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Rumsfeld Stepping Down 899

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the at-least-no-one-dropped-a-house-on-him dept.
macinrack writes to tell us that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, architect of the unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon. Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld.
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Rumsfeld Stepping Down

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  • Sore loser (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gorehog (534288) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:43PM (#16771943)
    Sure sure, run away just as we get the chance to ask some real questions.

    Seems to me like he's just trying to hide. Cut and run.

    Fact is, he'll still have to answer subpeonas.
    • Why Flamebait? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ackthpt (218170) * on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:03PM (#16772467) Homepage Journal

      Sure sure, run away just as we get the chance to ask some real questions.
      Seems to me like he's just trying to hide. Cut and run.
      Fact is, he'll still have to answer subpeonas.

      I agree, to a point, the timing to coincide with the GOP losses indicate, more than regret that his execution of Iraqi Freedom, but an attempt to duck a real grilling. He won't have a lot of people running interference for him now. This is going to really isolate Bush. It should be a very interesting 2 years.

    • Re:Sore loser (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GrayCalx (597428) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:09PM (#16772607)
      Seems to me like he's just trying to hide. Cut and run.

      Definitely could be... but since he's tried to resign twice now and been told by Bush he couldn't, it doesn't seem like a huge surprise that he finally did. Seems like a lot of people forget the times when he tried to leave.

      • by inKubus (199753) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:35PM (#16773205) Homepage Journal
        Regardless, I think I speak for (the majority of) America when I say, "Peace Out".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by kendbluze (683376)
        Are we SURE he was sincerely trying to resign...or could he (and Bush?) have been manufacturing a public opportunity for Bush to re-state his support for Rummy? I'm inclined to think it's posturing.
      • Re:Sore loser (Score:5, Interesting)

        by flyingsquid (813711) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:03PM (#16773875)
        It's political theater. I'm sure the administration could be very persuasive, but if Rumsfeld truly wanted to resign, he could. Offering his resignation the first time around was a way of accepting responsibility for the Abu Ghraib scandal, not necessarily an indication that he truly wanted to resign. I don't know about the second time, but I think it's traditional for all of the President's secretaries to hand in their resignations at the beginning of the second term, which he then will/will not accept. This is the president's way of asserting that they are his bitches. Finally, in politics, "resigning" is frequently a polite word for "got your ass fired". It's a way of giving the person a graceful exit and saving face. That isn't done out of charity or anything; it's just that people with nothing left in terms of their reputation have nothing left to lose, and that makes them dangerous. If Bush publicly fired Rumsfeld and humiliated him in doing so, Rumsfeld might try to redeem his reputation a bit by bringing Bush down a notch or two.
    • Re:Sore loser (Score:5, Interesting)

      by erroneus (253617) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:12PM (#16772667) Homepage
      Couldn't a presidential pardon clear that away?

      This mid-term election sent a more-than-clear message about the occupation in Iraq (It's not a war you know) and the corruption in the republican side of the house.

      I'm really rather shocked and awed that they didn't see this coming.

      Furthermore, I'm looking forward to investigations of election fraud. I was gratified to have heard that there was a large band of people dispatched out to observe the implementation of elections. It probably went a long way to prevent fraud from occuring or being attempted. But where it may have managed to occur anyway, I'd love to see them exposed... I'm sure most of us would.

      Still, I'm pleased to see Rumsfeld doing his own Cut'N Run. :)
    • by Foamy (29271) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:12PM (#16772679)
      Sore loser? Don't you mean "Cut N' Rummy"?

      Sounds like a new cocktail will be making its appearance at DC bars soon.

  • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:44PM (#16771965)
    "Sorry, Don, you go to the polls with the voters you have. They're not the voters you might want or wish to have at a later time."
    - Dubya
  • by Salvance (1014001) * on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:44PM (#16771973) Homepage Journal
    This has to be some of the worst timing for any policy decision. If only he would have resigned a few days ago (and Bush not said he was going to stick around to the end), the Republicans would have had a real chance.

