Judging Rummy

I am utterly perplexed why this happened NOW instead of 2 months ago — at least from a political perspective.

The WSJ polled readers, asking:  How would you grade Rumsfeld’s performance as defense secretary?


The amazing thing is that 23% of those polled gave Rumsfeld  an "A" or a "B." I guess all that talk about personal responsiblility was just so much more ideological bullshit . . .

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. GRL commented on Nov 9

    There have been rumors published in the press for some time that Rummy was going to go. Read Bush’s news conference for an explanation of why he waited until after the election to unload Rummy.

    Stratfor also had some interesting things to say this morning:

    Rumsfeld’s primary goal, and the reason that U.S. President George W. Bush brought him into the government in the first place, was to bring about a seminal shift in the shape of the U.S. military. He sought to skip over an entire generation of military hardware — such as the F-22, which is only now entering the military’s toolkit — and instead focus on the development of fundamentally new technologies, so that 20 years from now the United States would be fielding technology two generations ahead of any potential foes.

    * * *

    Rumsfeld’s biggest failing was not his plan, or even his execution of it. It was that reality intervened, in the form of the 9/11 attacks and the Iraq war, and he refused to shift course in midstream. Rumsfeld was designing a military that could defeat state power by the precise applications of force while minimizing the exposure of U.S. forces; but the U.S.-jihadist war brought to the table a foe that thrived in chaotic regions where state control was weak or nonexistent. Rumsfeld’s plan could overturn the Taliban or Saddam Hussein’s government, but it could not muster the manpower necessary to impose order on the resulting chaos. Without sufficient “boots on the ground,” the United States has proven unable to deny militants the environment in which they thrive.

    The nature of the war the United States found itself fighting changed, and Rumsfeld demonstrated over and over that he lacked the ability to change with it.

    What I want to know is, why did Perle, Wolfowitz and the other neo-con architects of the Iraq war wait until just before the election to admit they were wrong? Were were they, oh, say, a year ago?

  2. crack commented on Nov 9


    Perle said he only told the truth because he thought it was going to be published after the election. Paraphrasing someone (I can’t remember where I read it) there’s cowardice, and then there’s cowardice about your cowardice.

  3. KP commented on Nov 9

    House wasn’t cleaned until after the election for the simple reason that no one in Washington thought it was necessary. Republicans in Washington are THAT disconnected with the people they are supposed to represent that they couldn’t hear the train coming. Makes me that much more comfortable that there power has been so tempered by the elections. I do believe that the GOP’s heart is in the right place…..it’s too bad that their heads have to be stuck so far up in the wrong place.

  4. S commented on Nov 9

    Blind loyalty kept Bush from dumping Rummy sooner.

    Despite the GOP having completely bastardized Goldwater Republican ideals, Bush sincerely believed Rove could rally the base again and pull off another win.

    When that failed, they didn’t want to give Pelosi/Waxman/Hastings the satisfaction of running Rummy through the wringer. Besides, their plate will be full with other investigations.

  5. calmo commented on Nov 9

    But that is only 1 of the 68 other polls that karl had going in, and Rove knew hardly anyone reads WSJ. For political sentiments especially.
    What KP said…except for the misplaced GOP heart.

  6. Bob A commented on Nov 9

    Donald Rumsfeld was and is delusional and will go his deathbed telling himself that he’s the only one who really understands they way things are, just like he did yesterday.

  7. Michael Carne commented on Nov 9

    Barry, I enjoy your market and economic commentary but the political stuff leaves me cold. Stop going Barbara Streisand on me. Please leave that to the ‘talking heads’ and keep the stellar market insights coming. Your pal, Mike

  8. CA Guy commented on Nov 9

    KP and S have it right, IMO. The Rep. party has totally lost it principles and is out of touch with reality. Bush should have dumped Rumsfeld a year or more ago. If he had, his party might still control at least half of Congress. Rumsfeld was and is an A$$. I was Republican up through the 2000 election, but not since. I don’t vote for the Dems either. Both parties are delusional. Being a member of generation X, I am not looking forward to America’s future. The wars and lack of fiscal responsibility will likely encumber the nation for decades. Where is Barry when you need him? Barry Goldwater that is.

