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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.
  • by Com2Kid (142006) <com2kidSPAMLESS@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:43PM (#16771955) Homepage Journal
    To be honest, his strategy for initially winning the war was really damn good. He is honestly a man I would want leading out troops in a traditional war. (minus the body armor stupidity...)

    He blows massive chunks at the entire "making peace after war" part though, and that is the part that gets your name in the history books....
  • 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:Sore loser (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Atlantic Wall (847508) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:46PM (#16772001)
    mod parent up. He will be subpenoaed soon.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:46PM (#16772003)
    There are plenty of political websites for you to get your rocks off on.
    Lets stick with technology related news.
  • Smart move (Score:2, Insightful)

    by RichPowers (998637) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:47PM (#16772041)
    After the Army Times called for Rumsfeld to step down, the White House could no longer ignore criticisms of the SecDef. That, and a Democratic Congress could very well "blackmail" the White House with legislative stoppages until Rumsfeld resigns. Rumsfeld was good at waging the initial war, but was simply unable to adapt to the insurgency or maintaining an extended peace.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:47PM (#16772055)
    That strategy being bomb key locations (and some not-so-key ones just to be safe), then declare victory? I've seen Risk games with more strategy than that. WWII had strategy, this was barely practice for a real war.
  • by Raul654 (453029) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:48PM (#16772063) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:Good timing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:48PM (#16772085)
    Ahem. It hasn't been decided whether the Republicans still control the Senate. Two races are so close that there will be a recount and that will take weeks.
  • by Alphager (957739) <florianhaas@nOSpaM.fsfe.org> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:50PM (#16772125) Homepage Journal
    Which war did Rumsfeld help win? Afghanistan? The Taliban are retaking cities everyday. Iraq? You know that more US soldiers died after the declaration of "victory" than during the so called "war" ?
  • by hsmith (818216) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:50PM (#16772131)
    Militaries aren't designed for nation building.

    they are designed to kill

    thus the crux of the entire problem.
  • by antv (1425) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:51PM (#16772145)

    To be honest, his strategy for initially winning the war was really damn good. He is honestly a man I would want leading out troops in a traditional war. (minus the body armor stupidity...)


    His strategy for war was mediocre at best. Rumsfeld was lucky enough to fight a war against a country 10 times smallert than USA (25 mil vs 300 mil population), with 20 times less money, 50 smaller army and weapons from 1980. In a traditional war you want competent people like Gen. Zinni and Gen. Shinseki, who were fired by Rumsfeld for, well, accurately predicting current disaster in Iraq.

  • 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 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:Good timing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kevin DeGraaf (220791) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:54PM (#16772235) Homepage
    First, Montana has already been decided in favor of the Democrat.

    Second, he was talking about confirming the new nominee (Bob Gates) during the lame-duck period of the existing 55-44-1 Senate.

  • Re:Sore loser (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gorehog (534288) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:55PM (#16772237)
    Thank you. He will have to face subpeonas. If he didnt want this to look like a cowardly political move then he should have stepped down long ago.
  • 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..."
  • by StupidHelpDeskGuy (636955) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:57PM (#16772301) Journal
    You can not initially win a war. You either win or you lose. He and his cronies started a war that can not be won. What is worse, is that he's been planning this since the 80's.

    Mr. Rumsfield and Mr. Bush started a war in Iraq for the wrong reason. What is worse is that in doing so, Rumsfield sought evidence to make his case, as oppossed to making his case around the evidence. Mr. Rumsfields was is, was, and will continue to be a disaster. For you to claim otherwise is absurd.
  • Re:PNAC (Score:5, Insightful)

    by antv (1425) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:57PM (#16772305)

    Who knew the New American Century was actually only six years long?


    Well, us American voters kinda prefer the Old American Century, with Habeus Corpus and without torture. Don't you ?

  • by JavaLord (680960) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:58PM (#16772329) Journal
    Militaries aren't designed for nation building. they are designed to kill thus the crux of the entire problem.

    Which is what nobody seems to get nowadays. Does anyone think that had someone else been in charge they would have brought western style democracy to Iraq? Or has anyone woke up to the reality that you can't shove democracy down the throat of people who want Sharia?
  • by xENoLocO (773565) * on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:01PM (#16772433) Homepage
    What war?

    I don't recall any declarations of war...
  • 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.

  • Senate, not House (Score:4, Insightful)

    by peacefinder (469349) * <alan DOT dewitt AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:05PM (#16772507) Journal
    "This only happend because the Democrats won the house."

    Actually, I'd guess it happened because the new Senate may end up with a clear Democratic majority.

    By letting Rumsfeld go now and appointing a successor immediately, Bush has a very good chance to get his appointee confirmed in the current, Republican-controlled Senate. (The Democrats could stall the confirmation until the end of the current session, but they wouldn't gain from it. It would be bad press, and Bush would just make a recess appointment between sessions anyway.)
  • Good at war? WTF? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Colin Smith (2679) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:05PM (#16772509)
    Um, it was pretty bloody clear right from the word go that it was going to end up in a guerrilla warfare situation and a decades long occupation. The idea that it would be all over in a year or two was utterly utterly naive. More, the unwillingless to listen to an ally who has spent the last 40 years managing a situation just like that is stupidity.

