under fire from 6 or 7 retired generals and called upon to resign. This is quite a break from custom. Anthony Zinni started the ball rolling. He has a book to sell (surprise!) and since he retired before Bush took office, he needed a little help from his friends in justifying his whining in the book. Boo hoo, no one would do things his way. Again, he left before Bush was even in office.
Zinni e-mailed a few who he knew would join the parade and go on tv interviews and the like to call upon Rumsfeld to resign. They so far have stated the reasons are Rumsfeld is arrogant, stubborn and not easy to work for. Sounds like a boss to me. Generals calling a civilian arrogant. Don't you love the irony.
The Powell Doctrine is to go in with overwhelming force and get it done quickly. Works great in bombing campaigns from the air like the first Gulf War was but not so much in this one. In the current war the mission was to remove Saddam.
The Rumsfeld Doctrine is to move fast by travelling lighter. He wants to streamline the military to make it mean and lean. This has caused major problems with him and the Army in particular. The Marines aren't too happy either. They don't like change. The Pentagon operates in a post Cold War world with a pre-Cold War system. Notice those calling for the resignation are not from the Air Force or Navy. Coincidence?
Rumsfeld is not warm and cuddly. Neither are generals. Rumsfeld is a former Navy pilot. He has also been a Congressional staffer, Member of Congress (elected 4 times), Assistant and then Counselor to President Nixon, Ambassador to NATO, Chief of Staff for President Ford, Secretary of Defense - youngest ever-, CEO of G.D. Searle, CEO of General Instruments, and then to his current position as the oldest ever Secretary of Defense. During the time he was not officially active in government he served on numerous military commissions for the Pentagon under both Republican and Democrat presidents. Streamlining the Pentagon and making it more efficient in the new century has been his passion for many years.
Mistakes are made. Intelligence was wrong. Judgements were off due to circumstances. I think history will show that following up on national policy put into place in 1998 calling for the removal of Saddam was the right call.
My husband is a Vietnam veteran. Iraq is not Vietnam. We aren't fighting Cold War communism in Iraq. LBJ is not ratcheting up the amount of troops in theatre. The exit policy is still to leave as soon as the Iraqi people step up and can take care of themselves.
Hey, where was George Clooney and his daddy when Saddam was performing genocide and starving his people? Oh yeah, I think he was in Hollywood making millions so he could buy the villa in Italy to move into international playboy status. Nice he finally got a little awareness.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas A. Edison