  9. Patrick Briggs commented on Nov 9


    Why would occasional political commentary “leave you cold”?

    Just curious and don’t want to make the wrong presumption.



  10. Reasonable commented on Nov 9

    >>>The amazing thing is that 23% of those polled gave Rumsfeld an “A” or a “B.” I guess all that talk about personal responsibility was just so much more ideological bullshit . . .

    What a load of democrat misdirection. People didn’t give Rummy a B because they don’t believe in responsibility, they gave him a B because they think that, dealing with a difficult enemy and a complex situation, he dealt competently.

    It’s a bit denigrative to say that not agreeing with your assessment on someones’ performance indicate lack of believe in personal responsibility.

  11. More Reasonable commented on Nov 9

    An A or a B? Gimme an F-N break

    Competancy is not a political issue

  12. Patrick Briggs commented on Nov 9


    It would be “Democratic misdirection” – not democrat. Don’t denigrate our party with your mispelling and bad grammar AND claim to be reasonable.

    You authoritarians got your asses handed to you this past election. Now the adults are can start to bring some accountability and sane policy back to our government.

    Rumsfeld is an utter failure and 2800 plus American lives along with over $300 billion in American treasure is lost because of him. The only fault I can find in the post you criticized is that it didn’t also find fault with:

    Bush, Cheney,
    the Rethuglican “rubber-stamp” Congress,
    the Right-Wing Media,
    the so-called “Christian” Conservatives
    and the cowardly white old men from PNAC

    By the way, competency is a political issue. That’s why the Rethuglican Party just got dumped.

  13. Andy commented on Nov 9

    Why now? Because the D’s won. Simple as that. Had the R’s prevailed and the lack of oversight continued, Rummy was safe for two more years.

    Here’s why the D’s winning caused Bush to toss Rummy overboard: now that the D’s will have committee control and subpeona power, who do you think was going to become the very public face of administration failure in Iraq? Just imagine week after week of public UNDER OATH testimony from current and former generals about strategy and implementation in the WoT. Just imagine Rummy testifying under oath about whether any of his generals asked for more troops, more supplies, more time, etc. and what Rummy chose to do instead.

    What happened yesterday was the only real option.

  14. apw commented on Nov 9

    Re-read Any’s post. He’s absolutely right.

  15. Jay R commented on Nov 9

    I guess all that talk about personal responsiblility was just so much more ideological bullshit . . .

    Never forget that the American public has an amazing ability to pretend that they know about something when they actually don’t.

    I’ll be quite a bit of these A or B grades are based on the a look or two at Rummy on the TV and the feeling that “he looks like a nice guy and has a nice way of speaking”, so therefore his performance couldn’t be that bad.

  16. Michael C. commented on Nov 9

    Where did that last housing thread go?

  17. paul commented on Nov 9

    If the material GRL quoted is correct and Rumsfeld came in trying to perfect the enemy state scenario, then he was the wrong man for the job. And, he had the wrong tactics from the start against the ‘difficult enemy,’ so he deserves an F.

    There’s a lot written on 4th generation warfare – stateless, decentralized, with obvious battle fronts, etc.
    Check out
    And look down the right sidebar at the list of books.
    While the books are recent, the idea has been around for a while and was outlined in a 1989 article in the Marine Corp Gazette:

    Seems to me this is the CEO who sticks with an outdated business model, oblivious to changing environment, then cites a challenging economy as the reason for bad results instead of cluelessness and inflexibility.

  18. brion commented on Nov 9

    re-read Paul’s post. He’s absolutely right.

  19. spencer commented on Nov 9

    As “Honest Abe” said you can fool some of the people all the time.

  20. fatbear commented on Nov 9

    Jay R says quite a bit of these A or B grades are based on the a look or two at Rummy on the TV and the feeling that “he looks like a nice guy and has a nice way of speaking”, so therefore his performance couldn’t be that bad.

