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Post time 2006-11-9 05:09:21 |Display all floors
Reading these comments from NYTimes says a lot about the current situation on Ground Zero.

Rumsfeld Resigns -- 1

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, the hard-driving and super-confident Pentagon boss who came to symbolize President Bush’s controversial Iraq policy, is resigning, President Bush announced today.

Will his resignation have an effect on U.S. policy in Iraq?

31 comments
Edward Tailey:

Rumsfield resignation will have little impact on some of the current policies in Iraq.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:24 pm
R Reyn:

I don’t believe much will happen until Cheney resigns too.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:24 pm
Heather Silvera:

One can only hope Rumsfeld’s resignation will have an effect on U.S. policy in Iraq. Even if it doesn’t bring the war to a close in the immediate future, hopefully we will at least start seeing some accountability, as well as a viable plan of action begin to develop for the future.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:24 pm
Jonathan:

Obviously the resignation will influence part of the policy, but it to a certain extent the policy amounts to a political and strategic booby trap, creating a mess for whoever follows. Some argue that the presence of U.S. troops aggravates the tensions and explains the logic of the insurgency. Others understand the civil war and conflicting interests that have been unleashed by an unnecessary, badly executed, immoral and horrific war. The gross incompetence that led to appointing and sustaining Rumsfeld doesn’t magically go away now that he departs the scence. Nor does the vested interests throughout the various foreign policy bureaucracies and military industrial complex that sustain war and the cycle of violence. The recent electoral shift will have some influence because Republicans will keep losing if they stand by the status quo, especially if Democrats articulate a sensible antiwar policy to extricate us from the mess in Iraq. The key “game” now is who will get blamed for the new mess created by a withdrawal and who will be the first to launch a withdrawal. The Vietnam War was never a civil war, but this one sure is.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:27 pm

[ Last edited by wchao37 at 2006-11-9 05:13 AM ]

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Post time 2006-11-9 05:09:55 |Display all floors

2

Hal Spencer:

Way too early to tell, but I’ll venture a guess anyway. The Maliki government will test US resolve for a phased withdrawal, and if the US proceeds toward phased withdrawal, then the Maliki government will take serious steps to quell unrest, so serious that we may not be able to stomach them.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:28 pm
Joan Bondareff:

Yes –b/c he was the symbol and implementer of a failed policy -and now the impediment to change is gone. It may be symbolic but it gives Bush and Gates a chance to start again. I just hope it results in some progress in Iraq so we can leave the country in peace and bring the troops home from an impossible situation. This is why most of us voted for change this time around.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:29 pm
Roger B:

US policy in Iraq can’t get worse–so the risk of Rumsfed’s departure is low.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:31 pm
Isaac Baroi:

I don’t think so, because of out growing terrorist activities and the dependency of Iraqi Government. The war against terror is now in the hands of the SITUATION, you can not just stop all and leave the place. Dependency, accountibility, corruption, and two folded faces put USA in a complicated situation along with the Iraqi government. Only new step remain open, which is US can call UN and European and moderate Arabic involvement with a open minded exchange of stability in Arab.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:32 pm
Juan:

Why is it the republicans always weasel out by resigning? I still hope the democratic house holds hearings on rumsfeld anyway.

I doubt his resignation will have much effect… since at this point everyone agrees we need to get out ASAP.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:34 pm

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3

Sammy:

The policy will not change much. Bureaucracy dominates the United States, and the Democrats will further bureucratize the Iraq policy, by constant criticism of President Bush. Bureaucracy ‘might’ be a good practice before a decision is made, but not after because it slows down the decision making. We need a dynamic policy arm of the government to review policies, but having that can present problems, expecially when there is so much corruption in Washington.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:35 pm
Ian Scantlebury (UK):

I certainly hope it does. After the damage done to America’s reputation by the Bush administration it’s nice to welcome America back to the fellowhip of nations. The world feels like a safer place overnight, Well done America.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:35 pm
Rosalind:

It has to. After all, the other leaders of our military, known as Generals, and other specialists in warfare and nation-building will now be consulted. In a number of articles, interviews and books, they have indicated that another approach is called ofr.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:35 pm
marc:

Not at all. While this is definitely a step in the right direction, the same consensus will remain. We may not be given it with the same brashness and bravado that typifies the inner circle of the Bush Administration, but the policies will be the same. The policies and (often illegal and horrific) actions taking place in Iraq are part of a larger system and ideology - not just of one man.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:36 pm
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Mark Moorstein:

The forced resignation of Rumsfeld signals that the American people, if not the American government, ultimately decide its best policy. As history has shown with Nixon and now Bush, when the US government is hijacked by inflexible ideologues, the righting ability of the American ship of state kicks in through the ballot to curtail their arrogance. Ultimately, the righting of the current listing system absolutely will force a course correction in Iraq.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:36 pm
gregdn:

No, the damage is done. The best we can hope for is a somewhat graceful exit.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:36 pm
Andrew Bast:

Rumsfeld’s ouster will undoubtedly open up the possibility for change in Iraq policy. It was Rumsfeld’s strongarm that silenced requests for more troops and silenced critics in the press and Congress.

Robert Gates, who’s taking over as Secretary of Defense, is currently a member of the Iraq Study Group. He won’t step in to sustain a failed strategy. At this early moment, it’s not for me to say what he will do, or if the change will even be for the better, but without question the months ahead will see a new approach.

Don’t forget that Gates is an intelligence man (former head of the C.I.A.), and the question is now: what kind of a war will he lead?

