I Don't Think Daniel Drezner Gets It
Daniel Drezner writes in "Should Rummy Resign Redux" (and see yesterdays posts, as well), that Rumsfeld should resign. He states, "I don't think Iraq is hopeless -- but I also don't think that Rumsfeld has made much of a positive contribution since the end of the "major combat." It's precisely because I want to see the U.S. succeed in Iraq that I think it's worth it to replace Rummy ASAP."
Man, I don't understand this from a normally clear thinking individual like Mr. Drezner. The United States is trying to accomplish something that has never been attempted in RECORDED HISTORY. Fight our way into a snakepit of a country (three weeks, remember?), track down, then imprison or kill a desperate and diverse group of thugs, murderers, maniacal and bloodthirsty religious zealots, impose law and order (NOT restore, for they have not existed in the Iraqi people's memory), rebuild an utterly decayed infrastructure which was sabotaged by the defeated enemy, and design, build and impose some form of democratic (or republican) government ("impose" because the people with dreams of power don't really want it - that would be the various mullahs, imams, and other odd and sundry sleazeballs like Chalabi).
Anyone who thought that this was something less than a gigantic undertaking, or that it would go smoothly and would not be fraught with difficulties and occasional failures, is a moron. Mr. Drezner is decidedly not a moron. So, what gives?
No, Mr. Rumsfeld is not the most brilliant of nation-builders. What he is, however, is a competent, maybe brilliant, wartime Secretary of Defense. And we have a minimum of two wars yet to fight. Iran must not be allowed to develop a nuclear weapon. I see no way that we can sit back and wait for a dubious popular uprising to unseat the mullahs currently in power. And if this should occur, in the nick of time, what guarantee do we have that the new government would halt the development of nukes? No, Iran must be dealt with swiftly and decisively. No invasion and nation-building, just pound their nuclear capability and armed forces into dust. If Bush is reelected, this is what he will do. And then, North Korea. This is a tough one. If Bush is reelected, he must cross this bridge. The problem here is Seoul and maybe Tokyo. The deranged and self-deluded ultimate leader, or whatever his bad-hairness is being called these days, would try to launch a nuclear strike against one or both of those two cities. A human catastrophe would ensue. But it is probably going to ensue anyway. Are we to wait until he develops a long range ballistic missile? Seoul and Tokyo will be the least of our worries. How about L.A.? My friend Roger Simon lives there with his wife and six year-old daughter. Sorry about your luck, Seoul and Tokyo. You should have taken care of this yourselves long before now.
And besides, we have already told the half-human chiapet that a nuclear strike against anyone will result in his country's immediate erasure. So, we ask for a face-to-face, no Chinese, no French, no English, no U.N., just us two. And we tell them. We are coming. We are going to destroy your nuclear capabilities. We are going to destroy your army which is lined up along the DMZ. We are going to destroy your ability to wage war, threaten our people, threaten your neighbors (our friends), and, if you strike with a nuclear weapon, against anyone, anywhere, at any time during our surgical operation, you will be erased. You have 36 hours.
George Bush has the sworn duty to protect the citizens of the United States of America from harm. He will need Donald Rumsfeld to help accomplish that immense task.
So, Rummy stays, period.