    That and more – first, the average WSJ agreeing-to-be-polled-reader is probably not someone who pays too much attention to Rummy’s performance per se – if they even notice Iraq at all, it’s probably more of a “that’s a totally screwed market” or “can’t we just pack up and leave those ungrateful bastards.” Not only does Rummy look the part, but he’s a squash player and is from the “brook no fools” mold so admired by the the WSJ’s best and brightest op-ed folk.

    Not to forget when was the last time any CEO admitted that another CEO was a fool and a failure, much less himself (or as we’ve seen at HP, herself)?

    Face it, while the WSJ has some good coverage, the op-ed page is more than enough reason to come to the conclusion that the WSJ readers who took part in the poll are not too swift. Unlike Barry’s readers, who are all gentlefolk and blessed with wisdom.

  21. donna commented on Nov 9

    The GOP has no heart, and the last six years has proven it has no head, either.

    Give it up, it’s time to let the past go and get on with the future. Start rebuilding your party, Republicans, and this time, use a little reality instead of Rush Limbaugh’s ass.

  22. snook commented on Nov 9

    I think D.R. was pretty darn good when it came to the transformatioon story….On 911 >> after I put my jaw back in place, it was clear to me that huge opp for some global rearranging. Just following orders man.

  23. me commented on Nov 9

    Now tht the results are in and Boy Rove is not a genius, Papa Bush and the grownups are trying to salvage the party.

    Note, Gates, has a pipline to Papa Bush, Scrowcroft, Baker. Note that Gates is on the Iraq commission with Baker that says Iraq is lost so how do we get out. Note that this is how Papa Bush freezes out Chaney. It is just a lttle too late.

  24. Reve BM commented on Nov 9

    Rumsfeld executed Bush’s plan, as well as he could. The military had been relatively degraded during the post Cold War drawdown and during Clinton’s tenure. We are in a confrontation with an adaptive enemy.

    More boots on the ground would have likely made more targets rather than more stability in Iraq. Bush made a noble and bold choice to dissolve the Baath army in Iraq and give Iraqi democracy a chance. I can only hope that Iraq will not wash away when we finally pull the plug.

    Bush made humane and hopeful decisions for the Middle East. Unfortunately, if the Iraqi experiment does not work, this will likely be the only try. The next time we get we will likely opt for massive retaliation from the air rather than any attempt at nation-building.

    I have just been finishing a biography of Kitchener (“Kitchener”) describing how he was one of the few people in the British cabinet to predict that World War I would be long (at least 3 years, versus predictions of months) and would need millions of men. Still, he helped execute many tactical mistakes such as Gallipoli. Still, he implemented reforms such as the new model army and conserving troops so that the British and French survived until the Americans entered the war decisively. If he had not gotten a few of these big picture items right, there would have been nothing for the US to intervene for later. Although Germany in World War I was not Nazi, I believe it would have still been bad for history if they had won (i.e. it was a worthwhile cause).

    Note that I believe the British government was reorganized (change of parties) at least once during WW I and there was plenty of blame to spread around regarding inadequate preparation for that war. Also, there were sincere people, including pacifists and people who believed that Britain should not intervene, that fought with each other viciously. On a grand scale, it was of course a disaster for the whole world.

    If an Iraqi democracy, however imperfect, still exists 10 years from now it could provide a key to a more hopeful future for the MidEast and it will have been one of the big things that Bush got right about the conflict we are engaged in.

  25. Gregg commented on Nov 9

    If the American people are so fed up with the war in Iraq, why didn’t Lamont crush Lieberman? I believe right leaning moderates (and other farther right voters) were fed up with the corruption and profligate spending. It wasn’t that they were too conservative. They were not conservative enough – that would imply fiscal restraint and recognition of the Constitution

    Having said that, it doesn’t help when the head of the party clearly is not a conservative.

    With “Papa” Bush, Scowcroft and Baker calling the shots, maybe we will end up with another 12 years of no-fly zones, dead shiites and kurds and escalating terrorism.

  26. foo commented on Nov 9

    Isn’t it ironic that Mr “Don’t cut and run” Bush and one of his chief lieutenants decided to cut and run the instant the going got a little tough?

  27. Franco commented on Nov 9

    It would have been better for GOP candidates if Rummy got dumped before the elections. But GWB was holding that card for himself in the event he needed post election. He screwed the congressional Republicans.