    In conclusion, either the man is a complete dolt or has a whole other agenda.

     
  • by GigsVT (208848) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:06PM (#16772547) Journal
    The only reason it wasn't obvious is because of the lies we were being fed.

    I remember thinking "Why the fuck would we attack Iraq all of a sudden?". I still don't understand what made that moment in history the "right one" for invading a soverign nation.
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:08PM (#16772601) Homepage Journal
    Somebody else in charge would not have invaded Iraq when we needed to win the war in Afghanistan.

    "Bringing western style democracy to Iraq" has never been more than a slogan to win elections. It worked like a charm for 2 in the US, including one presidential.

    If Rumsfeld were a competent Defense Secretary, he would have protected the US by winning in Afghanistan and pursuing a counterintel global pursuit of our terrorist enemies. Not created a catastrophic distraction that alienated our allies and our own citizens from each other.
  • 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.

  • Re:Direct Quote? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by fyngyrz (762201) * on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:10PM (#16772639) Homepage Journal
    I feel like I read something worthwhile.

    Yes. That's precisely what they want you to think. That's how they keep the population placated. Ritual sacrifice of an entirely replaceable pawn. Now, over the next two years, you try to evaluate what actual effect this replacement had. Then you'll learn something worthwhile. To save you time, and so you'll know what you're looking for, I'll tell you what changes you'll see: None.

    That is how the entire system works, from voting to subpoena even right through to impeachment, rare as that might be. Individuals are sacrificed and the system changes not one teeny, tiny, bit.

    Didn't you hear the democrats last night, babbling about 9/11 and "security"? Didn't you hear them talking about a "new direction" in Iraq? Not restoration of rights, not repeal of any of these bullshit laws, nothing about Bush's signing statements, nothing about torture, nothing about the (barely) 3-day congressional workweek and the blatant corporate funds driven legislation mechanism, nothing about all the illegal wiretapping, nothing about funneling billions of dollars to Haliburton et al without so much as a single competitive bid, nothing about the lies about WMD, nothing about Bush's admission (yesterday) that this was about oil, after all, not a word about habeas corpus, nothing about pulling out troops -- it's business as usual in Washington, and you can count on it. -Rumsfeld, +Gates, that's all. They're both pawns and mouthpieces, no more, no less.

  • by EmperorKagato (689705) * <sakamura@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:13PM (#16772723) Homepage Journal
    That's just like taking out key pieces of your opponents chess pieces in a chess game(Queen and Rooks) and not worry about the insurgents(Knights) that can really do some damage.
  • by MouseR (3264) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:14PM (#16772749) Homepage
    6.5 years ago, the entire world was telling the US there was no cause of warring on Iraq. There was no plausible link w/ 9/11, no WMDs to be found, no threat whatsoever.

    When US did invade and then finally conceded there were no WMDs, the entire world went "told you so" while the US poked their ear drums going "Lalalalalala".

    The obvious answer today was as obvious for the rest of the world back then.

    But every time an outsider brings it up, it's "you're not with us you're against us" kinda crap. The US citizens were BS-ed out of reason into accepting this early on and now comes the time for the Bush family and their friends to account for what they did.

    It's going to be a tough time for Gates to fix the situation. Let's hope his Iran/Contra dealings gave him enough experience...
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Ana10g (966013) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:21PM (#16772925)
    Okay, look. I'm not in with the current administration either, but statistically, in the 6th year midterm elections of ANY presidency, the ruling party typically loses seats in both the house and the senate.

    If I hear any more god damned grandstanding from the winners, I'm going to puke. Win with dignity, or this country is going to polarize it self so much further, only bloodshed will solve it.
  • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:25PM (#16773003)
    The Taliban took over 1 tiny hamlet and the next day they were run out and about 100 of them killed. They haven't tried again.

    The current type of War in Iraq is a type of war NO ARMY has ever fought. There was some urban fighting in WWII but it wasn't full of IEDs, everyone looking the same, religous sectarian wars, etc. So, it's a learning experience. Learning has occured but tactics change daily which requires real-time learning by the military which is not something they do well. Keeping the peace is really being caught between two 13th Century religous fanatic groups equipped with 21st century weapons. Iraq really needs to get it's Internal shit together and they can keep the groups apart. Unfortunately what they told the US they wanted and what they would do to establish democracy hasn't happened, that has been totally unexpected.

    Everyone I have heard who has come back from Iraq says that things ARE improving, just not as fast as they wish. And the "normal" Iraqi's really appreciate the help. Unfortunately we don't hear about that, we hear about the soliders getting killed by the extremists but the real facts are that Iraqi civilian and security forces deaths from the "Holy Wars" outnumber ours 20 to 1. Funny thing is the Koran says to "kill the unbelivers" and as far as I can tell both of these groups ARE beleivers! To me it would be like the Baptists fighting the Methodists!
  • by Hijacked Public (999535) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:29PM (#16773069)
    Depending on what you consider right, it was right.

