I’m developing sudden sympathy for Rumsfeld. When Richard Holbrooke comes out for his resignation, as he did on Hardball tonight, it means the conventional wisdom has completely come around to that position. Rummy must go. Holbrooke is the biggest wind-sniffer in Washington. He’s charging Rumsfeld with having mismanaged the war in Afghanistan, and the war in Iraq too. Get him out now, before more young people die, he intones piously.
The problem isn’t Rumsfeld, it’s the policy, stupid. Invading Iraq was a bad idea. It would have been bad with 500,000 troops or a million. The reason it’s bad had nothing to do with troop levels. It had to do with the whole idea of forcing democracy on a country that isn’t ready. Forcing anything on a country that didn’t attack us. If you’d had a million troops in there, the people would have laid low and then started picking them off.
The incompetents responsible for the decision to invade were, chiefly, Bush and Cheney (and Rummy and the neocons down the hall). With the Democratic leadership folding. Scapegoating Rumsfeld is a way of avoiding the hard political and intellectual work of changing the mission.
Neil Young’s got the right idea. He’s now called for Bush’s impeachment. Obviously, the politicians are going to be the last ones to get on this train. They’re afraid of the word censure. No reason the rest of us can’t get it moving.