Tuesday, April 18, 2006

HERE'S A SURPRISE: Pres. Bush is digging in his heels and refusing to listen to anyone, even top military experts, about Donald Rumsfeld.

Pressed to respond to critics who say he is ignoring the advice of respected former military commanders, Bush vigorously stood by Rumsfeld.

"I listen to all voices, but mine is the final decision," he said. "And Don Rumsfeld is doing a fine job. He's not only transforming the military, he's fighting a war on terror. He's helping us fight a war on terror. I have strong confidence in Don Rumsfeld.

"I hear the voices, and I read the front page, and I know the speculation. But I'm the decider, and I decide what is best. And what's best is for Don Rumsfeld to remain as the secretary of defense."

This is not self-confidence or decisiveness. It's not even stubbornness. It's a rigidity as hard as concrete.

Steve Clemons notes that since it's Donald Rumsfeld who has caused the dissension in the military, Bush's refusal to let him go will only worsen the conflict. Steve also provides a graphic reminder of the damage Rumsfeld has done to our national security and our image in the world:

Someone remind the President that his Secretary of Defense presided over behaviors that led to the image below, and to far worse:

The calls for Rumsfeld to depart will only intensify now. Unity among the ranks of active duty and retired generals can't be re-established under current management.

The President should give Rumsfeld a big party, a medal or two, and send him off -- with a successor who will re-establish confidence in defense decision-making.

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