    Sure, he may not have specifically offered until today, but he has offered his resignation at least twice in the past ... last week would have been the perfect time to finally accept his prior offers and for Bush to say "hey, we've made some mistakes in Iraq, it's time we all sit down together and figure out how to do it right" instead of his continued stubborn insistence on staying the course and doing things his way.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Raul654 (453029)
      Oh, it's better than that. Bush said last week that no matter what happens, Rumsfeld would stay on until the end of his term (in 2008). Today was a huge flip-flop.
      • by IDontAgreeWithYou (829067) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:59PM (#16772355)
        He actually said that he would not ask Rumsfeld to step down and that Rumsfeld would have the job as long as he wanted it, but nice try though.
  • by mekkab (133181) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:44PM (#16771977) Homepage Journal
    Bringing new meaning to the (Red White and) Blue Screen of Death!

    Oh wait, what? Bob Gates?

    /Nevermind, then.
  • by BandwidthHog (257320) <inactive.slashdo ... icallyenough.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:45PM (#16771983) Homepage Journal
    I, for one, welcome anyone else that might replace him.

    Fuck, at this point, I could just about support Kissinger!

  • by Raul654 (453029) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:45PM (#16771991) Homepage
    I happened to catch Fox News about 5 minutes before Bush's announcement began. They showed one of teh Fox News corrospondents standing outside the White House, talking about the impending announcement. If you listened really carefully, you could hear people in the background chanting "Na-na-nahh-na, na-na-nahh-na, hey, hey, hey...goodbye"
  • Good timing (Score:4, Interesting)

    by adam613 (449819) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:46PM (#16772009)
    Rumsfeld's resignation was timed such that Bush can force the nomination of his replacement through a Republican Senate. If he'd waited much longer, the Senate would be controlled by the Democrats and Bush might actually have to pick someone good.
  • by creimer (824291) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:51PM (#16772163) Homepage
    This happens only after Republican blood was spilled in the election. The blood of thousands of soldiers spilled on the battlefield didn't count for squat.
  • by mirio (225059) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:52PM (#16772189)
    In order to assign more meaningful names to the agencies of the federal government, I make a motion that the Dept. of Defense be called the Dept. of Offense and the Dept. of Homeland Security be called the Dept. of Defense.

    In all seriousness, I'm not sure that this new guy is going to be any better. Why does a former CIA man make a better Secretary than..hmm...I dunno....a former GENERAL?
    • by b0s0z0ku (752509) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:06PM (#16772535)
      Dept. of Defense be called the Dept. of Offense

      I preferred the pre-1950-or-so names. DoD was the War Department. Short, honest, and to the point. Homeland Security was Civil Defense. That name was better, too, because it implied that civilians had a part in defending their country against the enemy. "Security" sounds like we're to rely on some sort of external force like the police or Guard to keep us "secure."

      -b.

  • by Dracos (107777) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:53PM (#16772195)

    The real menace within the DOD is Paul Wolfowitz [wikipedia.org], the architect of all of the USA's global imperialist schemes since at least the Carter years.

    Unfortunately, last year someone decided he was of better use as president of the World Bank than Deputy Secretary of Defense.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by metlin (258108)

      That man has made more contributions to the world economy and the US than most, and needs to be respected for that.

      Then again, trust a Slashdotter to portray one of the most influential men today in neoconservatism as an evil man.

      Funny, really. The world and the US needs more people like him.
  • by caseih (160668) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:53PM (#16772203)
    I read recently that simulations done under the Clinton administration found that an invasion of Iraq and the subsequent "nation-building" would requite sustained troop levels of 400,000. Rumsfeld, completely lacking any understanding of the middle east, the culture, and peoples, figured we can do it on the cheap. Alas it tis not so. Kind of reminds me of when Brutus assasinated Caesar, he figured the people would be happy and cheer him. I honestly think Rumsfeld thought the Iraqi people would support him as Brutus thought.

