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John Kerry on Rumsfeld’s ‘Back Off’ Attacks on the “Mischievous” Media

by Pamela Leavey

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.

3 Responses to “John Kerry on Rumsfeld’s ‘Back Off’ Attacks on the “Mischievous” Media”

  1. I was looking up impeachment recently. (I was actually looking for what I found and more) One of those impeached was a Secretary of War. Apparently, under the checks and balances system that Congress has over the Executive and Judicial branches, the apppointments that are ratified by the Senate under Constitutional law, can be impeached: Supreme Court Justices, other Federal Judges, and members of the Cabinet.

    I wonder if Rummy’s impeachment could happen soon after the new Congress is seated. That would be a true Christmas present to the world.

  2. Senator Kerry is correct! This administration has consistently been unwilling to accept any blame for their Iraq folly. The entire weapons of mass destruction rationale for us invading proved to be a complete hoax. Furthermore, it has been established that the Bush administration had already planned to invade Iraq well beore 9/11.
    Once the WMD excuse failed, they offered ridding Iraq from an evil dictator as the reason for invading. Why would we opt. to attack Iraq instead of taking desisive military action against Afganistan and Saudi Arabia, the two countries responsible for ths attacks? This illogical response would be like FDR declaring war on Australia following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.
    President Bush, some forget, actually lied to the American public to gain support for the invasion. He had been told by our CIA and British Intelligence sources that the claim that Africa had sold uranium to Iraq to enhance it’s nuclear power cspability was a bogus claim. He was also told not to include this misleading information in his 2002 State of the Union Address. Or course Bush, who has labeled himself “the decider, included this information anyway.
    The image of President Bush standing on a US aircraft carrier to declare “mission accomplished” following the initial invasion, was just another photo-opt opportunity!
    It becomes increasingly obvious each day that we have no exit stategy. Rumsfeld would much rather tell the media to “back off” than cite clear objectives. It was President Harry Truman that coined the phrase, “The buck stop’s here.” Our current President, however, has taken no responsibility for the loss of almist 3,000 U.S. troops. This administration has politicized this war by casting those in opposition as, traitors, socialists, and facists. The Democratic Party has been unjustly accused of being weak on terrorism.
    They have also effectively used fear as a means of controling the electorate. F.D.R.’s famous WWII quote was, The only thing that we have to fear, is fear itself.” This Presidents motto should more closely resemble, “All I have to provide is fear itself.” Lets not be duped again America as we were in 2000, 2002, and 2004!

  3. Buzz,

    I heard a statistic today that about a thousand of our dead vets were killed by IEDs. Which I have maintained are probably made from the conventional explosives looted from known stockpiles when Rummy and Bush failed to secure them during the invasion.

    Maybe if they hadn’t ‘backed off’ from the advice and information they were given, but had backed off their ideological obsession; some of those lives -not to mention hundreds of limbs – would not have been lost.

    Here’s a report from a BBC reporter embedded with the 101st Airborne on how bad the US/Iraq troop relations are in one area.

    I sure hope the troops have gotten their absentee ballots this year.