Yet again, the WaPo shoots itself in the foot. Today's editorial, The Generals' Revolt, correctly blames Bush for not firing Rumsfeld two years ago. It implicitly supports the US Generals' criticism of Rumsfeld and - by proxy - Bush. But then the editorial concludes with this bizzarre 90-degrees-to-the-right non-sequitur (is this another example of high-level editing?):
Anyone who protested the pushback of uniformed military against President Bill Clinton's attempt to allow gays to serve ought to also object to generals who criticize the decisions of a president and his defense secretary in wartime. If they are successful in forcing Mr. Rumsfeld's resignation, they will set an ugly precedent. Will future defense secretaries have to worry about potential rebellions by their brass, and will they start to choose commanders according to calculations of political loyalty?In other words: YES the Generals are right, YES Rumsfeld should lose his job, YES Bush is ultimately responsible, but NO Bush should not fire Rumsfeld (at least, not now, even if he should have done it earlier, and maybe he should still do it later)!
In our view Mr. Rumsfeld's failures should have led to his departure long ago. But he should not be driven out by a revolt of generals, retired or not.
Talk about an untenable, self-defeating and contradictory position!
And BTW do they really think that current military appointees are not vetted on the basis of "political loyalty"? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Colin Powell for starters...
Charting a strangely similar course of journalistic ambivalence, E. J. Dionne says "making Donald Rumsfeld the scapegoat for all that has gone wrong in Iraq is a way for other members of the administration to dodge responsibility for a misguided policy." Like the editors, Dionne agrees that Rumsfeld has got it all wrong. Like the editors, he cites the military's treatment of gays under Clinton as a measure of the current hypocrisy. But then - again like the editors - he lets Rumsfeld off the hook while failing to really finger Bush as the person who should bear full responsibility for Rumsfeld's failures.
Oh, he hints at it, sure...
Does anyone doubt to whom those words "casualness" and "swagger" refer?Come on, guys! If you want to call for Bush's resignation, JUST SAY IT! But don't waffle on about Rusmfeld as if he is some pathetic "scapegoat".
Truth is, of course, Rumsfeld should resign. And if he doesn't resign, Bush should fire him. And if Bush doesn't fire him - and even if he does - Bush should still step down, or be impeached, or censured, of imprisoned, or whatever it takes to restore honour to the Oval Office.
Calling for Rumsfeld's sacking does not amount to an endorsement of Bush. To pretend that it does - and that Rusmfeld should therefore not be sacked - is just ridiculous.
The USA - and particularly the US media - has got to get over this idea that the office of US President is beyond reproach.
Bush is not Jesus. The USA is not God's own chosen land.
Get over it.