    It was right because the climate in the US still allowed the Executive branch to do pretty much whatever it wanted under the guise of protecting us from terrorists. Right because the press, caught up in the wave of patriotism, was happy to copy and paste anything served up to them by the feds right on to their front pages, retractions and apologies about shoddy fact checking and shirking journalistic duty to be printed a couple years down the road on the back page. Most of the US and quite a few abroad were united by an honest and worthwhile desire to combat terrorism and the time was right to exploit that. I'd say that, considering the amount of money made off the whole thing, that is an excellent return on investment.

    So in the sense that it could be done while everyone not on the receiving end of the bombs was still smiling it was a resounding success. Even with the benefit of hindsight and full knowledge that we were hoodwinked into supporting the invasion the best punishment we appear to be able to mete out is to hand control of congress to a political party that was just slightly less culpable in fabricating the entire deception.
  • Mod parent up! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:29PM (#16773073)
    Seriously, we managed to "defeat" a 3rd world army that had been under economic sanctions for years.

    How much "strategy" does that take? Particularly with our weapons.

    His whole "strategy" is "keep dropping bombs until we drop the right bomb on the right place at the right time". Go check the new sites. Find the LAST time we dropped any bombs on Iraq. Was it a year ago? A month ago? A week ago? A day ago? An hour ago?

    Just a quick search shows us bombing them on 27 October 2006.

    And yet our troops keep being killed.

    Rumsfeld is not "Good at war, bad at peace". Rumsfeld is bad at war and bad at peace. Rumsfeld cannot tell the difference between war and peace. And Rumsfeld doesn't care.
  • by venicebeach (702856) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:33PM (#16773157) Homepage Journal
    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.
    The happy side of it is, we apparently can make a difference with our voting.
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mi (197448) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:37PM (#16773261) Homepage

    Actually, quite the opposite — Republicans' loss of Congress was reliably predicted for weeks. Rummsfeld's stepping down a month ago would've boosted Republicans (if only a little). That could've been called a "cowardly political move". The administration's waiting for after-Election Day is, actually, a remarkable show of integrity.

  • by pnewhook (788591) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:39PM (#16773287)
    That's a loaded question though, because the 'obvious' answer is different now than it was 6.5 years ago.

    Only for Americans that were fed lies through their media. For nearly every other country on the planet the war was an unjustified fabrication - no one believed there were any WMDs in Iraq.

    And for protesting the American government pushing through the war, other countries were villified. Next time when the entire world tells you that you are wrong, it might be a good idea to listen.

  • by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:46PM (#16773475) Homepage Journal
    Maybe we need to start training our boys as diplomats instead of as just gun wielding meat heads.

    On behalf of soldiers, sailors, and veterans everywhere: go fuck yourself. I did a much more technical job with cooler toys and better results than anything you've probably seen in your cushy civilian job, then came out and breezed through college. For every 1 stereotypical jackass I knew in the military, there were at least 5 experts in difficult tech fields.

    Screw you and your misperceptions. The military hasn't been the way you described it in decades.

  • by paanta (640245) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:50PM (#16773569) Homepage
    No, the current type of War in Iraq is a war that almost no army has ever _won_. Plenty of countries have _fought_ wars like this. Sure, IEDs are new(ish), but most of the rest of it is entirely familiar. It's not so different from the Russians in Afghanistan, or the French in Algeria, or even the US in Vietnam.
  • by bitslinger_42 (598584) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:57PM (#16773735)
    From a semantics point of view, you are correct. The problem is that Bush uses "war" both in the semantics context (i.e. we are shooting them, they are shooting us) and in the legal context (i.e. Commander in Chief, broad war powers, etc.) Without that formal declaration, the legal context doesn't exist, and therefore the derivative powers don't exist.
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:3, Insightful)

    by kendbluze (683376) <kendbluze@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:58PM (#16773765)
    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.
  • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:59PM (#16773773)
    No piece of paper, silly declaration from congress, stamp, official gold star thingy, or anything is going to change that.

    It may be a silly piece of paper to you, but it's the U.S. Constitution to the rest of us. We have declarations of war for good reasons, like how to know when it's over. But I guess that's the point of undeclared war -- perpetual sacrifice, continuous casualties, being told to "get over it" and just go along. In fact, being told to "get over it" is getting kind of old to me . . .

  • Re:Sore loser (Score:3, Insightful)

    by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@NospaM.yahoo.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:01PM (#16773809) Journal
    As the administration has no integrity, they must have had other, more pragmatic reasons for waiting. Perhaps their assessment of the situation differed from yours.
  • by 7Prime (871679) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:07PM (#16773939) Homepage Journal
    Your aggressive attitude just goes to prove my point.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:09PM (#16773961)
    Most of us are familiar with the notion of losing your job due to the actions of your manager or those who are higher in the chain of command. For example, if the CEO (like the idiot at Ford) makes a poor decision to invest the entire company's fortunes in a failed product line (e.g., sport-utility vehicles at Ford), then the grunt at the bottom will be the first person to pay the price of the poor decision. He will lose his job in a layoff.

    Consider the equivalent situation in politics. According to several in-depth reports (notably from "Frontline" at PBS), Donald Rumsfeld and the rest of the White House (with the exception of Colin Powell) completely screwed up the post-war occupation of Iraq. Rumsfeld himself intervened in several important decisions and overruled the suggestions of senior commanders in the field.

