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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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  • Speedy Press (Score:2, Interesting)

    by neoform (551705) <djneoform@gmail.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:44PM (#16771961) Homepage
    This hit the frontpage of reddit, slashdot and digg all within 20 minutes of it being announced. Fastest I've ever seen.

    Eitherway, this had to happen though and probably would have happened if the Democrats hadn't won the house.
  • 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.
  • We Have No Memories (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:49PM (#16772113)
    Bob Gates was heavily involved in the treasonous Iran/Contra affair.

    The names may change, but the characters remain the same.

    http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/walsh/chap_16.htm [fas.org]
  • 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 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 Moofie (22272) <lee@ringofsaturn. c o m> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:54PM (#16772219) Homepage
    That was my first thought. He was demoted from SecDef to scapegoat.

    Now somebody go do the same thing with Gonzalez.
  • by Mushdot (943219) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:55PM (#16772247) Homepage
    Unfortunately this wasn't a 'traditional' war, in fact it wasn't really a war in my opinion.

    I can't comment on Rumsfelds battlefield acumen in other conflicts, but it saddens me to think that this man will step down and probably get another high profile job, write his memoirs etc while leaving the whole Iraq mess behind for someone else to clear up.

  • Smile for the camera (Score:4, Interesting)

    by shrubya (570356) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @02:57PM (#16772325) Homepage Journal
    It took a bit longer than anyone would have guessed, but at long last everyone in this photo [google.com] has retired. I bet there will be some Kurdish street parties tonight.
  • 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.

  • 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: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 fantomas (94850) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:16PM (#16772783)
    "I think Rummy hoped the Iraq people would have stood up and participated sooner than they have."


    I think the problem is that some Iraqi people have a different agenda from Rumsfeld. Participation is happening but on a whole number of different agendas. Some people are participating in the building of Rumsfeld's vision, and some on completely different visions. Hence the conflict.

    Winning a military victory over Saddam's army was only the start, not all of it and I think that's where a lot of people got it wrong. They say generals always fight the last war, but the liberation of France in 1944 was several wars ago....

  • 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.
  • by CyberLord Seven (525173) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:19PM (#16772883)
    First:

    The obvious answer now is no different than it was 6.5 years ago.

    Repeat after me: There we no Weapons of Mass Destruction! It was a lie then. It remains a blatant lie today.

    Second:

    "Underserved flak"? This coward who used the blood of other people's children to assert his manhood long after his opportunity had passed, managed to destroy a military force that had already demonstrated its inferiority to the US military machine in 1992. No, sir, he deserves all the flak coming his way and more.

    Third:

    "Unjustified investigations"? Are you insane? Why did all those people, on both sides die in Iraq? Why is Iraq falling into the guagmire of civil war, just as the critics of his bullshit plan predicted? Where is Osama? Where is the connection between Osama and Saddam?

    Oh, sure, you can claim he made the world safe by taking down a dictator. Just try telling that to the Iraq people as they bury more people in a single day than Saddam killed.

    Oh, one more thing. Rummy did a GREAT JOB telling the world that if you don't have nuclear weapons, you better get some quick like North Korea, or you'll end up like Iraq. See Iran for more on this subject.

  • 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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:26PM (#16773007)
    What makes it mediocre? Objective of the mission was to build a democracy in Iraq. It is logical that in order to do so, you needed to destroy or force to surrender the army of Iraq. However, it should have been done with the primary objective in mind. Rumsfeld concentraded completely on the Iraqui army, and let his main objective slip. The army of iraq was extremly weak, and it the american army would just roll over it one way or another. That means that in military sense, he showed no unusual skill, and his aproach absolutely did not fit the broader needs of the operation. Best known mistake is of course the amount of soldiers, he should have had some 500000 to ocupy the country completely. The army he had was large enough to destroy, but not large enough to hold.
  • by Nyeerrmm (940927) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:30PM (#16773091)
    I'm a student at Texas A&M (where Dr. Gates is currently university president,) and I'd have to say I disagree with this assesment of the man. He has done a great job here of seeing problems, finding a solution, and forcing it through even with strong opposition on some things. He has improved our faculty, decreased class sizes, and worked to change our image, all without ruining what many of us like about the university.

