A Civil War Inside The Pentagon?
In stating the obvious, Russert told Imus this morning that firing Rummy would mean in essence that Bush would be firing himself, and that isn’t going to happen. Russert also stated that after Murtha first appeared on “Meet the Press” several months ago to tout the redeployment strategy, Russert got confidential phone calls from several folks inside the Pentagon and elsewhere who said basically that Murtha was right. More tellingly, Russert told Imus this morning that what you have going on inside the Pentagon now is a civil war, presumably between the brass and the civilian leadership. The brass wants to reclaim control over the forces on the ground because they agree that serious mistakes have been made, and our forces are paying the price.
If the White House had handled this by trying to ride out the weekend heat from the generals and get several news cycles beyond it, then Rummy would have been correct in saying that “this too will pass” as he did earlier this week. Instead, the White House botched this by trying to Swift Boat the generals, which will only serve to fan the flames of the civil war even more.
Look, the smartest thing the Democrats could do here is employ reverse psychology. Instead of doing what Bush and Rove expect them to do, which is to continually whine and scream for Rummy’s head, Democrats should instead be saying that Rumsfeld should stay as the perfect emblem of the failures of this administration and this president.
Hat tip to ThinkProgress