Rummy Round-Up

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Apr 18, 2006 12:15 PM

Rumsfeld was his usual spry, take-no-guff self today at a press conference, despite recent calls for his resignation:

Donald H. Rumsfeld said Tuesday he hasn't considered resigning despite calls for him to do so by a half dozen retired generals, and that whether he should remain as secretary of defense is up to President Bush.

Asked at a Pentagon briefing whether he would consider resigning to ease political pressure on Bush and Republicans in Congress, Rumsfeld said, "No."

All this brought on my favorite Bush quote in a long while:

"I'm the decider and I decide what's best."

The Right State calls him Decider-in-Chief.

The Post thinks Rummy should go, but not because retired generals think he should:

Anyone who protested the pushback of uniformed military against President Bill Clinton's attempt to allow gays to serve ought to also object to generals who criticize the decisions of a president and his defense secretary in wartime. If they are successful in forcing Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation, they will set an ugly precedent. Will future defense secretaries have to worry about potential rebellions by their brass, and will they start to choose commanders according to calculations of political loyalty?

In our view Mr. Rumsfeld's failures should have led to his departure long ago. But he should not be driven out by a revolt of generals, retired or not.

The California Conservative thinks these retired generals are channeling McClellan by getting too political:

What these six generals who are now Rumsfeld’s, and Bush’s by extension, critics have done is to enter into the same politcal realm that McClellan did. They are not, as is their right, entering onto the battlefield of ideas, i.e. how do we go about getting the best military result, but rather have entered into the political arena. They seem to have overlooked the notion of the civilian control of the military through the ballot box. Bush won the election, not them. It is up to Bush to select his executives, not them. They can rightfully disagree with policy once they are retired, but to try to dictate who occupies what office is beyond the pale.

John Hawkins says, "so what?"

Then, there are the other generals:

So when did Generals cease to be responsible for outcomes in war? We ask that question amid the latest calls by certain retired senior military officers for Donald Rumsfeld to resign over U.S. difficulties in Iraq.

Major General Charles H. Swannack Jr., for one, was quoted last week as saying the Defense Secretary's "absolute failures in managing the war against Saddam in Iraq" mean he is not "the right person" to continue leading the Pentagon. Mr. Swannack, who commanded the 82nd Airborne in Iraq, joins other ex-uniformed Iraq War critics such as former Centcom Commander Anthony Zinni and retired Army Major General John Batiste. But there's far more behind this firefight than Mr. Rumsfeld's performance.

Mr. Zinni in particular neither fought the Iraq War nor supported it in the first place. He is a longtime advocate of "realism" in the Middle East, which is fancy-speak for leaving Arab dictators alone in the name of "stability." What Mr. Zinni really opposes is President Bush's "forward strategy of freedom," not the means by which the Administration has waged the Iraq campaign.

I imagine there will be some great discussion about this during the Milblogger Conference this weekend.

Instapundit has a round-up of his own, including this great point fom Judith Apter Klinghoffer:

To hear two and three star generals whine that Rumsfeld is too intimidating causes one to ask who else can so easily intimidate them? Are we talking perhaps of the insurgents, Ahmadinejad, Assad Fils, the North Korean or China? Imagine being a soldier who has served under the command of so easily intimidated a general. Their retired generals' contention that they are speaking for their active duty colleagues merely makes matters worse.