Many of us on the Left have been braying for Rumsfeld’s hide for months. But you’d have to be a fool to think this would have any impact with George Bush. He doesn’t even listen to right-wing Republicans, why would he listen to us? But now I’m pleased to see that the harsh attacks against Rumsfeld are coming to a fever pitch, and they’re coming from Republican figures too powerful to ignore.
The New York Times reports in Grumbling Swells on Rumsfeld’s Right Flank
that Norman Schwartzkopf told MSNBC on Monday that he was angered “by the words of the secretary of defense when he laid it all on the Army, as if he, the secretary of defense, didn’t have anything to do with the Army and the Army was over there doing it themselves, screwing up.”
John McCain told AP that he had “no confidence” in Rumsfeld. Equally important, Bill Kristol, the “evil genius” behind the Iraq War and Bush’s theory of preemptive war has cast the ultimate dismissive judgment: “these soldiers deserve a better defense secretary than the one we have.” Kristol’s comments came in an op ed piece he wrote this week for the Washington Post, The Defense Secretary We Have.
Google News lists articles declaring Senators Norm Coleman, Susan Collins and even Trent Lott (!) have cast their lot against him.
Cpl. Thomas Wilson embarrasses Don Rumsfeld by questioning military preparedness in Iraq (credit: Salon.com)
All this because Rumsfeld gave his usual smug and sassy retort to a National Guardsman’s criticism of U.S. military readiness. The Guardsman’s question was old news since John Kerry had been harping day after day during the presidential campaign on the shameful lack of armor on military vehicles in Iraq. It’s almost like the nation has amnesia. When Kerry spoke, he was ignored. When a Guardsman addresses the same issue precisely–that’s hot news!
I think it’s jolly that so many in the press and the right-wing blogosphere (including slime like Matt Drudge) were critical of the journalistic ethics of the reporter who prompted the soldier to ask Rumsfeld the question. If I were a journalism professor perhaps I’d be carping too. But really, when you think about it, Rumsfeld is the lyin’est, snottiest, sleaziest Secretary of Defense in recent memory. Why does he deserve to be treated with especial respect by the press or his own troops??