Friday, December 10, 2004

Rumsfeld and Bush to Troops: Not Our Department

Donald Rumsfeld announced today that he "expects the Army to do its best to resolve the problem" of unarmored trucks in Iraq, which was brought to his attention yesterday in a town hall meeting with U.S. soldiers in Kuwait. In other words, Rumsfeld created this problem by going into Iraq with inadequate troop strength and insufficient equipment, but it's someone else's responsibility to solve it. Not my job, guys.

Not that it should come as any kind of surprise that Rumsfeld would respond this way. He was always fully signed on to the Bush White House philosophy of never acknowledging mistakes or taking responsibility for them. Of course -- how can you take responsibility for mistakes if you deny that they exist?

Fred Kaplan writes in Slate that it's all part of the test Bush faced when he won a second term, and Rumsfeld's responses yesterday to the questions he was asked by those troops demonstrates the consequences of Bush's performance on that test.

For the best analysis of Rumsfeld's meeting with the troops, read Juan Cole's post entitled "Rumsfeld, the Military Irrelevance of Fallujah, and Retina Scans."

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