A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Another injection of fairness. . .

. . .into the debate over SecDef Donald Rumsfeld's performance comes from Times of London, as David Hart lays out some grossly overlooked facts.

I've been puzzled at how so many people have come to the conclusion that Secretary Rumsfeld has failed so miserably. When you view the whole matter from its rightful perspective, you come to understand just how amazingly our military has performed under his tenure. You may criticize him for not sending enough troops at the outset, and you may even criticize him for sticking to the current model. I think fair arguments can be made in that regard, whether or not I accept them.

But, to accuse Rumsfeld of being a failure as Defense Secretary is to engage in the sort of overblown, hypercritical rhetoric that would garner your average columnist a Derbyshire Award from a rested, but gassy, Andrew Sullivan.

It's not that concern for the lives and wellbeing of our troops is unwarranted, and I don't doubt for a nanosecond that Andrew and most other critics are sincere in raising those concerns. But, what has been grossly lacking in all these criticisms is the recognition of the fact that Donald Rumsfeld has taken on the task of completely transforming the world's largest, most bureaucratically bloated military while using it to successfully remove two of the most wicked regimes ever to blight the face of the planet.

"Together with what is probably a uniquely brilliant group of political appointees, Rumsfeld decided that the Taleban had to be unhorsed so that al-Qaeda would be denied its base. But he knew that would be insufficient. Too many Middle Eastern countries provided terrorist havens. Courageously, he and President Bush came to the necessary conclusion. A significant Middle Eastern government with terrorist connections needed to be removed so that all governments in the area would be deterred from aiding terrorists."

Throwing Rumsfeld the occasional bone for what he accomplished in Afghanistan doesn't come close to doing him justice.

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