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Rumsfeld Makes Farewell Trip To Visit Troops In Iraq

Via AP:

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld is in Iraq, a Pentagon spokesman said Saturday.

"He's there to express his appreciation to the troops and to thank both the troops and their families for the sacrifices they are making," said Air Force Lt. Col. Todd Vician, a Defense Department spokesman.

It was Rumsfeld's 15th trip to Iraq since the war began; he was last there in July.

Rumsfeld's trip follows an emotional farewell Friday at the Pentagon, where the defense secretary defended his record on Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said Friday that the worst day of his nearly six years as secretary of defense occurred when he learned of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse.

Rumsfeld's Pentagon appearance Friday and his trip to Iraq, where he was Saturday, were among the few public appearances he has made since President Bush announced on Nov. 8 that he was replacing the defense secretary. His last full day will be Dec. 17.


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Comments (17)

He said Friday that the ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

He said Friday that the worst day of his nearly six years as secretary of defense occurred when he learned of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse.. I think these are crocodile tears. What day was this?. In mid -January 2004 Rumsfeld was first apprised of the investigations, with all the details the into the specific incidents of the Abu Ghraib (which he informed his commander-in-chief, Bush of) but no alarms were raised until the end of April when the press released the photos and the '60 Minutes' special was aired.. Rumsfeld and Bush, shocked then cry'we know nothing! Nooooothing!'

I've usually been a Rumsfel... (Below threshold)

I've usually been a Rumsfeld fan but screw him if his worst day was the day he learned about Abu Ghraib.

[insert obligatory comment that I don't condone what went on at Abu Ghraib] how could the relatively minor transgressions of some lowlife white trash be worse than the days in which Americans were killed? that's like saying that learning that a handful of employees were caught watching child porn is worse than learning that a bunch of one's employees were shot while at on the job.

so some iraqis were poked fun at and treated in ways that weren't so nice. in the big scheme of things, bfd. ask rumsfeld if he really thinks the families of the 3,000 americans killed and the thousands more who have been wounded think the deaths and injuries to their loved ones pale in comparison to abu ghraib. let's see mom, you have a choice: your son gets made fun of a bit or he's killed in combat by a bunch of crazies... which door do you want?

and if rumsfeld was more bothered by days in which Americans did bad things to the iraqis than by days in which americans had bad things happen to them, why wouldn't his worst day been the day we learned of the allegations that US soldiers had raped an Iraqi girl and killed her and her family?

if he truly thinks the way he does, good riddance.

I agree with Steve -- Rumsf... (Below threshold)

I agree with Steve -- Rumsfeld is just posturing regarding Abu Ghraib being the worst day in his life -- he knows could have a ciivl suit thrown in his face before long, the first of what could be many lawsuits against Bush administration republicans - so it's time to lie to the American people again.

Abu Ghraib: worse than 9/11... (Below threshold)

Abu Ghraib: worse than 9/11.

Fuck you Don, you smarmy piece of disingenuous shit.

geez, earl, I completely fo... (Below threshold)

geez, earl, I completely forgot that 9/11 happened while he was SecDef. yeah, he has a choice of days he wishes never happened: 9/11 or the day he learned about abu ghraib... and he picks the latter. heck, with a viewpoint like that, no wonder things are so screwed up in iraq.

You can only imagine what t... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

You can only imagine what the troops are thinking

"Rummy, thanks for my third deployment in three years to this hellhole, cause you were against expanding troop strength . . . thanks for the stop-loss I'm on . . .

don't let the door hit you on the way out."

Indipundit (Smash) was pres... (Below threshold)

Indipundit (Smash) was present at the Town Hall thingy... well, out in the hallway anyhow and shook Rumsfield's hand afterwards.

Why not see what he has to say about it? (Yeah, Observer 5... real close there... I bet you even know some people in uniform.)


Oh, and read the comments t... (Below threshold)

Oh, and read the comments too. Find out what people, a majority I think, who have been associated with the military, think of him.

Um, Synova, that was not on... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

Um, Synova, that was not on the Iraq trip, it was in the Pentagon, where "Indepundit" works and is paid by the DOD.

Second, "Indepundit" is a government-approved blog, as DOD policy now requires that you submit your blog for approval if you are on active duty, as I presume he is, or at least in a DOD civilian position.

Several military bloggers who wrote things critical of the DOD or the conduct of the war were punished and their blogs shut down.