    Who pays the price? Nearly 3000 American soldiers died, and 50,000 soldiers are wounded.

    Though Rumsfeld was fired today, he will still live well on his multi-million-dollar corporate pension. Yet, how will we restore the lives of 3000 dead soldiers and 50,000 severely wounded soldiers?

  • Pardons in Advance (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:17PM (#16774121)
    Yes, you can pardon someone before they are charged as, notably, Ford did for Nixon.
  • by j1m+5n0w (749199) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:21PM (#16774215) Homepage Journal
    I find it hard to believe that Rumsfeld's earlier offers of resignation were an act, because there would have been nothing gained from it. It's a sort of admission of failure, an acknowledgement that things aren't going well. Politically, it would have been better for Rumsfeld to "stay the course" and pretend that everything is going fine.
  • Re:Condescension (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wavedeform (561378) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:22PM (#16774231)
    Yeah, but House always gets good results.
  • by cr0sh (43134) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:28PM (#16774347) Homepage
    So, Rumsfeld was the "architect" of this, and now he is stepping down. Good. Glad to see him go. However, will the guy taking his place be any better?

    Let's tell a little story here: Soldier Adam (an firefighter in civilian life), who lives in Oceania, has been "sent by his country" to Eastasia to liberate it. Soldier Chen (a dockworker in civilian life), who lives in Eastasia, has been "ordered by his country" to defend against the invasion. Each of them, along with the buddies in their unit, are in a firefight - bombs are raining down, machine gun fire is everywhere, maybe an RPG or two is launched. Some of Soldier Adam's buddies are dead or severely wounded - maybe Adam himself. On the other side, some of Soldier Chen's buddies are hurt or dead themselves. The battle is heated, but things slow down, and one side or both has retreated to re-group (let's pretend a standoff of some sort here). As they re-group, they have time to cool off, and perhaps think about things (briefly - tension is high). Soldier Adam thinks about his fiance and new son back home, wondering if he will get back to the firehouse. Soldier Chen wonders about his wife and sister, who live with them - do they have enough to eat? - and will he get back to work on the dock (is the dock still there?). Neither one wants to be there, they both want to be back home (wherever it is), they both want the same thing: peace, stability, a roof over their head, food, water, and some work to do.

    So how the hell are they here, seeing each other as the Other - as a non-entity to be killed or bypassed in some brutal manner? Of course, they are doing the jobs they were told to do (and hopefully not obeying illegal orders - though that might be more difficult to do than you think for either). Even so, didn't either of them, Adam or Chen, have this thought processs about war, and what it means for people on both sides, before they signed up (ignoring drafting here - but still) to kill each other?

    What the hell is it about humanity's inability to put itself in other's shoes - to see each other as humans, with human wants and needs? Why do they obey a leader or a country to fight and kill each other, when each knows (whether through logic and reason, or by decree of religion) that killing is wrong? Why is it OK if the State tells you to kill (or the State kills itself, as in the death penalty), but if an individual citizen of the State does so without the State's approval, it suddenly becomes wrong? If the State is really composed of "we the people" - then shouldn't all killing, regardless of context, be wrong equally (or right equally, if you want to take that stance)? Admittedly, Soldier Chen is on a better footing than Soldier Adam, even though he was drafted by his State - simply because his State was invaded, not Adam's. Even so, why can't each look, and see, and understand and know, after all these thousands of years of human history, that more and bigger weapons DO NOT LEAD TO PEACE, and the killing each other is NOT A LONG TERM SOLUTION?

    Every new and more powerful weapon is hailed as the device that will bring peace to the planet - from Nobel's discovery of dynamite, to the machine gun, to the nuclear bomb, to...? What is next? An anti-matter weapon to cleanse planets ala "Chronicles of Riddick"? Will the destruction of the planet bring peace? Will there only be piece when there is only one man-monkey sitting in the ashes of a scorched Earth (admittedly, maybe there will be - at least until he kills himself - and then peace will be acheived, I suppose)?

    In short, what is it ultimately going to take for humanity to stop killing each other, and instead work together to go beyond...everything? Or, is it an impossible dream, and humanity is destined to die (or worse, spread throughout the Universe bring hate, distrust, anger, and vengence whereever it sets foot)? Finally, why is it that I can see this absurdity, and project it forward (and thus, not be stupid enough to join a killing machine) - yet others can't, and either do join the

  • by Darby (84953) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:31PM (#16774401)
    He is part of the criminal shadow government of wet work spooks and blood profiteers who decided they knew better than the US people, and helped bring about "regime change" back then..He is a very dangerous person and should have been put in jail for life a long time ago, but we never had a real investigation about that hit other than jim garrison's work.

    Well, then he's a perfect fit for this administration.
    Cowards, traitors and murderers the lot of them.

  • Sore Winner (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shadowlore (10860) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:35PM (#16774477) Journal
    Group A; "We want him out! Now!"

    Group B: Fine, he's gone.
    Group A: "NoooO! Not yet!!"

    Welcome to US Government Politics 101.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:38PM (#16774551)
    I call bullshit.

