If what retiring Brigadier General Mark Scheid is saying is true, it should finally be enough to convince all but the most mad of Pres. Bush’s supporters that Donald Rumsfailed should not only be immediately fired as the Sec. of Defense, but should face criminal charges.
Mark Scheid was an Army Central Command colonel in 2001 when the plans for the invasion of Iraq was first being drawn up. More than that, he was actually put in charge of logistical planning for the invasion. In other words, if anyone was privy to what was really going on during these early stages, it was Mark Scheid. According to him, in the months leading up to the actual invasion of Iraq Sec. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld “forbade military strategists from developing plans for securing a post-war Iraq.” And if those words don’t spend a chill up and down your spine, then perhaps these will. Scheid quotes Rumsfeld as saying that he would “fire the next person” who mentioned any need for a post-war Iraq.
Mark Scheid, of course, will be ridiculed and belittled by those who think that Pres. Bush-like the Pope-is infallible. Infallible people know better than to hearken back to a medieval Christian emperor when talking about holy wars and as for Pres. Bush being infallible…well…you know. Scheid was ridiculed when he suggested that it would take hundreds of thousands of US troops to stabilize and ensure order in Iraq following the deposing of Saddam Hussein. Is there anyone left outside the White House who wants to laugh at that suggestion now?
It gets even worse. As I have indicated before, I find it hard to believe that anyone involved in even a tangential way inside the Bush White House has ever opened a history book. Had they done so, many of their failures could have been avoided. One piece of history that Rumsfailed obviously never read was the history of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Many people aren’t aware that it was a covert CIA booby trap that lay the foundation for the Soviets to invade Afghanistan. The idea was that by drawing the USSR into their own “Vietnam” that their resources would be drained and misplaced. It worked. The mighty Soviet Red Army spent years fighting a ragtag bunch of freedom fighters backed by not only the US, but also Osama Bin Laden. Donald Rumsfailed and Pres. Bush might have learned that going into Iraq and getting out of Iraq all within a few months was a pipedream if only they would have been` willing crack open a book by a writer other than Michael Crichton, the President’s special advisor on global warming and the author of Jurassic Park.
But that wasn’t the case. Mark Scheid reports that the entire policy surrounding the invasion of Iraq was built on the idea of a quick victory and withdrawal. Does this mean that Rumsfailed honestly believed that a democracy could be established within a year in a country-an entire region-that has never known democracy? According to Scheid, no. Donald Rumsfailed and the Bush administration knew full well going in that it would take years and many troops to secure peace in a post-war Iraq. So then why didn’t Rumsfailed want to hear any discussion or plans?
Because, according to Scheid and many others, Rumsfailed said that the American people would not rally around an invasion such as was being planned if they thought that American troops were going to be stationed in Iraq for a prolonged period. In other words: Rumsfailed lied to the American people. Now, none of this should come as a surprise to anyone at this stage, and to anyone paying even the slightest bit of attention this news will be two or three years old at the very least.
But it has finally become a subject that can no longer be hidden behind blind loyalty. The removal-and prosecution-of Sec. of State Donald Rumsfeld is no longer a political issue. It is an issue of human life. Keeping Donald Rumsfeld as the Sec. of Defense-maybe it’s time to go back to calling that position by its original and more definitive name, Sec. of War-is tantamount to hiring Charles Manson as your babysitter.