The Moose weighs in on two controversial Administration national security figures.
The Moose has never been terribly enamored with Secretary Rumsfeld. He has made far too many grievous errors in executing the Iraq War. First and foremost, he failed to supply a sufficient number of troops to restore order. America and Iraq are now paying the price for that mistake.
The error was further compounded by failing to correct it. Today, we still need more troops. But, this Administration failed to expand the military. Both parties should make this a national priority. It should be paid for by canceling the elimination of the death tax and raising taxes on wealthier Americans. Surely, there should be some sacrifice for this great cause.
So, the Moose would provisionally approve a resolution of disapproval of Rumsfeld . If the goal of the Democrats is victory and not retreat in Iraq, they are asking the President to do what his predecessor Lincoln did when he sacked General McClellan. This debate should be framed on the concept that Rumsfeld must go so that we can win the war rather than retreat or "redeploy."
While the Moose has disdain for Rummy, he swoons over John Bolton, our UN Ambassador. Although he only has temporary tenure as a recess appointee, Bolton has proven that he is a forceful and effective advocate for the U.S. at Turtle Bay.
The Moose joins noted liberal attorney Alan Dershowitz in supporting Bolton. Dershowitz recently wrote,
"On the basis of his performance, I have become a Bolton supporter. He speaks with moral clarity. He is extremely well prepared. He is extraordinarily articulate. He places the best face on American policy, particularly in the Middle East during this crucial time...
"Were he not to be confirmed as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations at this crucial juncture it would send a powerful message to the international community that Senate Democrats do not stand behind our policy in the Middle East. It would be seen as undercutting American policy toward Israel. Even if that were a misunderstanding, it would have a devastating impact on the world's perception of America's solidarity with Israel."
Bolton continues the tradition of Moynihan and Kirkpatrick of speaking truth to power at the UN. The stripped pants crowd often needs to hear some straight talk, and Bolton delivers.
The Moose suggests that the Senate Democrats offer some nuance in their critique of the Administration's national security policy. They should argue that it is too weak rather than too aggressive. And when an Administration official proves his worth, they should applaud.
Just say no to Rumsfeld and yes to Bolton. --