What is one to make of the six retired generals who, in recent days, have called not only for the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, but have questioned whether U.S. troops should remain in Iraq much longer? Only that it will further embolden America's enemies who are betting that the United States is weak, morally corrupt and lacks the stomach for protracted conflict.
It is apparently less newsworthy that other retired generals, including Richard B. Myers, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Gen. Tommy Franks, former commander of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, are supporting Rumsfeld.
Appearing on Al Arabiya television, Rumsfeld said, "Out of thousands and thousands of admirals and generals, if every time two or three people disagreed, we changed the secretary of defense of the United States, it would be like a merry-go-round around here."
On Fox News Channel, Rumsfeld said, "...it's a test of wills. If they can't win a battle, where can they win? The only place they can win is the capitals of Western countries. And with trying to persuade the American people and other western nations, free people, 'look, it isn't worth the cost, it isn't worth the time, it isn't worth the money.' And to get them to toss in the towel and say it's not worth the effort. Well, it is worth the effort because terrorists are against free people for behaving as free people."
Anyone doubting Rumsfeld should consider the testimony of Zacarias Moussaoui. During the death penalty phase of his trial for involvement in the 9/11 attacks, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert A. Spencer asked Moussaoui if he thought the United States is destined to fall. He coldly replied, "I know it. I know it."
"You wake up every day to destroy the United States, don't you?" asked Spencer.
"To the best of my ability," Moussaoui responded.
Moussaoui said it was "my pleasure" to accept a suicide mission from Osama bin Laden. He mocked relatives of those who died on 9/11, saying he wishes more had been killed. He called those relatives who shed tears during their testimony "weak."
Moussaoui isn't retreating or calling for the resignation of Osama bin Laden or any other leader in the terrorist war on America and the West.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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