Rumsfeld in face saving gesture shocker

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Kowalski, Dec 24, 2004.

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  1. Well fancy that - Politician Visits Troops at Xmas - note that he states this was planned and not in response to the recent attack in Mosul (.....or indeed those electronic signatures perhaps?)

    From the BBC News Website

    Rumsfeld is keen to express his concern for US troops in Iraq
    US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is on an unannounced Christmas Eve trip to Iraq.
    He visited US bases in Mosul, days after an attack there killed 22 people, and near Falluja, the city retaken from insurgents last month.

    He said he had come to thank the troops and wish them a "Merry Christmas".

    Mr Rumsfeld has faced criticism over the conduct of the war in recent weeks, and was grilled by US troops during a visit to Kuwait earlier this month.

    He has made a number such trips since the start of war, but the BBC's Michael Buchanan in Washington says this is arguably the most important one.

    Mr Rumsfeld has been accused of showing insufficient respect for the military, after recently admitting using a machine to sign condolence letters to the families of soldiers killed in Iraq.

    Following his visit to the military hospital at Mosul early on Friday, Mr Rumsfeld addressed troops from the first brigade of the US army's 25th Infantry Division.

    "I am deeply grateful to all of you. You will look back in 10 or 20 or 30 years and know you were a part of something very important," he said.

    He added that he remained confident of defeating the insurgency and stabilising Iraq.

    The defence secretary later went to Tikrit, the hometown of deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, and then to a US base near Falluja.

    There he visited marines who took part in last month's major offensive against the insurgents who held the city.

    In other developments:

    UN officials say international observers monitoring the elections due next month will be based in Jordan rather than Iraq itself, owing to security reasons

    Iraqi government officials urge residents of Falluja to return to the devastated city, which was recently retaken from insurgents

    Fresh attacks by insurgents against US and Iraqi forces are reported in the Baquba area, north of Baghdad
    Mr Rumsfeld said the trip had been planned for a while and was not in direct response to Tuesday's blast in a crowded dining hall at the US base.

    Thirteen US troops, five US civilian contractors, and four Iraqis died in the attack, the worst so far against Americans since the removal of Saddam Hussein.


    17 Dec: Admits using a machine to sign Iraq condolence letters
    Mid-Dec: Criticised by top Republicans Trent Lott and John McCain
    8 Dec: Grilled by US marines over Iraq equipment

    Profile: Donald Rumsfeld
    Another 70 Americans were wounded. Most of them have now been airlifted to US military hospitals in Germany.

    Gen Richard Myers, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, said "an improvised explosive device worn by an attacker" was the most likely cause of the explosion.

    The US military says the bomber was wearing an Iraqi military uniform.

    Mr Rumsfeld has faced questions about how security at the Mosul base could have been breached and troops left vulnerable.

    The defence secretary said on Wednesday he was truly saddened by claims that he was failing in his duty to protect the troops.

    "I hope and pray that every family member of those who have died so bravely knows how deeply I feel their loss," he said.

    Senior Republicans have been openly questioning President George W Bush's decision to keep Mr Rumsfeld at the Pentagon for his second term.

    On 8 December, the defence secretary received a public grilling from US marines in Kuwait, who alleged that scrap metal was being used to armour vehicles employed in Iraq.
  2. Any bets on this being Rumsfeld's farewell visit as SecDef? Has been predicted many times before. but I think there are straws in the wind that he really is on his way out this time. The "hillbilly armor" stramash and other indicators might suggest there really is now a power struggle within the system, with military leaders as well as some of his fellow neocons now actively gunning for big changes. There seems no way his strategic vision for the forces can be reconciled with current needs in Iraq.
  3. Rumsfeld was warmly received by the troops. He visited Mosul, Tikrit and Falluja three locale's where the troops are under the most pressure. His detractor's say the trip was a "face saving effort" but for the troops it was much appreciated.
  4. Rumsfeld is hated by the senior brass in the pentagon, as well as most of the mid-level civilian staffers...not to mention he is hated by the media. He is hated by brass in staff in the pentagon for having a no non-sense get it done whatever it takes attitude, and is also shaking the conventional cold war thinking that has permenated that building for years.

    Note that the media and Bush detractors have stopped attacking Bush directly, it is now an all out assault on Rumsfeld, a Bush appointee. Bush's poll ratings are to high to go after him directly, so Rumsfeld is the flavor of the week.

    BTW Tom is right Rummy is loved by the majority of the boots on the ground.
  5. Vide Hackle
    Would'nt it be nice if our clowns were to realise that their 'strategic vision' was destined to go this way.