  28. RW commented on Nov 9

    Some of the recommended reading at http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com looks interesting but many of the titles and/or descriptions appear apocalyptic or even crank and, as Paul mentions, the titles are also quite recent; perhaps the real emphasis is on book sales?

    Whatever, there is a vast literature on guerilla wars at the US Marine Corps war college and much of it is available to the public elsewhere should anyone be so inclined. Any site purporting to discuss guerilla war, military occupations, etc should begin with readily available texts such as the Marine Corps’ Small Wars Manual (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Small_Wars_Manual) as essential reading; failure to do so should cause anyone to question the basis of the site’s authority IMO.

    Rumsfeld of course had ready access to all of it and more but instead appears to have indulged some corporatist fantasy that wars could be engaged in ‘efficiently’ and won by focusing on productivity qualia; e.g., technology and, in a recapitulation of the standard neocon rhetoric on the universal virtues of ‘free markets,’ privatization.

    No doubt his bosses refused to allow skipping over some of the big-ticket cold war era military hardware (campaign donors) and the rush to privatization caused even greater distortions (war profiteering) but the essential giveaway of his failure was his comment to a soldier who questioned the absence of adequate gear: “you go to war with the army you’ve got, not the army you wish you had.” So, the wealthiest country in the world run by an administration that has declared a global war on terror in apocalyptic culture-clash terms really does that? Wonder what happens when they really mean to get something done?

  29. Gregg commented on Nov 9

    Would it have been better to dump Rummy two months ago? I’m sure the media and the Democrats wouldn’t have prattled constantly about the how it was an indication of GWB’s “Failure.” No way.

    Congressional Republican’s screwed themselves. How many Republicans had to resign? Where did that bridge to nowhere go? Why didn’t they put the hammer down of judicial nominations? They didn’t pass drilling for oil in the US. They didn’t give the president clear guidelines for interrogating detainees. No Social Security reform. And my personal favorite – complaining about the FBI searching a representatives office. Gee they only had a valid search warrant. Who do these guys think they are?

    I called my senators and representative at least four times a month and it wasn’t to give them praise. It was to complain that they were acting like they were in the minority. Maybe next time they will learn how to wield power. I don’t know though. They really didn’t seem to learn in 12 years.

  30. Patrick Briggs commented on Nov 9


    You said:

    “it doesn’t help when the head of the party clearly is not a conservative.”

    What’s not conservative about Bush and his supporters throughout our government? They fundamentally believe in the paradigm of “your-on-your-own”. They despise government (one could ask how any conservative could run something they hate). They worship a free market system unfettered.

    It’s interesting that “conservatives” – Republicans – whatever you want to call them, won’t just admit that their failed economic (supply-siders), social (theocons), and foreign policies (neocons) are the problem.

    Look at what Richard Perle and other leading Neo-Cons have had to say recently about Iraq. As co-signers to PNAC’s document rationalizing an invasion of Iraq and using American power preemptively, they are directly responsible for this tragic war of choice. Yet now they try and say it was a problem of implementation or worse yet, they lie that they never supported the Iraq Occupation.

    I’d respect conservatives if they would at least be consistent and argue for their policies in persuasive ways, rather than ALWAYS blaming somebody else for not being coservative enough.

    Bush and his gang are the most conservative leaders this government has seen since….the turn of the 20th Century. Corporate welfare and wars of choice doesn’t detract from this basic fact.

  31. fatbear commented on Nov 9

    Jeez, there seem to be lots of Bush apologists here. Face up to it guys, nothing that has happened in the last nearly 6 years is good for the country or the world. Bush came to power through a putsch, and proceeded to act like the 2-bit dictator he wanted to be. He does not believe in any way in the commonweal, nor does he believe in our Constitutional rights, as he has shown time after time. More importantly, nothing he could do would’ve made the invasion of Iraq work – that’s the mistake, not the way he did it.