    Yes, the CIA has gotten a bad rep of late, however, judge the man for himself, not for what you think of an agency that by its nature doesnt really defend itself from a bad reputation. (Note, I'm a republican, but not a Bush supporter, and am very glad to see Rumsfield gone.)
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DavidTC (10147) <slas45dxsvadiv.v ... m ['nev' in gap]> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:32PM (#16773139) Homepage

    There are quite a few losing Senators and Congressentities that want to kick his ass right now, considering that if he'd resigned, say, the day before yesterday, he'd have taken the wind out of some of the Democrat's sails.

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

    by illegalcortex (1007791) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:42PM (#16773359)
    I think it's understandable. You're talking about averages, but not every election is average. A year or two ago, this election had all the markers to indicate it would be below average or even an outlier. Speaking of statistics, another well known pattern is that a first term president's party loses seats in his first midterm election. Didn't happen with Bush. And even though it happened with Clinton, the Republicans had a right to grandstand due to the above-average size of their victory. Also, polls typically show voters in midterm election site local and state issues as being the drivers of their vote. In this election, it was national.

    So I think the stage was set for this election to be below average and possibly even an outlier. Who knows what would have happen without the taint of Abramoff and with DeLay still in the driver's seat. The last-minute Foley scandal did't help, either. But just because it was the 6 year midterm doesn't mean it was inevitable that a not-widely-known-to-be-gay Republican would end up in a scandal for behavior bordering on pedophilia.

    Even with all this, a lot of the races Democrats won were squeakers. In some, they were aided by a Libertarian third party that might have thrown the vote.

    So I think it's quite remarkable.

    As far as winning with dignity, I've never seen that happen on either side. Sure didn't happen in 2004 or 2002.

    The funny thing about political statistics is that there are a near-infinite number to pick from. You chose "6th year midterm means ruling party loses seats in house and senate." But there are numerous variations on that. What is the statistic for "6th year midterm with president, house and senate controlled by the same party"? Or "6th year midterm during wartime"? Or how about both? Or other factors? And that's just the start conditions. There are plenty of variations for outcomes: a) presidents party loses seats in house OR senate, b) presidents party loses seats in house AND senate, c) presidents party loses CONTROL of house OR senate, d) presidents party loses CONTROL of house AND senate, e) presidents party loses a majority of the governorships, f) presidents party loses a majority of control in state legislatures, g) any combination of the above or a dozen other measures. It just goes on and on.

    Without actually taking more into account than a very simple statistic, it's about as pertinent as using the winner of the Superbowl to guess the political outcome, or figuring out if a Star Trek movie will suck by which number it is. Human beings are programmed to search for patterns. It's too bad when those patterns make us stop paying attention to the actual details which make each situation unique.
  • by necro81 (917438) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:43PM (#16773381) Journal
    Not to seem like I would defend Rumsfeld, but question 1 was not his place to answer.

    I disagree. The Secretary of Defense isn't the one with final say, but he is a member of a small group that advises the President on making the decision. Qutie simply, if the President asks the Secretary of Defense "should we go to war?" it is the SecDef's primary and explicit job to answer - to advise the President. If a Secretary of Defense were to say to his President that the U.S. should or should not go to war, that weighs heavily in the final decision.

    In the particular case of Rumsfeld and the Iraq war, he was a primary architect of that war - not just the fighting of it, but of the push to have a war in the first place. Considering how hard he pushed for it, to say that "question 1 was not his place to answer" is, frankly, bullshit. Rumsfeld had an answer to that particular question, and made sure the whole world knew about it, and advocated it to the President.

