05/07/2004: Should Rumsfeld resign?
Actually, in a truly just universe, he'd have never had a job more powerful than animal control officer in his entire career. But since the damage has been done, and he's already there, Juan Cole makes a good case that Rumsfeld must resign:
The Bush administration keeps talking about bringing democracy to the Middle East, but a key element in democracy is always the accountability of public officials to the public. That is why we have elections, that is why we have a division of powers, that is why Congress can impeach the executive and the Supreme Court could order Nixon to hand over his tape recordings. When high officials commit improprieties, they must resign. When they run a loose ship and it founders on the shoals of scandal, they must resign. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz must resign. It is the only way the United States can recover even a shred of credibility in the wider world, at a time when this country desperately needs the esteem and the cooperation of allies and friends.Mind you, that would be only a first step, but it's an important step to take.
Not only would their resignations begin to restore credibility to the United States, it would be an important step toward resolving the Iraqi crisis. The Bush administration has been paralyzed in going forward in Iraq by Rumsfeld's foot-dragging on Iraq. He insists on trying to run the place himself. Putting a private army of unaccountable commandos in there was his idea. Empowering corrupt expatriates like Ahmad Chalabi was his idea. Using disproportionate force and disregarding civilian casualties were his ideas. Trying to keep Defense Department control of the $18 billion in reconstruction aid was his idea. Most of the ways in which Iraq as an enterprise has gone badly wrong are the result of his ideas. Removing him will allow the State Department to do its job in Iraq starting July 1, without continued disastrous maneuvering from Rumsfeld.
Len on 05.07.04 @ 11:07 AM CST