On the other hand, toeing the party line gets you a job in the Pentagon, apparently.

Not exactly "freedom."

For all we know, "Indepundit" is a paid public affairs staffer for the government. At a minimum, he's a government employee.

Wow, that's really "Inde-pendent."

You're a riot.You ... (Below threshold)

You're a riot.

You can speculate about what soldiers in Iraq think about Rumsfield and we're supposed to think you're probably right about that, but someone whom many people know and have met, who has a reputation and a real name, who has served in the military and knows lots of people who are in the military and who writes an opinion that includes the observation that Rumsfeild was unpopular in one part of the military, since he has contact with those in the Pentagon, maybe he might know...

And your response is that people *in* the military aren't reliable sources since they supposedly have to have their blogs approved and that people who work *at* the Pentagon are unreliable sources because they are associated with the Pentagon and paid by the DoD...

Which leaves NO ONE with any contact with the military, or Pentagon, who might actually know how those people feel about Rumsfield or have any first hand experience whatsoever qualified to have an opinion.

Rather it leaves YOU with your speculation about the attitudes of troops you've never talked to, you're just guessing, as the only one who's opinions can be trusted because the MAIN REQUIREMENT is having no first hand information whatsoever.


My own experience as former... (Below threshold)

My own experience as former military is that *I* have never understood why people hate Rumsfield so much and that *I* have not noticed any of my aquaintences with real-life military experience or association who particularly dislike him or dislike him at all.

My impression, from people I know personally who have served in the military or who do serve, and people who I know periferally, on the internet or though others... the *primary* attitude of the military toward Rumsfield is that they like him. That's my immpression and my experience.

You don't understand becaus... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

You don't understand because you're "former" military.

If you were in the Army or USMC now, you'd be subject to those repeated tours in Iraq, and stop-loss, because Rummy fought against expanding the troop strength of the Army and USMC.

Did Rummy leave the DOD stronger or weaker?

As for the "Inde-pundit," paid by the DOD, a hack or a flack, who gives a shit what he thinks?

Well, I probably don't coun... (Below threshold)

Well, I probably don't count becaue I'm 'former' military too. I was medically retired this year after an IED in Iraq.

But, in my uninformed opinion (I only met him twice on unannounced, un-press released visits to Walter Reed)he's alright. That seems to be the consensus among the majority of the similarly clueless troops I met there.

But hey, what do we know, we we're stupid enough to join the Army. How dumb can you get?

Sorry for your injury, Mike... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

Sorry for your injury, Mike, but Rummy's incompetence and pigheadedness maybe had a role in it.

When Gen. Shinseki said 250,000 troops or more were needed to secure Iraq, Rummy and Wolfie said that was ridiculous.

When I was there in 2003-04, there were numerous Iraqi ASPs (Ammunition Supply Points) which were unsecured throughout Iraq. These were scores of square miles in size. There were not enough troops to secure them. Bremer and the generals were begging for more troops to secure these ASPs. You could read about it in Bremer's book, My Year in Iraq, or in Tom Ricks's Fiasco.

Survey teams noted Iraqis looting artillery shells out of those ASPs. The bad guys were stealing explosives out of unsecured ASPs for months.

Maybe one of those shells was made into the IED that injured you.

I'm glad he was nice to you at Walter Reed, though.

In other words... Mike and ... (Below threshold)

In other words... Mike and others who serve or have served in the military in this war *should* dislike Rumsfeild, they *should* blame him. They *should* prefer Shinseki.

Problem is, Ob5... by and large they don't. What you think people *ought* to feel is entirely irrelevant.

Now either they know something you don't... or they are just really that stupid.

Which is it?

You have no idea what Soldi... (Below threshold)
observer 5:

You have no idea what Soldiers think of Rumsfeld - remember the press did not accompany him on this trip.

The last time he had an open forum with troops and it was reported, he took a beating with Soldiers asking him about lack of armor on vehicles, stop-loss, etc.

In the end, what matters is success or failure.

And history will judge Rumsfeld a failure, probably the worst Sec Def in history. For a lot of reasons.

Oh yes, the armor question.... (Below threshold)

Oh yes, the armor question... the press reported it as a beating while people in the military shrugged, wondered what the hoopla was about, and figured Rummy had been a good sport about it.

The person who has no idea what the troops think, and no interest in finding out what the troops think, is you.






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