A compassionate Moose expresses sympathy for the Secretary of Defense.
President Bush was handing out the Medals of the Incompetent yesterday and he overlooked the Secretary of Incompetentcy. In a self-congratulatory affair that would be worthy of the North Korean Communist Politburo, Our Dear Leader bestowed the Medal of Freedom on such luminaries as George "Slam Dunk" Tenet and L. Paul Bremer III who presided over the peaceful transfer of power in Iraq. And what, no posthumous medal for General George Armstrong Custer for his stunning success a few years back at the Little Big Horn?
The Moose sure hopes that now Tenet's and Bremer's memoirs are soft on Our Glorious Leader W.
Well, maybe Rummy did not receive a medal because they were using it to armor vehicles in Iraq. Meanwhile, some soldiers in Iraq were awarded another distinction for attempting to protect themselves because their leaders didn't. The New York Times informs us,
"Senator Mike DeWine of Ohio has asked the Army to grant clemency to two officers who were convicted of theft and destroying government property in Kuwait and Iraq after they commandeered several Army trucks they believed to have been abandoned to make up for what they said was a shortage in their own units.
One of the convicted Officers said,
"The choice was either to find parts where we could, or do the mission halfway and expose our people to danger, or refuse to go," he said. "We felt we needed this stuff for mission sustainment."
So let the Moose get this straight - soldiers who try to protect their troops end up in prison cells and their leaders who failed to protect them award themselves with medals.
As the Moose suggested yesterday there is more bad news for Rummy. Today's Washington Post carries an op-ed by Bill Kristol calling for him to step aside. Kristol writes,
"But surely Don Rumsfeld is not the defense secretary Bush should want to have for the remainder of his second term.
"All defense secretaries in wartime have, needless to say, made misjudgments. Some have stubbornly persisted in their misjudgments. But have any so breezily dodged responsibility and so glibly passed the buck?
"These soldiers deserve a better defense secretary than the one we have."
The Moose applauds Kristol's piece, but would add that the soldiers also deserve a better President than the one we have. That issue, though, has been settled.
Again, the Moose finds himself siding with Rummy, well sorta. Ultimately, it is the Commander in Chief's responsibility to ensure that there are adequate levels of troops and that they receive all the equipment they require. Perhaps, he was too preoccupied making certain his donors were reimbursed with generous tax cuts. The neo-cons have always been hostile to Rummy because he opposed nation building. While the Moose believes that Rummy should go, the buck stops on the President's desk.
Maybe, W. will next have his buddies award him the Congressional Medal of Honor. After all, he did serve with distinction defending the young Moose from a Viet Cong invasion from across the Rio Grande.