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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Clark joins Generals Calling for Rumsfeld's Ouster

General Clark spoke against Rumsfeld years before all the military brass making headlines these days. But, despite their being years late, the daily piling on of general after general opposed to Sec. Rumsfeld is too much for even the mainstream media to ignore. The harder Bush pushes to support his embattered buddy and the more he lashes out at critics, the clearer it becomes that Rummy is doing things exactly as the Preznit wants them done. The arrogant recklessness, the security vacuum, the torture, the use of white phosphorous are not mistakes and do not upset the plan. For the objective of a free and peaceful Iraq, of course Rummy is an unmitigated disaster. But what makes anyone think the Bush/Neocon objective was ever a free and peaceful Iraq? Maybe, therefore, the generals in opposition should readjust their aim and redirect their ire to the one who insists on prolonging Rumsfeld's long-soured tenure and believing everything is a-okay. -hl


Calls from a growing number of retired US generals for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign over his handling of the Iraq war are inappropriate, former Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Richard Myers said on Saturday.

Six former generals, joined on Saturday by former NATO commander Gen. Wesley Clark, have spoken out against Rumsfeld, accusing him of arrogance, ignoring his field commanders and micromanagement. The calls come amid growing fears of a civil war in Iraq and slumping approval ratings for President George W. Bush.

"I don't think it's our place in the military either in uniform or when you retire to make those judgments. That's not the military's role. They certainly can. It's their right to do that, I just think it's inappropriate," Myers told Fox News.

Clark, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, disagreed with Myers.

"It's more than appropriate, it's their responsibility," he told Fox news. "I believe Rumsfeld hasn't done an adequate job. He should go."

Bush took time out from his Easter holiday on Friday to express support for Rumsfeld and to counter the growing chorus calling for him to step down.

"Secretary Rumsfeld's energetic and steady leadership is exactly what is needed at this critical period. He has my full support and deepest appreciation," Bush said in a statement.

Rumsfeld dismissed the resignation calls in an interview with Al Arabiya television aired on Friday. "Out of thousands and thousands of admirals and generals, if every time two or three people disagreed we changed the secretary of defense of the United States it would be like a merry-go-round," he said.

Clark said Rumsfeld's failure to heed the advice of senior officers was a major complaint and that the disaffection extends beyond the generals who have spoken out.

"Now these officers are saying at least give us somebody in the military chain of command who will listen. That's why Secretary Rumsfeld has lost their confidence. He's made bad policy choices. It's time for new leadership."

Myers, who retired last year, said he never heard the complaints being expressed against Rumsfeld during the four years he spent as America's highest-ranking military officer.

"What I'm hearing now I never heard as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Myers said.

He said a shake-up led by Rumsfeld to make the Pentagon a more flexible organization could be one of the reasons for the disenchantment among the former senior officers.

One early US newspaper editorial dismissed the White House effort to save Rumsfeld's job.

"The ritual White House public relations offensive is wearing thin, especially when the people calling for Rumsfeld's resignation this time wore so many stars on their uniforms," the St. Petersburg Times said in an editorial on Saturday.

"The damage in Iraq is already done, but his (Rumsfeld's) continued tenure is now threatening to harm and politicize the military," it said.