A conservatory of Ldotter blogs.

Friday, December 24, 2004

Context is everything. . .

. . .and anyone who calls for SecDef. Rumsfeld to step down at this point is sorely lacking in it, as Victor Davis Hanson demonstrates (rather charitably, in my opinion) in his latest piece for NRO. Hanson has a peerless mind for military history, and anything I could add would be akin to putting ice cream sprinkles on a porterhouse steak, as far as that goes. So, I'll let him say it best:

"First, according to reports, the unit in question had 784 of its 804 vehicles up-armored. Humvees are transportation and support assets that traditionally have never been so protected. That the fluid lines in Iraq are different not just from those in World War II or Korea, but even Vietnam, Gulf War I, Mogadishu, and Afghanistan became clear only over months. Yet it also in fact explains why we are seeing 80 to 90 percent of these neo-Jeeps already retrofitted. In an army replete with Bradleys and Abramses, no one could have known before Iraq that Hummers would need to become armored vehicles as well. Nevertheless all of them will be in a fleet of many thousands in less than 18 months. Would that World War II Sherman tanks after three years in the field had enough armor to stop a single Panzerfaust: At war's end German teenagers with cheap proto-RPGs were still incinerating Americans in their 'Ronson Lighters.'"

I'm admittedly ill-prepared to discuss military armor with regard to its limits and capabilities, so I won't bother to engage anyone on that matter. But, I've been an observer of politics for the better part of my adult life, and I know a cheap appeal when I see one. And, what is being done to the Secretary of Defense in the name of political opportunism and presidential ambition should cause any person with a modicum of integrity to stare at the tops of his shoes in his presence. But, this is Washington, D.C. we're talking about. There is no limit to the depths of shamelessness to which its denizens will plummet in pursuit of power, pork, prestige, and Pulitzers.

Yes, the man was inartful in his choice of axioms in bringing context to the situation our troops face in Iraq. But, Donald Rumsfeld was not chosen by the President for his ability to cast a warming glow over the blood, mud and shattered bones of warfare. He is there to transform the army that we have into the army we wish we had, and will have in the future. If that frosts Trent Lott's butt, well Trent Lott can either get over it, or die of it. But, he's not going to get Mississippi's shipbuilding industry reinvigorated by either Rumsfeld, or anyone that Lott would like to see take his place.

If John McCain has no confidence in Rumsfeld, all the better. McCain's confidence has proven wildly misplaced over the past six years, or so, anyway. And, if you're looking to reform the armed services, would you go to the man who reformed our campaign finance system into the marvel of idiocy that it is today?

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