    First you seem to link "pro-Israel hawks" (whatever that is) with the push for the invasion.
    From wikipedia's account [wikipedia.org] of the lead up to war (which corresponds with what I heard from the various news outlets prior to the war):
    Several prominent evangelical leaders of the Christian right send an open letter to President Bush outlining a "just war" rationale for an invasion, citing Saddam Hussein's possession of nuclear and biochemical weapons, and advocating immediate military action.
    Unfortunately there's no source, so I'll call it a draw (your word against Wikipedia's). And please don't try and use that it was from the Christian right as support for your "Zionist Christians" are in on it too - you don't know who sent the letter (unless you're willing to clearly state that you're off your rocker and label the whole evangelical Christian right as Zionist Christians).

    And what AIPAC wants from Washington, it gets. This despite a huge portion of the American public who opposed the invasion
    Now this is easiest to disprove. Look at January 2003 from the wikipedia link or the direct reference [usiraqprocon.org] which has the hard numbers. A February 9 2003, (just around the time the invasion occured, support for the war was generally around 66%. If the United Nations opposed it then the support dropped to 50% but rose to 57% if allies such as Great Britain and Italy joined. After the invasion, support was at 62%. In April, support was at 72% believing the war was justified, even without any proof of biological or chemical weapons.

    An interesting factoid is that 63% of people believed Bush had supplied enough evidence for invasion and 55% believed Bush had demonstrated sufficiently that Iraq directly supported Al Qaeda.

    Anyways, the rest of the Wikipedia article clearly shows that public support for the war was quite high before & after invasion.

    So I clearly see your point of how it was the Jews (or some other pro-Israel lobby group) and not what the American public support at all.

    Essentially what we've been doing in Iraq is fighting a proxy war on Israel's behalf
    Essentially what you've been doing in Iraq is fighting a proxy war for Bush Sr/Haliburton/defense contractors etc...

    Overall, you just come off as a rambling conspiracy nut who blames Jews for Iraq.

    On a personal note regarding
    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
    Palestinians are people too, and they do deserve to live in peace - but so are and so do the people in Israel. However, I'm sure that you're skewing reality - it is the people who justify Palestinian suicide bombers, taking Israelis hostage, and calling for the destruction of the state of Israel are the ones who are labeled Anti-Semites.
  • 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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:44PM (#16774649)
    Not sure why you say "still minority" considering the dems got trounced in 04, but anyway...

    The reason the democrats didn't win by much is that as a party, as bad as their opposition might be, they're not really much better. The party has virtually no ideas or plans for how to fix what's happening, rather its just complaining and finger pointing. Everyone is talking about how the republicans lost the election, not how the democrats won it. People are gonna realize awfully fast that some things are gonna get better (foreign policy- maybe), and some things are gonna get worse (taxes and spending- probably).

    Honestly, voting rights in America shouldn't be based on age, they should be based on independence and tax status. Its great being a liberal if someone else's tax money is being spent.
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Moofie (22272) <lee@ringofsaturn. c o m> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:00PM (#16774985) Homepage
    "a remarkable show of integrity."

    You're joking, right? This is cut and run. Rumsfeld is not resigning. He's being scapegoated. You watch: Everybody in the administration is going to be saying "Well, we wanted to do this better, but Rumsfeld talked us into doing it his way..."
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SydShamino (547793) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:06PM (#16775117)
    Not at all. Having Rumsfeld step down weeks ago would have validated Democrat claims that "this administration has it all wrong" and "Rumsfeld needs to go", while invalidating Republican claims that the country should "stay the course" and that Rumsfeld "has the confidence" of the President.

    In other words, it would have given backing the to Democrat campaign platform from the White House. That just couldn't be done.
  • by deepestblue (206649) <slashdot@ksharaG ... m.net minus poet> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:26PM (#16775501)
    OK, this fucking pisses me off.

    What about the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians?

  • by quantaman (517394) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:33PM (#16775615)
    Maybe we need to start training our boys as diplomats instead of as just gun wielding meat heads.


    On behalf of soldiers, sailors, and veterans everywhere: go fuck yourself. I did a much more technical job with cooler toys and better results than anything you've probably seen in your cushy civilian job, then came out and breezed through college. For every 1 stereotypical jackass I knew in the military, there were at least 5 experts in difficult tech fields.

    Screw you and your misperceptions. The military hasn't been the way you described it in decades.


    He stated it poorly but I don't believe he was talking about intellect or technical ability but rather interactions with civilians.