    Now we're paying the price. And much more than just troop loss (which is actually quite minimal, compared to other world conflicts, like, say WWII).
    • by houghi (78078) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:43PM (#16773397)
      Information [cnn.com]
        here

      Quote:
      The war games looked at "worst case" and "most likely" scenarios after a war that removed then-Iraqi President Saddam Hussein from power. Some of the conclusions are similar to what actually occurred after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003:

      # "A change in regimes does not guarantee stability," the 1999 seminar briefings said. "A number of factors including aggressive neighbors, fragmentation along religious and/or ethnic lines, and chaos created by rival forces bidding for power could adversely affect regional stability."

      # "Even when civil order is restored and borders are secured, the replacement regime could be problematic -- especially if perceived as weak, a puppet, or out-of-step with prevailing regional governments."

      # "Iran's anti-Americanism could be enflamed by a U.S.-led intervention in Iraq," the briefings read. "The influx of U.S. and other western forces into Iraq would exacerbate worries in Tehran, as would the installation of a pro-western government in Baghdad."

      # "The debate on post-Saddam Iraq also reveals the paucity of information about the potential and capabilities of the external Iraqi opposition groups. The lack of intelligence concerning their roles hampers U.S. policy development."

      # "Also, some participants believe that no Arab government will welcome the kind of lengthy U.S. presence that would be required to install and sustain a democratic government."

      # "A long-term, large-scale military intervention may be at odds with many coalition partners."
  • Saddam (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Threni (635302) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:56PM (#16772289)
    I guess he can go and shake hands with Saddam Hussein one more time. "We had a lot of fun times, huh? Too bad you used our gas on civilians. Perhaps if it'd be Palestinian civilians you were killing with our hardware you might have got away with it..."
  • Sacrificial lamb? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pointbeing (701902) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:10PM (#16772637)
    My guess is Bush threw Rumsfeld to the wolves to appease Nancy Pelosi, but I could be wrong.

    I spent more than nine years in the military, most of it infantry - I was a professional bullet stopper. During the first Gulf War we walked across the border with 410,000 troops and are now operating with a bit more than a third of that. The only way to win a war is to win it - otherwise let's get the hell out and quit sacrificing our young men and women in an unwinnable conflict.

    I supported the war based on the information that was provided - and that information turned out to be a bit less than accurate. Right now we either need to win the war or get the hell out and quit sacrificing troops when there aren't enough to effect any real change in Iraq.

    Right or wrong, we're neck-deep in it now. Let's either win this damn thing or get the hell out of it. We can impeach Bush later if it seems appropriate.

    And it seems appropriate.

    • Re:Sacrificial lamb? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by BOI-Galveston (950975) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:17PM (#16772801)
      From the recent CNN profile of rummy, he was trying to do to the military what he and others have been doing in the corporate world, use just barely enough resources to get the job done and use up your people. That just doesn't work in war. You have to occupy territory to win. There is no way around that. You can't do that with an American corporate mentality. I had a teacher in high school who was a Vietnam vet and he said they would be told to take a hill, then leave it. Then the enemy would reoccupy it and they would have to fight their way up it again - over and over. Sound familiar? This is what the lack of troops is doing in Iraq. Either flood the country with U.S. troops, be prepared to occupy it for several years until things calm down, or start to withdraw the troops.
      • Re:Sacrificial lamb? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Citizen of Earth (569446) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:30PM (#16774393)
        Either flood the country with U.S. troops, be prepared to occupy it for several years until things calm down, or start to withdraw the troops.

        A cheap alternative that they should have pursued from the start would be to flood the country with Iraqi troops & cops. Being a cop or soldier should be the best-paying job that an unskilled young man should be able to get; instead, the pay sucks and the Jihadists even pay more. Spending these millions would save billions. Iraqi security forces should physically occupy every square inch of the country. Even if 20% of them turn out to be infiltrating Jihadists, there's still 80% to gun them down. Penny pinching on security-forces pay is just bonkers.