    Now, asking rhetorically: If Rumsfeld had not pushed for going to war, would it have happened anyway?
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Arwing (951573) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @03:55PM (#16773687)
    From what I have heard from various sources (including NPR), the decision was made before the election during an infighting between the actual Republicans and NeoCons, since neocons basically lost this election, the actual Republicans demanded his replacement, Bush made a concession by agreeing to replace Donny but not before the election.
  • 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: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.

  • Re:The Joooooos! (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:35PM (#16774493)
    From the paper :)

    No discussion of how the Lobby operates would be complete without examining one of its most powerful weapons: the charge of antiSemitism. Anyone who criticizes Israeli actions or says that proIsrael groups have significant influence over U.S. Middle East policy--an influence that AIPAC celebrates--stands a good chance of getting labeled an antiSemite. In fact, anyone who says that there is an Israel Lobby runs the risk of being charged with antiSemitism, even though the Israeli media themselves refer to America's "Jewish Lobby." In effect, the Lobby boasts of its own power and then attacks anyone who calls attention to it. This tactic is very effective, because antiSemitism is loathsome and no responsible person wants to be accused of it.

    But it is an interesting paper by people that know a whole lot more about the issue then you do.
  • by Darby (84953) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:38PM (#16774541)

    That's a loaded question though, because the 'obvious' answer is different now than it was 6.5 years ago.


    No it isn't.
    The obvious answer hasn't changed since none of the facts have changed.

    If you were stupid enough to have believed Bush's lies in the first place, then having seen them proven to be just lies would make you think that.
    Nobody with any sense believed a word of his nonsense from the beginning.

    So to anybody who gave enough of a shit to put any actual thought into the matter, nothing has changed and the obvious answer is exactly the same now as it was then.

    Rumsfeld always got stuck in a position where he had to present a nuanced situation, and his decision based on that situation, without being able to give people all of the (classified) facts that led him to a decision that may be the best decision at the time, but isn't necessarily a popular one.

    Hardly.

    He sold his own lie through spouting insane and ridiculous nonsense. There was no nuance since he already planned to attack Iraq prior to the 2000 elections and he further planned to use *any* attack on the US as an excuse to do so knowing full well that he would be unable to convince the American people to back that play through any honest methods.

    Seriously, dude, they published a position paper stating *exactly* that.

  • by sfeinstein (442310) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:38PM (#16774553) Homepage
    First, let me say that your entitled to your opinion and I do not want to engage in a flamewar. I'm an American Jew that supports Israel and the attitudes expressed in your post are just baffling to me. So, let me throw my two cents in:

    I consider myself a pretty fair guy that understands that for the most part, people want to support their families, feel secure and live decent lives. No sane citizen would want ongoing, pointless, bloody violence. That's the same whether you are a palestinian, Israeli, American or whatever.

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

    It is also worth noting: Israel does *not* try to invade and expand into is neighbors for the purpose of getting more land. In fact, since its establishment in 1948, Israel 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 Israel's access to sea ports, which internationally is recognized as an act of war.

    My point is: Israel is fighting for recognition and survival. All of its neighbors that attack it are fighting to kill every israeli man, woman and child. They want its land. They want its people dead. Furthermore, a lot of the violence is carried out by terrorist groups that have no accountability internationally. Israel 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 Israel accountable for them...there is nobody to even negotiate with or hold responsible on the Palestinian 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. Israel is critized ALL THE TIME. In fact, my big complain with NPR is that they always run Palestinian human-interest stories and report on facts as "palestinian sources say" without giving any of the Israelie perspective! CNN is the same way.

