Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Good riddance to bad rubbish

"Give President Bush credit for being honest about his dishonesty. Last week he told reporters for the top wire news services — the AP, Reuters, Bloomberg — that Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were doing fabulous work and would remain in their jobs as Defense Secretary and Vice President right up to the end of Bush's second term. Today at his post-election press conference the President more or less admitted he was lying, at least about Rumsfeld.
It's not a surprise that Rumsfeld finally resigned. What is surprising is how long it took. [...] Since it came just minutes after Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi called for new civilian leadership at the Pentagon, the announcement of Rumsfeld's firing might be seen as an act of political expediency, a sacrificial offering to the newly powerful Democrats on Capitol Hill. And it was. But the truly expedient thing to do — the move that might actually have helped Bush and congressional Republicans when it mattered, before election day — would have been to fire Rumsfeld last week, last month or last year.
That Bush didn't act sooner was politically foolish. Far more seriously, by waiting so long he let his pride get in the way of a much-needed change in Iraq policy. That mistake didn't just cost the Republicans seats in the Congress. It may have cost lives. " --

Some of Donald Rumsfeld's memorable quotes are:

  • “Reports that say that something hasn’t happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns — the ones we don’t know we don’t know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones,” Rumsfeld said on Feb. 12, 2002.
  • “Stuff happens,” Rumsfeld said on April 11, 2003, when asked about rampant lawlessness in Baghdad after U.S. troops captured the capital. “It’s untidy, and freedom’s untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things.”
  • “You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time,” Rumsfeld on Dec. 8, 2004 told a U.S. soldier in Kuwait who asked him why U.S. troops had to dig through local landfills for pieces of rusted scrap metal and glass to provide armor for their vehicles before driving into Iraq.
  • “His regime has large, unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, including VX, sarin, mustard gas, anthrax, botulism and possibly smallpox. And he has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons,” Rumsfeld said on Jan. 20, 2003. Before the Iraq war, Rumsfeld often warned of President Saddam Hussein’s arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. None of these were found.
  • “We know where they are,” Rumsfeld said on March 30, 2003 in the days after the Iraq invasion, when asked whether he found it curious U.S. forces had not yet found weapons of mass destruction. “They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”
  • “The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I can’t tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks or five months. But it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that,” Rumsfeld said on Nov. 14, 2002, three months before the invasion.
  • “Now, you’re thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don’t. I think that’s old Europe,” Rumsfeld said on Jan. 22, 2003.
  • “It is easier to get into something than to get out of it,” Rumsfeld wrote in his published list of truisms known as ”Rumsfeld’s Rules.”


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