The Dartmouth Observer

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Monday, November 13, 2006
If not Rummy, then who?

Oh look, Doug Feith is trying to rehabilitate Rummy in this Washington Post article. Read it and be amazed: almost everything that you think you know about the former SecDef is wrong, Feith claims. He's a "bundle of paradoxes, like a fascinating character in a work of epic literature." He's not an ideologue, but an empiricist who "does not suppress bad news; he acts on it." And then there's this passage, in which Feith tries to shift blame for the inadequate troop levels from his man to Generals Abizaid and Franks:
But Rumsfeld never told Gen. John Abizaid or Gen. Tommy Franks that U.S. Central Command could not have the number of troops that the commanders deemed necessary. Rumsfeld is more politically sensitive than that -- he would never expose himself to the risk of a commander later saying that he had denied him the forces needed. If other generals are unhappy with the troop levels in Iraq, the problem is not that they failed to persuade Rumsfeld, but that they failed to persuade Abizaid or Franks.
Ok, so let's assume Feith is being honest here: maybe Rummy wasn't that bad, and perhaps history will exonerate him. But it's still a maddeningly inadequate op-ed, because it begs the question: if Donald Rumsfeld, as Feith suggests, isn't responsible for the mess in Iraq (which Feith doesn't refer to at all), then who is? Name names Doug.