Commentary on the present and future of culture, politics, economics, and social values................... "At any given instant/All solids dissolve, no wheels revolve,/And facts have no endurance." W.H. Auden.

Friday, December 24, 2004


Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld visited Iraq today. The stated purpose of his visit was to look at the military situation and to bring Christmas geetings to the US troops stationed there.

But make no mistake: the REAL purpose of the visit was that Rumsfeld is trying to save his job. He gave a good speech and seemed to connect with the troops he addressed. But the move was a public relations gambit to build up public support at home for the embattled Defense Secretary.

The public will welcome his visit to Iraq. But the visit will not save his job. The problem is not public relations. It is a losing strategy and faulty implementation. Every terrorist bomb that explodes in Iraq is another nail in the coffin of Rumsfeld's career.

We saw this same kind of scenario played out by Les Aspin, the fumbling Defense Secretary under President Clinton. Aspin did not save his job either.

Rumsfeld is only delaying the inevitable end. It is clear he will not change his strategy for that would admit that he made mistakes. His departure - as soon as possible - is what is needed to improve the US position in Iraq.

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