December 15, 2004

LOST VIRGINITY (via Kevin Whited):

The Defense Secretary We Have (William Kristol, December 15, 2004, Washington Post)

"As you know, you go to war with the Army you have. They're not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time."
-- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, in a town hall meeting with soldiers at Camp Buehring in Kuwait, Dec. 8.

Actually, we have a pretty terrific Army. It's performed a lot better in this war than the secretary of defense has. President Bush has nonetheless decided to stick for now with the defense secretary we have, perhaps because he doesn't want to make a change until after the Jan. 30 Iraqi elections. But surely Don Rumsfeld is not the defense secretary Bush should want to have for the remainder of his second term.

The President isn't going to throw Mr. Rumsfeld under the bus just so neocons have a fall guy for the fact that things in Iraq didn't go the way they predicted. Their failure to comprehend the Shi'a/Sunni divide demonstrates once again their fatal blind spot: the primacy of religion in human affairs.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 15, 2004 2:53 PM

Bill's article shows it's never too early to get to the front of the line to be John McCain's Chief of Staff in 2009. Bobby Bonds is in for a heap of trouble when The Weekly Standard's spring training issue comes out in March.

Posted by: John at December 15, 2004 3:32 PM


I wanted to comment on this post but I see you beat me to it. The issue is McCain and the fact that he is a total pain in the b*tt. Cheap shot after cheap shot. If Bush wasn't having to actually run the country, he should devote all of his energies in taking McCain down.

McCain has apparently decided his slot in life is to use conservatives as a punching bag, in order posture on TV. (i confess that with fingers crossed i would have supported him as VP in the last election, but fortunatly Bush had more sense than I did)

Posted by: h-man at December 15, 2004 3:45 PM

It's fascinating to watch the shaky neocons and the "Eagles", as Andrew Sullivan calls himself, talk about the brilliantly executed Afghan war and the moronically botched Iraq war at more or less the same time.

Posted by: David Cohen at December 15, 2004 3:50 PM


Posted by: oj at December 15, 2004 4:01 PM

More like a woodpecker, I would say.

Posted by: ratbert at December 15, 2004 5:16 PM

Actually, Bobby Bonds has already peaked with respect to trouble: he died recently.

Rumsfeld is perfect for his job. He can take the heat, he can talk around or right through an issue (whichever is required at the time), and he remains committed to his goal of reforming the Pentagon. I thought his answer to the armor question was as good as he could have done, under the circumstances.

McCain has become very tiresome on the issue of troops - if he feels that strongly about it, then hold hearings on it. He must not care about the GOP rank & file, because every appearance he makes with Chuck Hagel and Joe Biden only hurts him.

Posted by: jim hamlen at December 15, 2004 9:05 PM


"Eagles" is the term A.S. uses to describe people who are conservative on national defense but liberal on social issues.

I find it amusing that A.S. claims to offer conservative justifications for gay marriage and then turns arounds and admits to being socially liberal.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at December 15, 2004 9:39 PM


Are eagles known for homosexuality in the wild? Why not bonobos?

Posted by: oj at December 15, 2004 9:46 PM

Andrew is hairy enough - why not a bonobo?

Posted by: ratbert at December 15, 2004 10:59 PM

Actually, Bobby Bonds has already peaked with respect to trouble: he died recently

You're right Jim -- Barry's the one Bill will target to help with his butter-up-the-senator campaign, and no doubt he'll be taking on Don King in the pages of the Standard or on the Post's op-ed page over that boxing commission as well in the near future.

Posted by: John at December 15, 2004 11:34 PM