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"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last."
Sir Winston Churchill

12.11.2006

Rumsfeld's Farewell

Courtesy of Smash:

Another woman asks what was his worst day, and his best day. I expect him to say "September 11, 2001." But he surprises me.

"Abu Ghraib." He says, and a pall crosses over his face. Most men, having been faced with such a profound shame, wouldn't bring it up voluntarily. But Rumsfeld isn't most men. He seems genuinely, personally ashamed of what happened in that awful place. It has been reported that he submitted his resignation over the affair, but that the President prevailed upon him to remain.

"My best day?" He pauses. "How about a week from Monday?" A week from Monday, Robert Gates will be sworn in as the new SECDEF, and Rumsfeld will leave the building. He will be missed.

A man asks if Rumsfeld has any words of advice for his successor. Pace mutters something that the microphones don't catch. Rumsfeld smiles. "General Pace says he should listen to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs." Laughter. "But any advice I have for the new Secretary, I'll give to him in private."

After the questions are done, there is a standing ovation. People in the auditorium crowd up to the aisle, in order to shake Rumsfeld's hand as he passes.

I'm watching all this from the outside, on the monitor. And then the doors open, and he's in the hallway. A bit smaller than I expected -- I'm guessing about 5'8" -- and he looks really short next to General Pace, who is a giant of a man. But at 74, he's a remarkably solid man, and he walks with strength and confidence. He proceeds slowly down the line of chairs, stopping to shake hands with several people.

He's standing right in front of me. I offer my hand, and he shakes it. He looks me straight in the eye. "My goodness," he exclaims. "Did all of you people stand out here for all this time?"

"Yes, sir."

"Well!"

"Thank you, sir."

He moves on, and we file in behind him.


I have a number of friends serving in the military, and I don't think Americans fully understand how big the gap is between these men and women and the LWM and Dems. They vote GOP for a reason---the Republican Party is the only political party which takes national security and warfighting seriously.

Rumsfeld will be sorely missed. Just not by the Clintonista generals.

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