    It is interesting to note that courts in Europe have been acquiting trespassing and equipment-destroying peace activists who have tried to stop the war. In at least one case in Germany there was a court action to indict Rummy for war crimes. (The German gov’t intervened ex parte and had the case dropped so that Rummy could show up for a meeting.) More of this will happen, to our eternal sorrow.

    We have allowed very bad things to be done in our name, and we will be paying the price for decades. No amount of washing will remove the stain quickly, and no one should expect the Democratic congress to make it better; all they can do is hope to stop some of the more insane ideas – like invading and/or bombing Iran.

    btw: Have any of you noticed that the White House has digitally alterted the tape of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech to remove the banner – I faintly remember Stalin doing things like that, but I never thought I would live to see the day that an official White House video would be in the same league.

  32. fatbear commented on Nov 9

    Sorry Patrick, I didn’t mean to follow you, but I must’ve been writing at the same time you were.

  33. gmilburn commented on Nov 9

    fatbear – digitally removing the banner? Could I get a link? That’s absolutely insane…

  34. Gregg commented on Nov 9

    Bush a conservative? I guess if you say it long enough people will think it is true. Where was President Bush on prescription drugs? How about campaign finance reform? Education spending?

    If it weren’t for the tax cuts, his judicial nominees (sans Meirs thankfully) and his willingness to actually defend our country instead of treating terrorists like criminals, I would call him an outright country club republican – just like his dad. I will give him credit for attempting SS reform though.

    Ronald Reagan was a conservative. He compromised too, but he was definitely a conservative. I honestly don’t think GWB has it in him – sadly

  35. Cherry commented on Nov 9

    Bush’s willingness to defend this country bhahahahaah. The word “conservative” is meaningless. It is what do you want to spring, the Oligarchy or what we call “middle class” by mistake(just because you make 75,000 a year, you aren’t middle class, but low class).

    The fact is Bush has pumped up massive increases in government during his admin. just for the Oligarchies crusades(like Iraq) while the private sector has struggled is just so typical much like Reagan.

    Yet, the “conservative” would proudly follow this Oligarchy to cut off government health coverage to elderly people why they pump up the military machine to fight their wars against their enemies. Ah, actually the “conservative” used to be the ‘reactionary” socialists in the 19th century that fought Marxism and Liberalism because of the Oligarchy and despotic regimes it created……I guess I am a true conservative!!!!

  36. tt commented on Nov 9

    moveon.org ????

    I think I’m on the wrong site , I was looking for BigPicture …….

    maybe we can get back to stocks and bonds and real estate and the economy …….

  37. Patrick Briggs commented on Nov 9


    My point was that we “thumped” you conservatives in this mid-Term because your policies of:

    -“your-on-your-own” ((Hurricane Katrina’s response by a government program devasted by crony appointments, neglect, and administered by people (conservatives) who by nature hate government puts the lie to this))

    -theocratic meddling to “preserve the family” (ask your icons Reagan and Gingrich about that by the way)

    -tax cuts that ended up effectively as State tax increases to handle the increased burden of people left behind by an economy built for the elite (i.e. my $300 was more than countered by higher local/state taxes, higher education costs, higher fees for State Parks, and f***k it all, an economy that is leaves the middle class folks like me MORE at risk than ever)

    -macho foreign policy swagger presuming US supremacy in the world and a black/white mentality about the world which utterly fails to leverage the reality-based multi-shaded complexities of this world towards a good end … instead of this f***ked up occupation in Iraq

    –it’s not an either or proposition between law enforcement and military action either – you use both where appropriate

    ((by the way, the law enforcement method worked well to contain Saddam Hussein – no WMD, no threat to his neighbors, especially when compared with the $300 plus billion price tag of this occupation, 2800 plus US solidiers lives, 10’s of 1000’s of seriously wounded US soldiers, and devastation to the Iraqi people far beyond anything Saddam ever did to his people – rational people – not conservatives – can weigh OPPORTUNITY COSTS and make sane decisions))

    -privatization of a successful government program like Social Security disguised as a means to enrich all Americans ((when it was aimed chiefly to aid this adminstration’s corporate/Wall Street pals – and dismantle more of the government that in reality serves this nation well – when Democrats are in charge))

    are all failed CONSERVATIVE policies.

