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Sunday, December 03, 2006
  Rumsfeld's Last Memo Although it may not get a lot of media attention (or maybe it will) the last memo from Donald Rumsfeld is very interesting.

WASHINGTON, Dec. 2 — Two days before he resigned as defense secretary, Donald H. Rumsfeld submitted a classified memo to the White House that acknowledged that the Bush administration’s strategy in Iraq was not working and called for a major course correction.

“In my view it is time for a major adjustment,” wrote Mr. Rumsfeld, who has been a symbol of a dogged stay-the-course policy. “Clearly, what U.S. forces are currently doing in Iraq is not working well enough or fast enough.”

He was their stay the course man. When he stepped down after the elections, this is the memo that comes out? Doesn't anyone else thing this is interesting? I am torn into two different lines of thinking about this. Is it a shot across the bow as he cleaned out his office citing what he always felt and was he shut down by the White House or, now that he was sent packing, he's telling the truth for once because he's got nothing to lose because he lost the power he had. See, this is what caught me:

Nor did Mr. Rumsfeld seem confident that the administration would readily develop an effective alternative. To limit the political fallout from shifting course, he suggested the administration consider a campaign to lower public expectations.

“Announce that whatever new approach the U.S. decides on, the U.S. is doing so on a trial basis,” he wrote. “This will give us the ability to readjust and move to another course, if necessary, and therefore not ‘lose.’ ”

What's wrong with having high expectations? I'm an American. I want us to do the right thing but I don't want political decisions made to lower our expectations just for political gain and restructuring. I read a letter to the editor today in the Jackson Sun that was written by a Vietnam Veteran, scolding another writer who blamed the liberals for losing Vietnam.

The war wasn't lost by liberals or conservatives. It was won by a determined foe who was fighting for its country. How could a little country like Vietnam win the war? The Vietnamese outlasted us on their home turf. They didn't have an air force, and they didn't have much of a navy at all. They had an army that had already defeated the French and the Japanese. We had the firepower to destroy the country, but we didn't have the backing of the entire United States as we had in World War II.

He continues:

The Vietnam War was started under a Democrat and escalated under a Republican. It wasn't the politicians who ended the Vietnam War. It was the mothers of dead servicemen, fathers, World War II vets, students and others who could see there was no end. It was people for peace. And last, it was the Vietnam vets who protested the war. That's who ended it.

Dave Montoya, Jackson wrote these words and fought in Vietnam. The White House and the government, whether it's in Washington or Nashville, needs to realize this is the American people's government. The war is not popular. What do the American people want might be a good starting place to come up with solutions instead of seeking power and political gain. It's not about the politics.

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