Can Rumsfeld Last?
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Well, maybe the country has a better ethical immune system than we thought. It's been only a matter of days since Sy Hersh's New Yorker article came out, alleging that not only was the US considering an attack on Iran, but that the US was considering a nuclear attack. And now there is clearly Rumsfeld blood in the water. As Larry Johnson remarks:
Like it or not, Don Rumsfeld's time as Secretary of Defense is running out. The real question is who will be next to step out of the shadows and denounce him.
There has been some fretting about civilian control of the military in light of the "revolt against Rumsfeld," but as Fred Kaplan points out in Slate, military control of the military would be more moderate than Rumsfeld's brand of civilian control:
It's an odd thought, but a military coup in this country right now would probably have a moderating influence. Not that an actual coup is pending; still less is one desirable. But we are witnessing the rumblings of an officers' revolt, and things could get ugly if it were to take hold and roar.
There is little mention of the Iran standoff in the articles on the revolt, but I think Digby's take is basicly correct:
It's obvious to me that this call for Rumsfeld's resignation by six generals is about stopping this operation in Iran first and foremost. It is not a coincidence that the first salvo came from Sy Hersh last Sunday.
Personally, I've been in favor of a Rumsfeld resignation since before Abu Ghraib, and I never did quite understand how he managed to survive that politically. But the US military now finds itself at the crossroads of a possible war with Iran: they must speak now or forever hold their peace, and some are speaking. And given the bleak trajectory of the situation with Iran, I think that's historically important, even if Rumsfeld continues as Secretary of Defense.
One can only hope that Bush's recently stated support for Rumsfeld is as fleeting as his last-ditch support for Harriet Meirs and Michael Brown, a "you're doing a heck-of-a-job Rummy!" preceding a resignation. I had wanted to continue on with this post on what it would mean if Rumsfeld were able to keep his job, but I find the prospect too upsetting. I think instead I'll just pause for a moment to appreciate those who are standing up to him.
(Graphic via The Moderate Voice.)