    Liberals like me will remind you of it until your ideology is finally stuck in the margins and forever out of power…so that we can ignore you and get on with the business of bring God’s kingdom to earth. Yeah, liberals like me base our politics on our faith. Christ was no conservative, believe you me.

  38. Max commented on Nov 9

    I bet repugs did not anticipate such a surprise. I’ll be fun to watch them scrambling for dignity, and completely disintegrating.

  39. Gregg commented on Nov 9

    Max –

    Maybe the “Repugs” in Washington didn’t anticipate this, but, I can assure you that conservative republicans like me out here in flyover country did.

  40. tt commented on Nov 9

    Fatbear ….

    btw: Have any of you noticed that the White House has digitally alterted the tape of Bush’s “Mission Accomplished” speech to remove the banner – I faintly remember Stalin doing things like that, but I never thought I would live to see the day that an official White House video would be in the same league.

    While it’s not in the same league as shredding the Whitewater papers , killing Vince Foster or covering up Ted Kennedy’s murder , the Republicans are working to reach that level

  41. Gregg commented on Nov 9

    Patrick –

    I think it is safe to say that you and I disagree on a number of issues. They will probably not be resolved here.

    I will end my post with this. If you think that the defeat of Republicans in Congress is the result of failed CONSERVATIVE ideas you are mistaken. The collective actions of the Republicans were anything but conservative. While there may have been a few programs cut (not just held to inflation, but eliminated), government spending has never grown faster since the 1960s. Finally if the country is so down on Iraq, why didn’t Lamont beat Lieberman in Connecticut? It should have been a slam dunk and he got thumped. The war on terror is about the only issue where Lieberman agrees with the President.

    As for conservatives going away, dream on! We will be back!

  42. Jim Bergsten commented on Nov 9

    How about this?

    Suppose some highly paid pollster went out and asked “the man on the street” to rank YOUR job performance? Or YOUR political affiliations? Or YOUR life?

    How would YOU rank?

    And what would it matter, asking people who know nothing about you and have absolutely no experience in doing what it is you do? Who know nothing of what you are tasked to accomplish?

    Come on, be honest now.

    No, you say, this is different. This is a public figure. His life should be open for all to see.

    This makes random people qualified to offer an opinion on his job performance?

    Nah. This is yet another thinly disguised popularity contest.

    The only newsworthy aspect in all of this is that there are apparently 5,340 people who were too ignorant and/or dishonest to answer, “I haven’t the faintest idea, I am not qualified to offer an opinion.”

    That would have been MY answer.

    p.s. He quit now because he doesn’t want or have to deal with a hostile Congress and probably figures the next guy will get all the abuse and blame.

  43. Jim Bergsten commented on Nov 9

    When I was a kid and I said something dumb, my old man would say, “anyone who says stuff like that is either stupid or a liar. Which one are you?”

    This is my question to the WSJ.

    I went and looked. This “survey” is actually a open web forum question. Anybody can vote — not just WSJ readers. I voted “A” — not that I think that, I just wanted to see what would happen. If I took the trouble to delete the cookie, I could vote “A” 10,000 times. Or “F.” Depending on the lousy web programming, maybe even “W.”

    Nothing remotely scientific here — completely self-selecting population.

    To misqoute Eric Cartman, “the media pisses me off.”

    p.s. The tally is now over 10,000 “votes” and the “F”‘s are off by 2%.

    p.p.s.s. As I was typing this, my wife read my previous post over my shoulder. “Why do you like him,” she asked?

    “If you ain’t fer me, yer again’ me.” If SHE don’t get my ravings, what chance do the rest of you have?

    I give up.

  44. Max commented on Nov 9

    Excuses excuses.