    One interesting thing I heard in the early goings of the war was that British troop found that they were more likely to be shot at if an American patrol had been through the area perviously (as opposed to British). Now some of this could just be anti-american sentiment but I also believe the US army at the end of the day is a machine designed to kill enemy soldiers, when you try to use that machine to create peace in an unstable country than it's not going to work nearly as well as a machine that was designed with peace in mind.
  • by Stanistani (808333) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:42PM (#16775769) Homepage Journal
    It's not like they didn't try, we just kept our hand on our wallet this time.
  • by creimer (824291) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:49PM (#16775871) Homepage
    As I pointed out on a similar Slashdot article, America does not care about the Iraqi people. When you have a war that calls for no sacrifices from the American public, it's just a video game of something happening over there that doesn't effect anything here. Had the president slapped down an oil tax to finance the war, Americans would most certainly give a damn and applied the brakes a lot sooner.
  • by TonyGreene (6523) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:57PM (#16776059) Homepage
    I remember a lot of arguments about why the US should or shouldn't invade Iraq. I don't recall a lot of people arguing that they didn't have WMD. There were arguments about whether an invasion was the "best" way to deal with the threat. There were arguments about the cost (blood, money, stability, prestige). There were arguments about just how much threat Iraqi WMDs actually posed to the US. But the idea that there weren't any WMDs was nowhere near the top of the list of arguments.

    UN inspectors left Iraq just before Clinont had the place bombed in 1998. He did that because Saddam wasn't letting the inspectors do their work. Saddam didn't let those inspectors back in unti Bush threatened to invade the place and actually started building up forces in Kuwait. Even then, there were still indications that Saddam was playing shell games. He'd been uncooperative with the UN inspectors for years. In South Africa, when they chose to give up nuclear ambitions, the UN inspectors had no problems verifying that they'd done so. That's because South Africa was not trying to maintain a nuke program and wanted everyone to know that. Iraq under Saddam was a completely different story. He resisted the inspections the whole time. Unlike South Africa, there was no evidence that Saddam had made a good faith effort to get rid of his nuke program. Basically, even though the inspectors could not prove it, it looked like he was lying.

    Even so, there were still good arguments against invading. I made some of them myself in arguing with friends at the time. But the assertion that the Bush administration knew there were no WMDs just isn't supported by the available evidence.

    People who are angry at how this has turned out have lots of good arguments to choose from. The "WMD was a lie" argument just ain't one of those.
  • by jafac (1449) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:08PM (#16776215) Homepage
    Who pays the price? Nearly 3000 American soldiers died, and 50,000 soldiers are wounded.

    . . . not to mention 650,000 Iraqi civilians.

    . . . not to mention nearly half a trillion US dollars from the treasury - er, I mean, from Chinese bankers.
  • by inKubus (199753) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:28PM (#16776617) Homepage Journal
    Actually this new leadership and the new body of lawmakers just elected has the opportunity to show the world that Americans don't deserve to be attacked (and therefore we won't). Your comments show that you're A. Ignorant and B. All you really know is what your favorite Fox News commentator tells you (which is COMMENTARY or OPINION, not FACT).

    What have YOU done to prevent terrorism? Nothing, instead you use terms like 'islaminazi' and you chicken-hawk around--all that does is make people want to punch you in the fucking face. You're an idiot, your views suck and the fact that you still want to fight means you probably should be in jail because you're anti-social, anti-freedom and anti-me. With people like you in this country (and when people like you are given a loudspeaker), it's no wonder people want to blow us up.

    I fear ALL you religious nutjobs--be you Christian, Muslim or Jewish. I fear ALL of you blind followers, you who trust people who are proven liars--all on blind faith. Your faith to stupid causes is not admirable. Your arrogance is not admirable and no one cares what you think any more, because you DON'T THINK. You spit out whatever useless facts that someone else tells you to. You might as well not be a person because you're not adding anything to society. You're taking away the valuable oxygen and food that could be used by someone to make the world a better place, where country music is about your dog and your whiskey again and not about some dead soldier. Think with your mind for once, and stop doing what your preacher/general tells you to. Sheep. Sheesh.
  • by JhohannaVH (790228) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:30PM (#16776653) Journal
    Considering those are direct translations of the captured Iraqi Documents... I don't see it, but ok. :) Can you at least identify the straws? Maybe the VX recipe? Maybe the Nuclear Instructions that were so rapidly taken down off the web earlier this week? Um, I dunno... but I know the guy doing the translations, and they are balls on, according to my husband who speaks and reads Arabic and Farsi. You admit you aren't an expert, so why do you think he's grabbing at straws?
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:3, Insightful)

    by SillyNickName4me (760022) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:32PM (#16776677) Homepage
    He's being scapegoated.

    That is indeed quite likely. It is also likely to be a quick move to undermine initiatives from a democrat ruled congress. You are going to say you want a change of policy? well, we already have the person in charge replaced, so just wait and see the new policy..

    I find it kind of sad. I have no personal liking for Rumsfeld, and I do believe he is in part responsible for the current situation for the US army in Iraq, but he is far from alone in that, and I'm not so sure that his (forced?) resignation is going to serve anything.

  • Re:Sore loser (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:37PM (#16776753) Homepage
    > It's more likely that he left because Bush recognized that the way the Iraq war was going was the major reason that his party lost the House...

    Do you actually think that GW makes ANY decisions on his own? I assume by "Bush" that you mean the big business controlled Republican machine.

    jfs

  • by SillyNickName4me (760022) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:40PM (#16776797) Homepage
    not to mention nearly half a trillion US dollars from the treasury - er, I mean, from Chinese bankers.

    Yep, thats a seldom talked about and rather thought provoking detail.
  • Wow. I just swapped the world 'Israel' in the above with 'Palestine' in the comment above. Scary how well it reads. I'll bold any other changes for readability.

