November 10th, 2006

The U.S. Elections

I've been reading a few op-ed pieces on the results of the U.S. midterm elections, to gauge both the response of American opinion and the real magnitude of the change if any. I've read opinions from both sides of the political debate, of course.

I think Charles Krauthammer's right in not reading much more than dissatisfaction with Iraq and with corruption into the results. I don't see how David Ignatius finds it appropriate to praise Rumsfeld's mulish, stony stubbornness so:
Rumsfeld's gift was his brilliance and intellectual toughness. He kept his head up even as the war in Iraq went from bad to awful. In that, he was a harder man even than one of his predecessors, Robert McNamara, who in his final year running the Vietnam War began to crack privately under the pressure. Rumsfeld embodied an old injunction: Never let them see you sweat.
The Boston Globe's Nov 9th editorial enumerates just a few of the things that Igantius would file under "not letting them see you sweat":
Rumsfeld disdained State Department planning for postwar Iraq. He made light of the ominous outbreak of looting after the fall of Saddam Hussein. He preferred a formal US military occupation of Iraq with insufficient troops to an early transfer of political authority to an Iraqi government. Instead he sent the woefully unsuited L. Paul Bremer to rule Iraq as America's proconsul. And Rumsfeld denied the reality of a burgeoning insurgency until it was too late to prevent the current war of all against all.
Here's hoping for change.
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