Andrew Bast

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:37 pm
robert carlson:

Rummies resignation will not affect our purpose in Iraq which is to control a large chunk of OPEC. 700 billion barrels of mideast OPEC oil is at stake. The neocons intend to directly control the oil and dirt in Iraq, and then invade Iran, so when oil in Saudi Arabia starts to fall short of worldwide demand we can control whats left as oil prices exceed 100 dollars per barrel. Not just OPEC but future control of the entire world economy is the prize. The republicans know this and are not about to give up the Project for a New American century now when they are halfway toward the goal. A Trillion dollars and 50,000 american lives is a cheap price to pay in exchange for a strangle hold on the entire world.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:38 pm
Leatrice Mendelsohn:

It has to have some effect although what that is will depend on
1. his replacement
2. The President’s willingness to accept change

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:38 pm

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Post time 2006-11-9 05:11:40 |Display all floors

5

Tom McManus:

After reading Fiasco by Thomas Ricks I am convinced Rumsfield’s blunders have contributed to causing the disaster in Iraq. Unfortunately, the damage has been done.

I loved this quote from the book by retired Army col. Lloyd Matthews.

“He’s up, he’s down , and he’ll continue in this sine wave pattern throuthout his public career, and very likely be down at the end, because he fails to realize that despite his gifts, he is in a business where defeats are inevitable, where all victories are fleeting, and where one’s best defense is the homely quality of grace and humility which he so sorely lacks.”

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:38 pm
MEAD, Retired Army Reservist:

The resignation of Defense Secretary Rumsfeld will have a major impact on U.S. Policy in Iraq and the fight against terrorists. With Rumsfeld gone and Democrats controlling the House and possibly the Senate, look for the President and Congress to develop a gradual, phased withdrawal from Iraq. This will not signal an end to the war against the terrorists. We will fight a smarter, proactive war with smaller, better trained units driven by intelligence. And with the aid of our allies around the world, the U.S. will triumph against the forces of terrorism. Freedom loving people around the world will win this battle.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:39 pm

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Milton Burts:

The resignation of Donald Rumsfield is too late. I voted for Bush both elections but I felt that he should have replaced Rumsfield at the beginning of his second term. If the Democrats will refrain from” packing up and moving out” of Iraq, but instead offer some viable solutions, we may be able to eventually move out gracefully. No one party has the corner on “smarts”. Both sides need to work together.
M. Burts
Houston, Tx

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:42 pm
Carol Still:

I believe our Iraq policy will finally change now that its chief architect has been deposed. Maybe now our policy can be…heaven forbid…reality based. That would be a good start. Friedman may be right that the only choices are bad and worse but we have to try. First we have to reestablish connections with our allies and others in the middle east. We cannot do this alone, and everyone knows it (excepting perhaps Dick and George). Maybe while they are at it , Dick could resign too. What a concept!

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:42 pm
EA:

No, the Iraq policy is set by te president and Mr. Rumsfeld is just a piece in the chess board that had to be sacrificed. Democrats have taken on Iraq as a political platform to symphatize with the tragic consequences and regrets of war but lack either a clear plan, exit strategy, or vision about all the consequences of trying to change course at this point.

The only change in policy I can see is how the military implements tactics in Iraq despite continuing with existing policy.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:43 pm
diggity:

I sure hope this will change the US policy in Iraq. I applaud the President for finally facing up to his own failures and making an effort to change the way the war is run. Bush still has a chance of saving his presidency by working with Robert Gates and a democratic congress to find a solution in Iraq.. it’s time for him to live up to his promise of being a uniter not a divider.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:47 pm
m j bell:

I’me looking at it another way. How will it affect the last few months of Tony Blairs premiership. Already he appears to be out of the policy loop with the Bush administration having little or no influence. Rumsfelds resignation will only enforce the view of many in the UK that this invasion was wrong.I don’t believe that the new Secretary of State for Defence will consult with the British Government hastening Tony Blair.s already announced departure, leaving British forces in Iraq with no clear objectives.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:51 pm
jerry rubin:

I believe the people of America hope so, but the war was not just Rumsfeld’s desire. It had many other proponents. Those who desired power and capital gain/wealth.

Remember, FDR did not fully pull the people out of the depression, it was the war that gave America the economic power.

It was the greed of the neocons of the Iraq war, not the events of 9/11 which was tied to Afghanistan and oil in the Middle East.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:53 pm

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Bruce Anderson:

At a minimum, hopefully, there will be a decided lack of arrogance and condescension from a person that really needs to work better than Rumsfeld did with military officials and civilians alike. Peoples’ lives are at stake–both American and Iraqi lives. We can no longer be so cavalier in our decisions and our rhetoric. Unlike the tone struck by Rumsfeld, we can no longer act as if we are the only ones that know anything about what’s going on, and we must be willing to accept the wise counsel of those who really do.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:54 pm
Ray Austin:

Not as long as Dick Cheney is around to call the shots.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 2:54 pm
m. steffen:

Bush has to take personal respopnsibility for the fiasco, loss of lives and cost of billions. “The buck stops here.”

Bush also has to distance out country from Israel and its vindictiveness.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 3:55 pm
Tamara Belmonte:

I doubt it…I’m sure that President Bush made sure that he put someone in place who would follow orders and not question his decisions. Since this change was done with such speed, something must have been in the works as the President also probably didn’t want generals publicly disagreeing with the Pentagon. Rumsfeld had to “take one for the team” in this case but I doubt anything will change. The move signifies more of a surface concession to the “will of the voters” rather than serving as a substantive change in policy.

posted on November 8th, 2006 at 3:57 pm
Jon Layton:

Will Donald Rumsefeld’s resignation have an effect on U.S. policy in Iraq?

Possibly.

Do we know for sure?

It’s difficult to say. Some things are known. Some things are unknown.

Will the next Defense Secretary patronize the world by speaking down to people like this, in mock Socratic method?

Let’s hope not.

Moral of the story?

You go to a press conference with the questions they have, not the answers YOU need

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