    Just to be sure, I'm not an Israeli or Palestinian. I'm not a Jew, a Christian, or Muslim. I'm an American, and it's always amazing to me to see how much American effort goes into protecting the interests of the Israeli state. (and the Big Oil companies, can't forget them.) What's also interesting is how much misunderstanding goes into any conversation along these lines.

    So consider Palestine's situation. They are as legitimate a nation as any other. There are tons of border and land disputes in the world and Palestine is obviously not an exception. But they exist, they have sovereignty and are a democratic, legitimate state.

    It is also worth noting: Palestine does *not* try to invade and expand into is neighbors for the purpose of getting more land. In fact, since its occupation in 1948, Palenstine has only responded to its neighbors declaring war on it (sometimes with extreme responses, it is true) but hasn't declared war first itself. Granted, one of those cases was a neighbor closing Palestine's access anywhere, which internationally is recognized as an act of war.

    My point is: Palestine is fighting for recognition and survival. Its neighbor which attacks it is fighting to kill every Palestinian man, woman and child. They want its land. They want its people dead. Furthermore, a lot of the violence is carried out by military groups that have no accountability internationally. Palestine on the other hand has to answer to the world (or at least, they are a government that makes decisions and the world can hold Palestine accountable for them...there is nobody to even negotiate with or hold responsible on the Israeli side because nobody has any leadership or control over the military apparatus...it is all different factions).

    Now, to address the point about U.S. media. Palestine is critized ALL THE TIME. In fact, my big complain with Fox News is that they always run Israeli human-interest stories and report on facts as "Israeli sources say" without giving any of the Palestinian perspective! CNN is the same way.

    The international community certainly (or U.N.0 doesn't seem to be stepping up to say "Palestine has the right to exist as a Muslim state; we will defend this right". I mean, you can hate the muslims or not but your hatred shouldn't give you the right to kill them and take away their land does it?

    As I said, it's scary how the same statements work for either side.

  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:50PM (#16776993)
    That's great, but Dershowitz is a member of AIPAC and begins his reply by tarring Walt and Mearsheimer with the anti-Semite brush by comparing them to David Duke. It is a petty and simplistic, even histrionic response to a measured and thoughtful piece. It does rather prove Walt's and Mearsheimer's point, though, that AIPAC does not discuss. It slanders, libels, defames, intimidates, and silences anyone who dares try to have an intelligent, reasonable, and respectful discussion that differs with AIPAC's world view.

    Frankly, as it is written Dershowitz's piece does not rate equal footing with Walt and Mearsheimer's. Nor do I deem it my duty to present AIPAC's case, since theirs is the only case that ever gets heard in this country.

    However, it was kind of you to put the link up for those who are interested.
  • by freeweed (309734) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @07:00PM (#16777105)
    Because the world doesn't want another Israel.

    Or Vietnam.

    Or Korea.

  • by 2short (466733) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @07:14PM (#16777281)
    Of course it was an act. He doesn't have to "offer" anything; the president can fire him any time he pleases, and of course if he really wants to resign, no one can really make him stay on the job. An offered, but refused, resignation that is made public can only be politcal theater. There's no reason to tell anyone about it otherwise.
        In the wake of a scandal, Rumsfeld in efect said "Don't blame the Prez, I take responsibility." to which Bush responded "No, no, we're in this together." Both get to act all big about accepting responsibility while implying it's not really their fault and not really having any consequences.
        Now he resigns, and it is accepted, in response to what? The fact he'll soon be answering prickly questions in front of a House oversight committee, and it will be easier for the administration if he's not a current member.
       
  • by GSwarthout (896713) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @07:37PM (#16777529)

    So Bush lied (again)?

    What lie?

    So let's see, first we lie about the invasion of Iraq being tied to the September 11th attacks.

    Source?

    Then we lie that Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction.

    Actually, we didn't lie. Believing something to be true that later turns out to be false is not lying.

    Then we lied that Iraq was tied to Al Qaeda.

    Source? You can start here: http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Artic les/000/000/005/804yqqnr.asp [weeklystandard.com]

  • by wealthychef (584778) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @07:54PM (#16777691)
    People, don't get excited. From TFA:

    Gates is the president of Texas A&M University and a close friend of the Bush family. He served as director of the Central Intelligence for Bush's father from 1991 until 1993.

    Great, another Bush yes-man! Oh, yeah, there is going to be real change, uh huh. This President is so freaking insular and one-track minded, it is frustrating in the extreme.

  • by SillyNickName4me (760022) <dotslash@bartsplace.net> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @08:17PM (#16777915) Homepage
    Depending on what you consider right, it was right.

    Lets put the question a bit differently, were there independently verifiable and legally sound reasons to invade Iraq at that specific moment?

    It was right because the climate in the US still allowed the Executive branch to do pretty much whatever it wanted under the guise of protecting us from terrorists. Right because the press, caught up in the wave of patriotism, was happy to copy and paste anything served up to them by the feds right on to their front pages, retractions and apologies about shoddy fact checking and shirking journalistic duty to be printed a couple years down the road on the back page. Most of the US and quite a few abroad were united by an honest and worthwhile desire to combat terrorism and the time was right to exploit that. I'd say that, considering the amount of money made off the whole thing, that is an excellent return on investment.