    • by Burz (138833) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:39PM (#16774557) Journal
      This is not intended as any disrepect for your service in Desert Storm, but I have to wonder what counts as information "that's provided" in your world.

      At least three months ahead of the invasion you could have already watched or read reports from a number of leading European, Australian, Canadian, and Asian news sources that the yellowcake documents had been determined by experts to be forged, the aluminum tubes were a mundane (non-nuclear) component, the hydrogen trailers were likely used for weather baloons, the long shed-things were not WMD facilities but used to raise chickens, and that the true report of biological WMD in Iraq was very old with subsequent verification during the Clinton administration that the WMD had been gotten rid of.

      It's clear to me that when making a decision in 2003 you didn't try, but instead jerked your knee according to what was "provided" or put directly under your nose. Next time the war drums start beating, I suggest you and all the others who made the same mistake pull your heads out of Corporate America's newsy-tainment ass.
  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:20PM (#16772909)
    AIPAC, which Rumsfeld has strong links to, was. AIPAC is the second most powerful lobby in Washington behind the AARP, and is composed of pro-Israel hawks and zionist Christians. Wolfowitz, Perle, and many other members of the Bush administration are deeply linked to them as well. AIPAC represents hard-line Israeli interests. (Incidentally they're also the reason why you never hear criticism of Israel in the United States of America, because they actively and tirelessly lobby government, academia, and the media to suppress our freedom to speak honestly about and discuss openly the situation there. Their favorite tactic against people who make outrageous statements like "Palestinians are people too, and they deserve to live in peace," is to call them "anti-Semites" and target them for character assassination.)

    Foreign Minister Shimon Peres told reporters in September 2002 that "the campaign against Saddam Hussein is a must. Inspections and inspectors are good for decent people, but dishonest people can overcome easily inspections and inspectors."

    It's overstating it a little to say that we invaded Iraq on AIPAC's orders. There were other parties who went along, but AIPAC was centrally involved. And what AIPAC wants from Washington, it gets. This despite a huge portion of the American public who opposed the invasion and even despite American Jewish opinion, 52-62% of whom opposed the invasion.

    John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt, the giants of international relations (they're like the Freud and Jung of the discipline), published a remarkable paper on the subject last March: http://ksgnotes1.harvard.edu/Research/wpaper.nsf/r wp/RWP06-011/$File/rwp_06_011_walt.pdf>

    Essentially what we've been doing in Iraq is fighting a proxy war on Israel's behalf (on behalf of Likud and other Israeli hawks, that is). It's also why Bush started making noises at Syria recently before things really started to fall apart in Iraq, because they're next on AIPAC's list. Iran comes after that.
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:22PM (#16772935) Homepage Journal
    Maybe my memory is failing, but I seem to recall just last week Bush was saying that Rumsfeld was doing a great job and has his full support. Oh yeah, here it is [cbsnews.com]. Yet amazingly a replacement for Rumsfeld was found in a few hours.


    And wasn't it Rumsfeld who said that he had no intention of quitting and that Bush had given him his full support and would decide if and when Rumsfeld should leave? Oh yeah, here it is [voanews.com].

    So let's see, first we lie about the invasion of Iraq being tied to the September 11th attacks. Then we lie that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction. Then we lied that Iraq was tied to Al Qaeda. Throw in that we lied about not being the world's policeman, that we wouldn't be involved in nation building, that we would hold it to the Saudis in regards to our supply of oil, that the government isn't reading people's emails or searching their homes without warrants, and now this, and you have an entire administration built on lies.

    Unfortunately, even with the Democrats taking control of the House, they've already said they don't have the balls to impeach the liar so we're stuck with another two years worth of lies.

    yay

"I've seen the forgeries I've sent out." -- John F. Haugh II (jfh@rpp386.Dallas.TX.US), about forging net news articles

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