Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rumsfeld is Gone-The Democrats are in Charge-Now What?

Rumsfeld is Gone – The Democrats are in charge - Now What?

Well I must admit to being shocked by the announcement. I really thought the President would await the Jim Baker report and make the move early in the New Year. Long enough after the election and the report to be able to hold his hand over his heart and say it wasn’t about politics or his parties defeat in the mid terms but then again I forgot which President was in power. President Bush hasn’t been afraid of elections or polls for years now I mean he proclaimed that he’d keep Rumsfeld just days before the election. He refused to order the Army in Iraq to cut offensive operations in Sep, Oct and Nov to keep casualties down, instead stepping up Baghdad operations which resulted in the high death toll in October which was perfectly timed for the Democrats to exploit as a failed Iraq policy.

So he’s gone, now as the title suggests what now? I hate to not give things some time to work themselves out but it would appear that nothing will change in the short or middle term. The selection of Robert Gates who was a member of the Iraq Studies Group headed by Jim Baker tells you everything you need to know about the political angle to this file. It’s very obvious that the Bush administration has been given a draft report and have decided the quickest way to take this issue away from the Democrats is to accept it fully and put one of its authors in charge of implementing it. The Dems have been talking about this report and quoting Jim Baker for about 3 weeks now on the talk shows so they are backed into a corner and will have no maneuver room on the Iraq file for the next 6 months. I’m sure the Bush administration is hoping that in that 6 months things will settle down to an acceptable level and they’ll be well positioned for the big run in 2008.

My theory is that quietly the Republicans are cheering the results of the mid term election as they take away from the Democrats the ability to point at Republicans as the evil empire. They can now only point at the President and all post mid term election Presidents are lame ducks so it’s really not much of a target. If the President throws them a few bones like immigration and the minimum wage but holds the line on any tax changes until after he’s gone it allows the next Republican nominee to say look how little you get done with a split in the countries leadership and if you give them the White House looks at all the taxes they wanted to raise. If Nancy Pelosi has the brains I think she does she’s really got to put Charlie Rangel out to pasture quickly as he’s itching to start rolling back the tax cuts and increasing taxes on the rich and businesses. Now we all know what happens when you raise the taxes on the rich, they invest less, they hire fewer employees and they restrict the growth of their business interests to make up for any losses of net income. In the case of businesses they simply don’t hire many people they do less research work and business development both of which are overhead functions and they restrict growth and finally raise prices on the goods and services they sell or provide to the public. Their net profits rarely go down so the idea that the current tax cuts do nothing for the so called average family is false. In fact they do nothing but hurt the average family with increased costs and lack of employment opportunities while the government rakes in more money to increase funding for social programs aimed at the poor.

I call it the middle class squeeze and being in the middle class myself I’ve notice that politicians often talk about us but rarely put programs in place to give us a break so we tread water.

So does the resignation of Don Rumsfeld have any real effect other than a political one? NO it does not. Don Rumsfeld was hugely popular with the soldiers, NCO’s and Junior officers but hugely unpopular with the Senior professional Officer corps. Why you ask? Well regular soldiers saw a tough no nonsense guy who didn’t tale crap from the officer corps and seemed to be able to communicate to them in their own language while making the changes soldiers see as necessary. The senior professional Officer corps resisted the changes he brought to the table prior to 9/11 which he accelerated after the attack and with his success in Afghanistan he gained power and support. He also decided that he wasn’t happy with the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs and began the process of replacing him with a Chairman he could control and manipulate. Did you ever wonder why an Air Force chairman was chosen to fill that role while the Army and Marines were doing the majority of the fighting around the world? The Army hated the idea of going light and mobile they hated the idea of troop reallocation and the reduction of the number of combat commands available. Rumsfeld immediately began cutting big time programs like the Crusader Self propelled gun that was almost ready for production as a cold war tool that was sucking up huge dollars. It really wasn’t about whether the Crusader was the piece of equipment the Army should fall on its collective sword over it was the point that this civilian had the audacity to tell the Generals that their fancy piece of kit no longer had a purpose and he wasn’t funding it. There is nothing more in this world that uniformed officers hate than civilians telling them what they need but Rumsfeld had the juice and nuts to do so over and over again. He made many enemies over the past few years and when Iraq turned sour after such successful major combat operations all those who hated him slowly but surely began to come forward to add legitimacy to the political voices calling for his replacement.

Iraq in the future will continue to deteriorate until Iran and Syria are dealt with as both sides are funding and fueling the insurgency. Not only are you seeing Iraq become to magnet for every Jihadist on the planet to come fight the infidel but you are also witnessing the long time struggle within the Muslim community for control. Shiites and Sunnis have been fighting each other since the split a few centuries past and now they have a great place to do so. The mainstream media loves to talk about body counts to judge success, when US deaths go up or get near 100 in a month they report that in several way, highest monthly total, highest total for the month of insert current month, highest total since the last highest, highest total since the end of major combat operations, highest total since the capture of Saddam highest total since the death of his sons and on and on and on they always need to make it the highest total to justify the headline. I guess if death tolls were the tellers of success D day would have been a disaster, Iwo Jima a disaster and just about every WW I and II battle due to ridiculously high casualty rates. We’d also have to look at the insurgents which are dying at a rate of about 9-1 wouldn’t this lead one to believe we’re winning? Well as always history gives us the answer. Tet 68 was a laughable military event, a slaughter of the Viet Cong a massive defeat of the NVA and yet it was the beginning of the end because for once the liberal media could film the battles from their hotel balconies in Saigon and the war was lost on TV and at home after a hugely successful military victory.

The point is, US deaths are not a sign of losing but a sign that they are conducting more offence operations and the change of a Secretary of Defense is not going to change anything. When you see World Series winning coaches fired the next year because their team doesn’t play well it’s not because they forgot how to coach. Rumsfeld when all is said is done is going down in history as a failure when in fact he should be hailed as a visionary with balls who wasn’t afraid to take on the Generals who couldn’t see the 21st century and the liberal media who didn’t give a crap about the military and only wanted to get a good sound bite and to trip up one member of the administration and get them to turn on another.

Have you noticed who was happiest with the resignation of Rumsfeld (called a firing in the European and Middle East press)? Let’s see beside the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Syria, Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea. I’ve always said those that are happiest with a political defeat are that way because they will soon benefit.

If you’ve noticed I haven’t written much about the new Secretary of Defense, well that’s because unlike the so called main stream media I prefer to actually give somebody a chance before I try and destroy him.

Until we finally realize that appeasement doesn’t work, talking to Iran and Syria will only justify their actions and being worried about whether or not Europe is mad at us will do nothing to win the GWT and the war in Iraq, nor will a change of Defense Secretaries.

We are getting weaker while our enemies are again feeling embolden and soon enough they will be strong enough to once again lash out and (if a little lucky) strike us at home.


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