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Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Battle Rumsfeld-Iron Blogger Republican-First Rebuttal

When I go to a restaurant it's because I want something special. A good piece of meat, something to really sink my teeth into. When I order steak, I don't want it buried under buckets of gravy. Cooks use thick gravies to camouflage inferior cuts of meat.

The Challenger has attempted to use verbal gravy to disguise the fact that, despite the lovely presentation, he has presented us with very little "meat" and the meat he gave us was bland and pointless. It is now my job to hose off that gelatinous mess, find his point and rebutt it. Let's see if I can.

The Challenger begins by complaining of bitter partisanship. An odd complaint because bitter partisanship is a staple in the Challenger's cupboard. He uses his complaint as an excuse for the defiency of his argument. Which is nice a thing to do, as it saves me the trouble of looking further for any merit.

Moving on.

Now we have the switch and bait. Since the Challenger, a man of integrity, cannot clearly demonstrate Rumsfeld's culpability in the Abu Gharib scandal, he has changed the subject. He's got nothing and he's trying by virtue of length to convince us otherwise. Never mind that this debate is about the Abu Gharib scandal, the Challenger has decided that he has a better topic to debate.

His new topic is:
"How the tenure of Don Rumsfeld brought the US to the brink of defeat in Iraq and what needs to be done about it."


He then poses these questions:
"Are we in danger of losing the war? And if so, why? And what part did Donald Rumsfeld play in that? And if he played an integral part in bringing us here to this dismal point, what should be done about it?


First question: "Are we in danger of losing the war?"

Three quotes that all agree and the Challenger sums up by stating "we're winning the battle but losing the war". I wonder if I can do better with the same link. Here we go:
The top U.S. commander in the war also said he strongly disagrees with the view that the United States is heading toward defeat in Iraq. "We are not losing, militarily," Army Gen. John Abizaid said in an interview Friday. He said that the U.S. military is winning tactically. But he stopped short of being as positive about the overall trend. Rather, he said, "strategically, I think there are opportunities."


In other words, we're doing just fine but we aren't perfect so I don't want to get cocky.

Here's another:
I am sure that the view from Washington is much worse than it appears on the ground here in Baqubah," said Army Col. Dana J.H. Pittard, commander of a 1st Infantry Division brigade based in that city about 40 miles north of Baghdad. "I do not think that we are losing, but we will lose if we are not careful."


In other words, we're doing just fine but we aren't perfect so I don't want to get cocky.

And here:
Army Lt. Col. John Kem, a battalion commander in Baghdad, said that the events of the past two months -- first the eruption of a Shiite insurgency, followed by the detainee abuse scandal -- "certainly made things harder," but he said he doubted they would have much effect on the long-term future of Iraq.


In other words, things aren't great but we ain't losing.

Next question: "How and why did this happen?"

Short answer from the Challenger: We need more troops. The Challenger then remembers the topic and name drops:
"Abu Gharib is relevant here because it is symptomatic of the same problem."


If an overcrowded prison is your proof that we are losing the war...
Then I guess it's a good thing we decided against invading California.

Next question: "And what was Sec. Rumsfeld's role in it?"

The Challenger said, "This war will be remembered as Don Rumsfeld's legacy."

I agree. We went to war, deposed a dictator and occupied Iraq in only a few short weeks. The plan, according to Fred Kaplan, was brilliant:
In the brilliant part, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his military commanders decided that U.S. troops would dash straight to Baghdad, the main target of the offensive—bypassing, rather than slugging it out with, as many pockets of resistance as possible along the way. This decision surprised the Iraqi army, sowed confusion within their ranks, accelerated their defeat, and minimized casualties (certainly on the U.S. side, probably on the Iraqi side, too).


It was not without loss of life but it was still brilliant. There have been very few bloodless wars that I can recall. We have our own humanity to blame for the losses we took; indeed, we made herculean efforts to avoid civilian casualities, many times at our own expense.

We could have gone to war and just flattened neighborhoods without batting an eye.

Look at Falluja. If we were only concerned for the welfare of our soldiers and not the innocent civilians, a few Daisey Cutters would have ended the trouble there. We could have just paved it over and been done with it.

I really like Joe Biden. His remarks prove one thing that everyone already knows, hindsight is 20/20. Regardless, we have no proof that his after the fact "plan" would have worked.

Last question: "What should be done about it?"

The Challenger sums up by saying that the Abu Gharib scandal is bad and Rumsfeld must go.

I'd like to take the opportunity, at this time, to welcome the Challenger back to the original topic.

The Challenger submits that we are winning the battles, but losing the war. So we should get rid of Rumsfeld. Not much of a solution.

The Challenger then pulls a Pelosi:
If Rumsfeld is implicated, we'll know soon enough. Again, that's beside the point: Rumsfeld should be asked to leave because his entire record of planning and implementation of the Iraq war has led us to the brink of defeat.


Notice how he insinuates that Rumsfeld may be implicated in wrongdoing. Then quickly retreats and says that the possible "wrongdoing" is beside the point.

Actually, it is exactly the point. If Rumsfeld is implicated in any wrongdoing then this debate is over. I'll stand in line with you to demand his head.

Finally, the Challenger sums up [Whew]:
The war is more than just Don Rumsfeld. If someone more competent replaces him, then who's to say we're worse off? Yes, finally, resignation might damage Don Rumsfeld's legacy. He has served his country well. So we, in turn, should be willing to say, "Thank you Mr. Secretary, for your service. We'll take it from here."


Indeed. If someone more competent replaces him, we wouldn't be worse off. That is if that theoretical "War God" could get through Committee without a filibuster. What would happen to our war effort if we had no Sec. of Defense? I certainly don't know but it won't be an improvement.

Mr. Challenger, Rumsfeld has indeed served our country well and I agree that he has. Could you please stop trying to fire him? If you have a real plan on how to fix things, could you tell us what it would look like? More troops? Less troops? Nicer to civilians? Meaner to civilians? Kill more Iraqis? Kill less? Get more involvement from allies? Go more alone? What is it you want done, Mr. Challenger? So far I see nothing to your arguments except this: "Iraq has not been handled perfectly. Also something bad happened to the prisoners. It's all Rumsfeld's fault, because... because things are going bad, and bad things happened to prisoners."

A good meal has more than an appetitzer and a dessert. Unfortunately, this is all the Challenger has given us: appetizers and a dessert.

Rosemary Esmay, the Queen of All Evil
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