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Why Was Rumsfeld's Resignation Delayed Until After The Election?
11/09/2006 01:14:00 AM | Justin

...and how many americans have died for it?

I apologize if ridiculing Bush for Rumsfeld's untimely resignation seems hackneyed by now, but it's just too disturbing to ignore: My question is how anyone can see the timing of the resignation (or the conviction of saddam for that matter) as anything less than politically motivated. Just a few days ago, Bush said himself that Rumsfeld would resign under no circumstances. But the man who professes most often not to pay attention to polls claims to have rethought his position on Rumsfeld. Most of the country has been begging for Rumsfeld's resignation for years now over the failure in Iraq, which Bob Woodward and countless others argue is largely attributable to Rumsfeld's unwillingness to listen to military professionals in framing military policy. Bush has made it clear that the decision to replace Rumsfeld was made some time before the election, but that it was postponed so as not to effect the election.

I fully support Bush's decision to finally accept reality and fire the people who really deserve it, but I want to know why it wasn't done sooner; in the interest of our troops on the ground, and the war on terror, isn't it best to fire people as soon as it becomes apparent that they are incompetent, rather than waiting until it's politically expedient to do so? Anything less is just plain irresponsible, and a shirk of the man's duty as war time president. I am more disgusted by this then I've been at anything Bush has done since he invaded Iraq in the first place!

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I imagine Rumsfeld resigned now instead of a month or two ago to avoid political problems, yes, but it didn't affect the number of dead Americans (or Iraqis, which is just as important). Remember, Congress has been out of session for awhile, and Rummy has to hang around until his replacement is confirmed. Now, if they put this off six months, it might be a different story. But I doubt they knew six months ago he'd be quitting so soon.

By Blogger Nathan S. Empsall, at 1:15 AM  

I don't think this resignation is something that's been a serious option for just a month or two. People have been calling for it with increasing volume almost since the war began. Even military generals have been calling for it for at least 6 months.

By Blogger Justin Sarma, at 9:43 PM  

I also think its reasonable to conclude that keeping a SecDef in office after it's known that he is underperforming is irresponsible. It's agreed that the evidence of his underperformance is the number american and iraqi lives lost in Iraq. So the longer you keep him on, the more lives that are lost.

By Blogger Justin Sarma, at 9:51 PM  

By "serious option," I mean realistic option to Bush. I doubt he considered it too long ago.

As to what you say about it being irresponsible keeping Rumsfeld on for so long after his lousy performance, that I agree with. But it's a different kind of irresponsible than doing it for election reasons. Woodward says Bush didn't want to change horses in midstream, so to speak, with so much going in Iraq. He valued stability (ha!) over better leadership. Stupid decision, but it was what it was.

By Blogger Nathan S. Empsall, at 10:11 PM  

On this general subject:

By Blogger Nathan S. Empsall, at 11:23 PM  

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