Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told detractors today that “to pull back as U.S. and Iraqi officials grapple with the uncertainties of laying out Iraq’s course.”
“You ought to just back off, take a look at it, relax, understand that it’s complicated, it’s difficult,” Rumsfeld said, appearing unusually combative as he sparred with reporters at the Pentagon. “Honorable people are working on these things together,” he said, adding emphatically that “no daylight” exists between the U.S. and Iraqi sides…
“Everyone’s trying to make a little mischief out of this, and . . . turn it into a political football,” Rumsfeld said.
John Kerry shot back at Rumsfeld’s attack on the media and his critics and told him who really needs to back off…
“Today a Secretary of Defense, who should have been fired a long time ago, lost even greater touch with reality.
Secretary Rumsfeld blames the “mischievous” media for trying to find “a little daylight” between Prime Minister Maliki and the Administration. There’s nothing mischievous about acknowledging that the Iraqis defiantly rejected the Administration’s toothless benchmarks. The problem is not the meaning of the word “it.” The problem is the state of denial in which this incompetent Secretary of Defense continues to operate.
This month, American casualties in Iraq have already reached the highest level in a year as our brave troops continue to pay the price for the Administration’s arrogance and incompetence. Playing rhetorical word games and tweaking the tactics of a fundamentally flawed strategy will not get the job done.
Secretary Rumsfeld once promised our troops would not be forced to fight an Iraqi civil war, but refused to repeat that promise today because he knows our heroes are already bogged down in a civil war. He touts the 310,000 Iraqi security forces that are “bearing the brunt of the battle”, even though this makes a mockery of the Administration’s rhetoric of standing down American troops as Iraqis stand up. He says again this conflict won’t be solved militarily, but refuses to impose the hard deadlines necessary to force Iraqis to reach a real political settlement.
It’s clearer than ever that we need new leadership if we are ever going to change the Administration’s failed course in Iraq.”
The calls for Rumsfeld’s resignation… “a reflection of just how difficult it has been for Republican candidates to separate themselves from the president and the war,” said Amy Walter, a House analyst with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.
“With 12 days left, they’ve attacked the Democrats. It didn’t work. They’ve talked about their greatest strengths: taxes, terrorism and immigration. It didn’t work. Now they’re saying, ‘Well, we’ll try this.’ “
Call it what it is — grasping at straws. This latest Rummy attack won’t work either.