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Pirate Smile Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 09:31 PM
Original message
WP: Wrestling With History (Rummy)
Edited on Sat Nov-12-05 09:32 PM by Pirate Smile

Wrestling With History
Sometimes you have to fight the war you have, not the war you wish you had

By David Von Drehle

Sunday, November 13, 2005; Page W12

If only he could show us the memo.

"It's still classified, I suppose?" says Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, looking toward his assistant.

"It's still classified," Lawrence DiRita replies, "along with a lot of the underlying planning."

Rumsfeld nods, apparently disappointed. He is interested in sharing the memo because the memo, as he outlines it, demonstrates that his critics are utterly mistaken. He did not dash heedless and underprepared into Iraq. Rumsfeld foresaw the things that could go wrong -- and not just foresaw them, but wrote them up in a classically Rumsfeldian list, one brisk bullet point after another, 29 potential pitfalls in all. Then he distributed the memo at the highest levels, fed it into the super-secret planning process and personally walked the president through the warnings.

Why the conflict that has cost 2,000 American lives may not be Donald Rumsfeld's No. 1 priority.

"It would have been probably October of '02, and the war was March, I think," of the following year, Rumsfeld explains. "I sat down, and I said, 'What are all the things that one has to anticipate could be a problem?' And circulated it and read it to the president -- sent it to the president. Gave it to the people in the department, and they planned against those things. And all of the likely and unlikely things that one could imagine are listed there. It was just on the off-chance we'd end up having a conflict. We didn't know at that stage."

Some might quibble with Rumsfeld's description of the historical moment. At the time he wrote the memo, dated October 15, 2002, Congress had recently voted to give President Bush complete authority to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein. A White House spokesman had just confirmed that invasion plans were on Bush's desk -- detailed plans, we now know, which Rumsfeld had been shaping and hammering and editing for much of the previous year.

In other words, there was far more than an "off-chance" of conflict. All that remained to be done was for the president to reach his official decision. The train was loaded, its doors were shut, and it was ready to leave the station.

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pfitz59 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 09:35 PM
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1. One more face of evil!
What a lying traitorous scumbag! Will he ever get his just rewards?
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Bumblebee Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Nov-12-05 10:42 PM
Response to Original message
2. I read the whole thing -- 11pp or so. It's actually very
interesting and informative.
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cliss Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 12:49 AM
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3. OK: here's my take.
1) Don Rumsfailed is not very concerned about the troop deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan. Once, he said, "there are more people getting killed in car accidents here in the U.S. than in the war". This was seen as an incendiary statement, and it was quickly pulled.

2) RumsFolly is now covering his ass by saying "I told you so". He explains in 29 bullet-points all the things that could go wrong. And YET, if you go to the PNAC web site, you will see Don RumsFool as a signatory to all the documents. Rum pushed harder than anybody to go to war in Iraq. Do NOT be fooled by this man. Now that the chips are down, the biggest rat of them all is scrambling to crawl over the railing of the ship.
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teryang Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 07:51 AM
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4. The commitment to attack Iraq was made long before this
The planning began long before this. This is a well known Pentagon CYA move, plan an operation while placing memos in files expressing doubts about the risks and prospects to cover your ass when the plan fails. It happens in every war.
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Demit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Nov-13-05 07:55 AM
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5. "and the war was March, I think"?
What a casual memory this Secretary of Defense has! The way he has of belittling and demeaning important events is absolutely unmatched. He makes my skin crawl.
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