Friday, August 04, 2006

Grumpy Old Man

Did you see yesterday's heated exchange between Senator Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Don Rumsfeld? It was a good one. I don't think I've ever been more impressed with Hillary Clinton. Come to think of it, it may be the only time I've ever been impressed with her.

Senator Clinton on Thursday called on Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld to resign, hours after excoriating him at a public hearing over what she called "failed policy" in Iraq.

I can hear the critics at TPS already. Yes, I'm well-aware that Hillary is coming over to the good side on the issue of Iraq a little late. And I hope the decision to back the administration's flawed policies comes back to haunt her during the 2008 election, just as it surely will Senator McCain and other leading GOP contenders. But I give Senator Clinton credit for at least making her stand now. If nothing else, even Republicans should respect the political saavy of Ms. Clinton and ought to note the timing of her changing tune.

The defense secretary rejected some of her specific criticisms as simply wrong and said the war against terror will be a drawn-out process. He said he never glossed over the difficulties of the fighting.

"I have never painted a rosy picture," Rumsfeld aid. "I've been very measured in my words, and you'd have a dickens of a time trying to find instances where I've been excessively optimistic."

Don't you just love hearing the 70-something-year-old Rumsfeld talking about having "a dickens of a time." It's cute - except when you realize that this man's failures have indirectly contributed to thousands of American deaths. C'mon Rummy. Are you really going to make me do that Lexis-Nexis search to find the hundreds of "rosy pictures" you indeed painted from 2003-2005?

Like the infamous "Mission Accomplished," for example. Or your mocking of the press for asking about the chances of "guerrila warfare" or "civil war" back in 2003? That Lexis-Nexis search is heating up already!

No, our mission remains no more accomplished in Iraq today as in 2003 when George Bush declared a victory in front of that ridiculous banner. Even your own top generals are now admitting that a civil war is likely. And there's no need to detail further the tragedy of how many American boys have died since 2003 fighting what is very much a guerilla-type war. But I agree with Hillary in that at least one mission can still be accomplished with your resignation, Mr. Rumsfeld.


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