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @04:51PM (#16774779)
    Though Rumsfeld was fired today, he will still live well on his multi-million-dollar corporate pension.
    Here's to hoping he lives long enough to someday face trial for war crimes.
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jkauzlar (596349) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:05PM (#16775093) Homepage
    This is completely true, but as I understand it's customary for people at that level to offer their resignation when things aren't going well, even (especially) if they don't expect to be taken up on it. This was in, among other things, Bob Woodward's latest book [amazon.com], in which he investigated Rumsfeld's persona indepth. The book was well worth the read and I actually have more respect for Rumsfeld after reading it-- at least in the sense that I realize he acts according to some plan, and not just out of pure evil.
  • by twifosp (532320) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:06PM (#16775125)
    Which begs the question why can't they just split the countries up? I never even hear this an option. Iraq is divided. Ok so who cares? Take all the like minded people in region A and call them Assholia. Take all the like minded people in region B and call them Fucktardistan. Why do people try so hard to make it work. Split the factions up, divide the land up, and let them be angry neighbors, not angry countrymen.
  • by Chris Burke (6130) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @05:08PM (#16775171) Homepage
    The second statement doesn't support the first. You may be right that there was a disparity in the composition of forces, but what about the conduct of the "hot war" made it "mediocre?"

    The initial invasion was Rumsfeld's attempt to start a new war doctrine for U.S. forces, and thus leave his stamp on the military. He envisioned a lighter, faster U.S. force that could be deployed cheaper, a modern equivalent of Blitzkrieg. Apparently he forgot that much of the strength of the U.S. military came from logistics and having solid supply lines. As our forces raced up the highway towards Baghdad, they became too stretched out, our supply lines weakened, and the flanks started to come under attack by Iraqi forces. This forced us to stop and regroup and replace the strategy with a more conventional buildup and advance. Basically, the doctrine failed.

    The disparity in forces was such that the victory in the conventional war was a guarantee, even with a foolhardy start to things we were easily able to pull it together. Of course, the fact that Rumsfeld was unable to see the flaw in his brilliant new doctrine and the fact that he was unable to see that the end of the "hot" war would only be the beginning are related. The man is incompetent at his job. Always had been, always will be. I would be a better defense secretary. A terrible secretary to be sure, but I'd at least be able to accept the advice of those better versed in war than myself. Rumsfeld thought ideology would trump reality, and he was wrong.
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jafac (1449) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:15PM (#16776371) Homepage
    There is no illegal immigration problem.

    We have an illegal employment problem.

    Go after the employers, and they'll stop coming to this country for illegal jobs.

    It's easier to go after hundreds of illegal employers than it is to go after MILLIONS of illegal immigrants.

    Enforcement of employment regulations dropped 95% under Bush. There HAS to be a better answer than Cheap-Labor Conservativism.
  • by Phoenix666 (184391) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:26PM (#16776575)
    The evidence weighs pretty heavily against claims of moral superiority. Even the recent Israeli invasion of Lebanon disproves the assertion that "Israel has only responded to its neighbors declaring war on it." Lebanon did not declare war on Israel. And as awful as it is, the two soldiers taken by Hezbollah is not an unusual occurrence nor something that is only practiced upon Israel by its enemies; For example, in the 80's Mossad commandos assassinated top members of the PLO in Tunis. Incidentally, we might note that Tunisia did not respond by declaring war on Israel.

    Lastly on the score of moral superiority, the demonization of Palestinians as being terrorists is rather ironic, given that Hagannah and other zionists used terrorism to convince the British to leave Palestine. There is a lot of evidence to support the statement that Israel itself was founded through terrorism.

    Israel's tactics and behavior are as bloody and brutal as its opponents'. Neither are they supported by a great many Israelis. Recently a number of Israeli officers refused deployment to the occupied territories, and they were dubbed 'refuseniks.' There are many American Jews who also oppose the occupation. So there is no monolithic Israeli or Jewish opinion on the matter; it is a lot more nuanced and complex than Americans are led to believe. And Americans are not aware of that fact because intelligent discussion of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is actively suppressed and spun by AIPAC and a score of other allied organizations.

    Finally, you sound like a reasonable person, so I ask you to take a look at this map of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and reconsider your assertion that Israel does not try to take its neighbors land: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Israeli_settlement [wikipedia.org]. I would further add a quote from David BenGurion, one of the fathers of Israel, "After the formation of a large army in the wake of the establishment of the state, we shall abolish partition and expand to the whole of Palestine."
    So, it has been an express policy from the outset for zionists to take their neighbors land.

