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The Imperial Faction Is Factionating: Rumsfield On The Way Out?

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  • Michael Mandeville
    _____________________________________________________________________ PHOENIX FIVE EARTH CHANGES BULLETIN October 9, 2003 by MW Mandeville Advertising above is
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      October 9, 2003 by MW Mandeville
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      ITEMS: The Imperial Faction Is Factionating: Rumsfield On The Way Out?


      STAR'S' STAR MAY BE WANING - Wednesday October 8, 2003, The Guardian

      Signs abound that Donald Rumsfeld's star is waning.

      One year ago, the abrasive U.S. defence secretary was a formidable
      political force. Buoyed by the overthrow of the Taliban, masterminding
      the military build-up against Iraq and regularly outflanking the state
      department's Colin Powell in Washington power games, the Pentagon chief
      dominated policy-making to a remarkable degree. His brusque manner and
      sharp suits made him a media celebrity and an unlikely pin-up. Mr
      Rumsfeld had become the UNCHALLENGED WARLORD of George Bush's "war on

      What a difference a year makes, as Geoff Hoon might say. Mr Bush's
      decision, announced this week, to take overall executive control of
      political, counter-terrorism and reconstruction policy in Iraq and
      Afghanistan OUT OF the Pentagon's hands amounts to a vote of NO
      CONFIDENCE in Mr Rumsfeld. Officials insist that is not the case.

      But that is how it will certainly be seen as power shifts to a newly
      expanded national security council led by Mr Bush's close confidant,
      Condoleezza Rice. This is damage control at it most dramatic, for never
      before has the NSC been afforded an overt operational role.

      And yet the reasons for it are plain enough. U.S. soldiers are dying;
      the financial cost grows RUINOUS, even for America's deep pockets.
      Other countries are still mostly refusing to help out; there is
      diplomatic stalemate at the UN.

      Afghanistan may be turning sour, too. And all this amid an alarming
      deterioration in overall Middle East security. With the war now WIDELY
      DISCREDITED, Iraq is fast becoming a millstone around Mr Bush's neck.
      All the polls show it. The White House FEARS IT. For much of this, Mr
      Rumsfeld bears frontline responsibility. When once he took the credit,
      now he increasingly takes the blame.

      This is only fair. Mr Rumsfeld's Iraq campaign plan was FATALLY FLAWED
      from the start. He UNDERestimated the number of troops required and was
      unable to halt Iraq's descent into post-Saddam, post-sanctions chaos.
      His appointment of Jay Garner as Iraq's overseer was a DISASTER,
      symptomatic of a deeper, astonishing FAILURE to grasp the sheer scale of
      the reconstruction challenge.

      In a way, Mr Rumsfeld misled himself. His shadowy Office of Special
      Plans bypassed the CIA and the Pentagon's own Defence Intelligence
      Agency in peddling sexed-up or plain inaccurate WMD "intelligence" that
      BOOSTED THE NEO-CON CAUSE. He and deputies Paul Wolfowitz and Douglas
      Feith, ignoring wiser heads, gave far too much credence to the claims of
      self-interested Iraqi exiles, some of whom it has since installed in
      power. Allegations of crony capitalism continue to swirl around the
      awarding of postwar contracts.

      Meanwhile, ordinary Iraqis (and America's poor bloody infantry) are
      struggling to overcome a series of blunders by Gen Garner's successor,
      Paul Bremer, another Rumsfeld appointee. These range from the
      disbanding of Iraq's army to reluctance to countenance a swift return to
      self-governance. Mr Rumsfeld blames diehard Ba'athists, al-Qaida
      terrorists, Syria, Iran, the French, the UN, anybody, for Iraq's current
      woes. But if he wants to nail one of the main culprits, he need only

      The Pentagon has long been a notoriously badly run agency. It cannot
      even lock people up in Guantanamo Bay without making a mess of it. It
      WASTES taxpayers' dollars on an EPIC SCALE. It buys pork-barrel weapons
      systems nobody needs; it often simply cannot account for its spending;
      it hands out jobs-for-the-boys to people like Iran-Contra's John
      Poindexter. Now it emerges that it has been blithely SELLING SURPLUS
      BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS equipment on the internet.

      Why anybody ever imagined that the Pentagon, of all organisations, was
      competent to manage Iraq is a great mystery of our time. Why Mr Rumsfeld
      is still U.S. defence secretary is an even bigger one.

      Guardian Unlimited © Guardian Newspapers Limited 2003

      X-URL-Title: Guardian Unlimited | Special reports | Washington's warlord


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