Saturday, December 02, 2006


Donald Rumsfeld, speaking truth to power

So, Donald Rumsfeld left a nice going-away present for the Bush administration: a memo urging us to change course in Iraq, on the grounds that we're not winning.

Three years late, hundreds of billions of dollars short.

Oh, and hundreds of thousands of lives.

None of the ass-covering, none of the fig leaves matter anymore. We can't keep peace while we're there; we might not have enough troops to move in there to restore stability; and that the Bush administration's plan to "go big" involves a paltry 20,000 troops means that our political leadership is not serious about responding to conditions on the ground, prefering instead to save face.

We need to get out, and we need to get Iraqis out as George Packer recommended.

I supported the war, and I supported sending more troops till this summer or early fall. But events are ahead of us now.

And I was wrong from the beginning to support this war of choice.

I thought we had learned, as a country, from Vietnam that we had to be honest about this sort of thing, and that if we fought a war, we had to be extremely serious and cautious about it.

I was wrong.

Actually, what we learned from Vietnam is that political leaders lie about matters of war, and that conventional wisdom might have nothing at all to do with the truth.

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