    That all has nothing to do with 'right' and everything with convenient.
    With regards to 'quite a few abroad' being united by an honest and worthwhile desire to combat terrorism, that might be true, but has absolutely nothing to do with Iraq, virtually noone outside the USA believes this invasion had anything to do with fighting terrorism, and if anything, the invasion resulted in fracturing that union. For some specific people this invasion brought in a lot of money maybe, I seriously hope they get caught and their money is given back to whom it really belongs. Maybe it is 'smart' from a certain point of view, but making an argument that it is somehow 'right' is ridiculous.
  • by TXG1112 (456055) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @08:30PM (#16778057) Homepage Journal
    Here's one: During the invasion, why did you elect to guard the Iraqi Oil Ministry [smh.com.au] rather than the Weapons facility at Al Qaqaa? [globalsecurity.org]
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:3, Insightful)

    by LurkerXXX (667952) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:15PM (#16778625)
    Maybe if we're really lucky, we'll throw him under the bus for war crimes and somehow find a way to totally undermine the whole US military (yeah, you're going to sign up and do our war fighting when we won't protect you from the UN.

    Wow is that way out there Republican propaganda. People have signed up for military duty for many decades knowing that the US signed the Geneva Convention and that they were to uphold those standards during their military duty. They also knew there could be consequences from them if they broke them. Holding folks accountable who followed clearly illegal orders isn't going to scare away people with real senses of duty and morality from going into the military. The ones without senses of morality we can do without. Things like what happened at Abu Grab certainly hurt the war effort, and our country, far more than it helped.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @09:19PM (#16778681)
    Digg really isn't a good way to try get a feel for the public's mood when it comes to politics. While the model Digg uses may work well for other topics, politics is far too polarized. The majority of sane users avoid it like the plague, while the far left/right seem to flock to it like moths to a bug zapper.
  • by sgt_doom (655561) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:34PM (#16779433)
    Actually (all us college types say "Actually"), you be wrong on all three counts, dudey.

    AARP ain't the strongest lobby in Washington (and neither is AIPAC) and the majority of faculty at Harvard are clueless pimps! That said, the oil lobby is probably one of - if not the - most powerful. The primary reason Iraq was invaded was Saddam pledged plubicly he was going to switch to the Euro to sell his oil and he was going to double oil production. The secondary reason was the Busheviks considered this to be a good move to build up "political capital." (Go figure?!) And who the f**k bothers with Freud or Jung anymore.....

  • Re:Unpopular War? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ej0c (320280) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @11:22PM (#16779873)
    No person could ever have thought that Iraq would have a permanent democracy in six months.

    My own feeling was that if we were lucky, we'd be able to secure Baghdad from Saddam's forces in 6 weeks to six months; by which time we could rightfully say that the "war" was over in the same sense Desert Storm was "over".

    Now, to be honest, my feeling was that a weak government would take over, that we would not stay put, and that within 2-5 years, by democratic election or by coup, Iraq would slink back into 1)radical theocracy, 2) totalitarian dictatorship, or 3) some semi-functional central government which gradually becomes irrelevant.

    Instead, we achieved a real democratic election, with a real constitution hard-won by the people, and a government that genuinely was the best that could be worked out by and for Iraqis. In short, they have self-determination, and they are learning how to keep it.

    Even better, their neighbors in Iran, Syria, etc. are seeing this and envying them.

    --
    Now, to see a way forward, one has to actually look forward. One has to look at the 1200 year repression of the Shia, at the relative peacefulness of their theology, at the power-centered structure of the Sunni theology, at the positive experience the Kurds had governing themselves under the watchful eyes of the USAF for a decade. One has to be dissatisfied with the status quo of people dying by brutality or by starvation across the middle east forever now. And one has to look for possible solutions.

    Or, one can take the intellectually vapid approach of saying, "George Bush doesn't speak fast enough, so he is dumb, so the war is wrong."

    Back in the 90's certain Republicans complained the Bill Clinton only used military force to cover other problems. They could have thought about the fate and chances of the people of Bosnia, Iraq, wherever, but that takes work and compassion and study, and after all, who can be bothered with learning a 2500 or 4000 year old art.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @11:31PM (#16779935)
    Mearsheimer and Walt are not comparable to Jung and Freud. Their article isn't scholarship but political hackery.

    I shouldn't have to say where I stand with regard to Israel, and I won't.

    But this article is nothing new, nothing historical, and mostly polemical. Rather than tracing an arc of political dependencies, it involves innuendo, implicit justifications of political experdiency, and allegations of conspiracy and coercion.

    That's not a historical and political analysis, that's junk.

    Mearsheimer and Walt may be heroes to you because of this article, but that doesn't mean they have any real insight. This article could have been dreamt up at any time in the past 30 years.
  • by Hektor_Troy (262592) on Thursday November 09, 2006 @12:00AM (#16780149)
    They don't live next door, you don't work with any of their relatives and they don't get to vote in your elections.

    In other words: Noone cares about them.

Suggest you just sit there and wait till life gets easier.

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