Former CENTCOM chief Gen. Anthony Zinni recently joined the lengthening list of those calling for Secretary Rumsfeld’s removal, echoing an appeal first made in The Nation three years ago. Here are selections from the secretary’s most notable critics over the last three years, from A to Zinni.
, April 21, 2003 [sent to press April 2] (“Rumsfeld Should Go”)
Many political figures activists and organizations–including Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi and MoveOn.org–are calling for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation. We took that step more than a year ago, and in our edit pointed to Rumsfeld’s rejection of concerns about treatment of Afghan and Al Qaeda prisoners. Rumsfeld’s departure would be only the beginning, not the end, of a full accounting of who was responsible for prisoner abuses in Iraq and elsewhere. Fully mindful of that fact, we join the call for his resignation.
The Defense Secretary should resign–now. Although George W. Bush is ultimately responsible for the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq, it is Donald Rumsfeld who is the Cabinet member directly charged with planning and carrying out the nation’s wars. He should take with him those two self-inflated policy warriors, Paul Wolfowitz (his deputy) and Richard Perle (head of the Defense Policy Board until his venality was exposed). Together with Vice President Cheney, they were the principal architects of this venture, in pursuit of which they have deceived the American people, misled US soldiers whose lives are at risk, scorned the United Nations and defied international law.
New York Times, April 16, 2003
For writers and editors who live at the far left of liberalism, little has changed. Last week, with the much criticized war plan suddenly looking brilliant, The Nation suggested that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld should resign.
“Even if people think this is a great military victory, we wanted to be out front on this issue,” said Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor of The Nation. “There is much to say about whether this is the last unilateralist war by the Bush regime or the first in a series to reshape the world in the Bush image.”
New York Sun, November 6, 2003
Yesterday, the dean of New York’s congressional delegation, Rep. Charles Rangel, added his voice to the choir. “It’s with a heavy heart that I come here to demand Don Rumsfeld’s resignation,” said Mr. Rangel, a Democrat.
Slate, April 20, 2004
Neocons Robert Kagan and William Kristol make the too few troops argument in the April 26 Weekly Standard and call on Rumsfeld to resign.
The Weekly Standard, April 26, 2004
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld famously talks about preparing for the “unknown unknowns.” Yet the present crisis was hardly unforeseeable, and Rumsfeld did not ensure that the military was prepared to deal with it. He failed to put in place in Iraq a force big enough to handle the challenges at hand. That is a significant failure, and we do not yet know the price that will be paid for it.