The reaction to recent Rumsfeld memo leaks is quite interesting. These memos show that there actually were efforts underway to change course in Iraq. Interestingly, the talking points published by the NY Times center on the idea that changing the course simply leads to more dysfunction. Conservative bloggers try to point out that the NY Times show the two-faced nature of the left. The Bush administration could not talk publicly about ways to change the course because open discourse gets attacked by the Left. The administration's silence on the issue before the election gets attacked by the press. I doubt, however, that Rumsfeld will get much vindication from these leaks.
Despite the qualities that Rumsfeld brought to the table, he failed the US in two big aspects: First, He made it appear that the conservative movement in America advocates the use of torture (most do not). He also blundered by coming out in support of the use of landmines.
On this thought, I was just watching a TV news report of the latest bombings in Baghdad. The TV cameras quickly surveyed the carnage, some talking heads spoke about the IEDs used in the attacks, then the show switched to a commericial.
I switched off the commercial. The term IED bounced around in my brain, then struck the memory of Rumsfeld's idiotic support for the development of smart landmines. These IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) that are wreaking so much havoc in Iraq are essentially the same smart landmines that Rumsfeld endorses.
Properly speaking, a landmine is an IED that a terrorist plants in the ground hoping to kill whoever walks by (soldiers, children, etc.). Killing with landmines is a slow tedious process.
The IEDs of the Jihadist is a smart landmine. They are bombs that Jihadists place in cars and park in a public places. They get exploded with smart devices like cell phones or timers. The most dispicable IEDs are bombs that Jihadists strap to idealistic thirteeen-year-olds. The Jihadist puppet masters direct the thirteen-year-old to a crowd, then cowers under a veil of hatred as the young child goes boom.
Rumsfeld's idiotic support for the development of smart IEDs blurs the moral clarity of the war on terror without giving us a strategic advantage. Likewise, Rumsfeld's blundering on the torture blurred the moral clarity of the war. It fragmented his base. In return it gave us only questionable gains.
The only way for the West to win in this struggle is for the Mideast to realize that the ideals of classical liberalism lead to widespread prosperity. It is impossible to win when we have leaders like Rumsfeld who routinely blur the moral clarity that sits at the foundation of the classical liberal ideals. Had the US renewed its stand against landmines, then we would be in a better position to denounce the use of IEDs (smart landmines) as a terrorist weapon. Instead we watch have to watch the carnage in Iraq without even the ability to denounce the tactics since the technocratic leader of our war came out in open support for the use of "smart landmines."
The left may be two-faced, but Rumsfeld is the primary that we are losing the peace.