'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Rumsfeld's Reform 

Reed Irvine's Accuracy in Media, sort of the rightwing doppelganger of FAIR, posted an article defending Rumsfeld by way of a traditional attempt at rhetorical judo, taking facts with clear implications and attempting to spin them in such a way that they support their opposite. Actually it's the same boldly asinine argument Lawrence Di Rita tried at a recent press conference.

AIM's Cliff Kincaid says that it's unfair to blame the supply problems in Iraq on Rumsfeld because he was trying to reform the military and was waging a "battle against [Pentagon] bureaucracy" throughout his first term - which is true, of course, except when you know a little about the sort of battle he was waging, it's pretty clear that because of Rumsfeld's reforms the Secretary is uniquely culpable for the sort of problems for which he is being attacked.

Rumsfeld's goal has always been a light, quick military -- speed and offense over caution and defense -- and he realized this goal. Iraq was sacked by racing a column of humvees, many of them without roofs or doors must less armor, down a highway and into downtown Baghdad. Rumsfeld gambled that Iraq's impoverished army would be no match for well-armed Americans with loads of air support and artillery but little heavy armor, at least as long as they didn't stay in one place too long, and he was right. The problem wasn't the invasion which lasted a few weeks a couple years ago, the problem was the couple of years that followed, the occupation which was completely unplanned and has turned increasingly bloody in no small part because doorless roofless humvees aren't the best vehicles to drive into an urban guerrilla conflict.

Look, I don't normally discuss military strategy and this whole jingoistic sphere of discourse that enthralls the mouth-breathers at gun shows and readers of Soldier of Fortune magazine, but I have read this argument twice now and it honestly doesn't make a shred of sense to me...

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