    I would note that when Serbs expelled Bosnian muslims from their land in Yugoslavia, it was called "ethnic cleansing." When the Turks expelled Armenians from their land, it was called a "genocide." So Israel's expelling 700,000 Palestinians from their land and colonizing the occupied territories looks quite similar.

  • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @06:52PM (#16777023) Homepage
    > 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...

    Yeah, I'd hire you for a tech job. Sure, that's just the attitude that we like.

    Instead of intelligent argument, just lash out, yell and scream, tear off some heads. You sure are a good representative of the military mindset. I think you prove the previous poster's point.

    jfs
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:4, Interesting)

    by DahGhostfacedFiddlah (470393) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @07:09PM (#16777215) Homepage
    Are you sure about that? I think it might have deflated the R's more than the D's - and given real credence to the "time for a change" meme.

    Of course, I believe this mainly because the R's didn't set the resignation on Monday - if they had thought it would benefit them, be sure that Rumsfeld would have been gone at least two days ago.
  • Re:Sore loser (Score:3, Interesting)

    by demachina (71715) on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @07:53PM (#16777681)
    "Having Rumsfeld step down weeks ago would have validated Democrat "

    Probably true if it had happened out of the blue. If all the Republican Congressional candidates had gotten together en masse and demanded Rumsfeld's resignation a couple months ago, Bush had actually done it, and they'd gotten someone like McCain in there it could have probably been a huge net plus for the Republicans and could have turned the election. It would have shown the President as breaking out of his bubble and listening to the people's representatives in his party, and taking a new tack on Iraq instead of just staying the course and slowing throwing American soldiers and dollars in to a never ending meat grinder. Of course McCain is likely to increase the troop strength in Iraq not decrease it and no telling how that would play with Americans especially if you had to start a draft to get the cannon fodder.

    A few congressional candidates did demand Rummy's resignation at the last minute when they realized they were in serious trouble over Iraq but it was to little to late and just looked like a cheap political tactic to save their skins.

    It was just beyond bizarre for Bush to pat Dick and Don on the back right before the election and say they were going to be there for the duration of his second term. I can't seriously believe he had really decided to get rid of him at that point. It makes him look either deceitful, foolish or both.

    For people who used to be pretty politically astute they seemed to have developed a real tin political ear. Maybe they never really had a good ear, they just noticed the Democrats suched and they could ride 9/11 and and gay bashing to victory for a while. Rumsfeld and Cheney are popular with almost no one at this point, Democrats or Republicans. The only people still in their court are the rabid pro Israeli lobby, like Lieberman, who got us in to this mess in the first place. At this point Israel and Iran are about the only two places where there are still people who still like the war in Iraq, Israel because it got rid of one of the two biggest threats on their borders, one who shot missiles at them, and Iran because it appears they will be the big winner of this foolish war in the end. I wager even Israel will regret the whole thing when an Iranian friendly Shia theocracy is in full bloom in Iraq. Turkey will also be royally pissed when Northern Iraq turns in to an independent Kurdistan and tries to seize the Kurdish regions of Turkey.
  • by Sassinak (150422) <sassinak@sdf.lonesta r . o rg> on Wednesday November 08, 2006 @10:45PM (#16779519) Homepage
    The reason I ask the question is that what you say is quite true for specific branches of the military.

    Having worked for all the branches at various times (both during peaceful times and "escalations") I can certainly attest that what has been said by others ("meat heads") is true to a limited extent.

    The Airforce has always been a specialist branch. (A 9-5 job. Wake up, have your coffee, go bomb a few people, come home for lunch, bomb a few more, have dinner then enjoy the entertainment of your choice).

    The same is true for the Marines (which historially has been a elite and small outfit). Except no 9-5, and less perks.

    The Army and Navy have at times recruted on the basis of being able to listen and shoot (and not always both of them, depending on the need for bodies).

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