  45. toddZ commented on Nov 10

    ==11 Lessons from Vietnam==
    ”In Retrospect: The Tragedy and Lessons of Vietnam”
    Robert S. McNamara

    # We misjudged then — and we have since — the geopolitical intentions of our adversaries … and we exaggerated the dangers to the United States of their actions.
    # We viewed the people and leaders of South Vietnam in terms of our own experience … We totally misjudged the political forces within the country.
    # We underestimated the power of nationalism to motivate a people to fight and die for their beliefs and values.
    # Our judgments of friend and foe alike reflected our profound ignorance of the history, culture, and politics of the people in the area, and the personalities and habits of their leaders.
    # We failed then — and have since — to recognize the limitations of modern, high-technology military equipment, forces and doctrine…
    # We failed as well to adapt our military tactics to the task of winning the hearts and minds of people from a totally different culture.
    # We failed to draw Congress and the American people into a full and frank discussion and debate of the pros and cons of a large-scale military involvement … before we initiated the action.
    # After the action got under way and unanticipated events forced us off our planned course … we did not fully explain what was happening and why we were doing what we did.
    # We did not recognize that neither our people nor our leaders are omniscient. Our judgment of what is in another people’s or country’s best interest should be put to the test of open discussion in international forums. We do not have the God-given right to shape every nation in our image or as we choose.
    # We did not hold to the principle that U.S. military action … should be carried out only in conjunction with multinational forces supported fully (and not merely cosmetically) by the international community.
    # We failed to recognize that in international affairs, as in other aspects of life, there may be problems for which there are no immediate solutions … At times, we may have to live with an imperfect, untidy world.

  46. tt commented on Nov 10

    toddz …. good point

    sad how Kennedy’s war was forgotten by the Bush people …… although 2800 American deaths is a bit fewer than the 60,000 lost in Vietnam

  47. abe shorey commented on Nov 10

    toddz got no point in regard to the iraq conflict. kennedy’s war was not forgotten. there are limitations to what can be done. the lesson is iraq is kill anyone who opposes you, immediately. rums tried a modern, gentle war. there is no such thing. if you are going, go hard, or don’t go at all. for all the criticism, much of it warranted, i doubt many could have done better in the same circumstances. 20/20 is pretty fucking easy, no?

  48. Patrick Briggs commented on Nov 10

    New York Times columnist Paul Krugman suggests that the results of Tuesday’s midterm election may signal that the era of “movement conservatism” is coming to an end.

    “But we may be seeing the downfall of movement conservatism — the potent alliance of wealthy individuals, corporate interests and the religious right that took shape in the 1960s and 1970s,” Krugman writes in Friday’s edition of The Times.

    “This alliance may once have had something to do with ideas, but it has become mainly a corrupt political machine, and America will be a better place if that machine breaks down,” Krugman continues.

    **Gregg, we can politely disagree. Now back to the original purpose of this site I s’pose.

  49. tt commented on Nov 10


    it’s not 20/20 , these jerkoffs in washington have handcuffed the army for 3 years and they’ve complained about it since day 1

    both wars were “fought” by amateurs in suits not by the professional soldiers … they should have license to kill everyone in sight … before we leave there , we should wipe out that fat shiite Sadr and anyone who crosses the Iranian border into Iraq

    then go into Iran and tear them a new one

    give peace a chance doesn’t work in that part of the world

  50. Patrick Briggs commented on Nov 10


    I think you’re wrong about that. If you read Karen Armstrong or Res Aslan’s recent books on fundamentalism (in all three major religions) and on Islam respectively, you’ll see it’s a lot more complicated.

    As a human being I would hope you have more to offer this world than the violent fantasies you threw out in your comments. On the other hand, consistency requires you find the nearest military recruiter and join up – backing your “brave” words with action.

  51. Jim Bergsten commented on Nov 11

    As of this morning (afternoon for ou “other left coasters”) the results now look like this:

    A 1,364 votes (12%)
    B 1,370 votes (13%)
    C 1,041 votes (10%)
    D 2,056 votes (19%)
    F 5,097 votes (46%)

    Total Votes : 10,928

    To be fair and balanced (well, fair anyway) I withdrew my vote.

    Only about 200 votes were cast in the last 24 hours — I guess the contest is pretty much over.

    So, I guess Rummy’s off the island, out of the dance competition. Wonder if he’s looking to lose celebrity weight? How many dogs does his wife have? Any of his kids trying to land a recording contract?

    No matter. The book and lecture tours and think tank jobs should keep him well into the green.

Posted Under