The Collective
Saturday, November 4, 2024
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via MSNBC: Military papers: ‘Rumsfeld must go’

The editorial, released to NBC News on Friday ahead of its Monday publication date, stated, “It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation’s current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.”


The military publications’ editorial also painted a grim view of the situation in Iraq, saying, “despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition. For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don’t show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves. … And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.”

More from Editor and Publisher:

The papers are the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times. They are published by the Military Times Media Group, a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc. President Bush said this week that he wanted Rumsfeld to serve out the next two years.

“We say that Rumsfeld must be replaced,” Alex Neill, the managing editor of the Army Times, told The Virginian-Pilot tonight in a telephone interview. “Given the state of affairs with Iraq and the military right now, we think it’s a good time for new leadership there.”

The editorial was written by senior managing editor Robert Hodierne, based on a decision of the publications’ editorial board, Neill told the paper.

The timing of the editorial was coincidental, Neill said.

But he added, “President Bush came out and said that Donald Rumsfeld is in for the duration … so it’s just a timely issue for us. And our position is that it is not the best course for the military” for Rumsfeld to remain the Pentagon chief.

On the timing issue. Much will no doubt be made about the timing, but it is worth noting that the response is the President-he is the one who brought the whole thing up in the first place.

I have passing acquaintance with the Army Times as a friend of mine is a subscriber and I have seen some (granted, limited) coverage of Iraq from the paper. It was certainly more positive than that in the MSM. Indeed, given that the four publications are aimed a military audience, it is rather difficult to make “liberal media bias” claims in this context. Members of the military or regular readers of the papers in question are welcome to correct me if they feel the need.

As such, this is a fairly dramatic editorial.

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Filed under: Iraq, US Politics | |


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  • pt
    1. Of course it’s about the election. And don’t think the Editorial Boards aren’t reflecting their readership. No oversight has been an unmitigated disaster that the military has had to bear the brunt of. Putting 20-something GOP political idealogues in charge of the Iraq reconstruction doomed it from the start and Congress abdicated all responsibility. Rumsfeld championed this misguided effort and needs to go now.

      Comment by Ed — Saturday, November 4, 2024 @ 1:10 pm

    2. There almost certainly would not have been a “Rumsfeld must go” piece this week if it were not for the President’s comments. The direct motivation, therefore, is not the election, per se.

      Of course right now almost everything political is about the election in one way or another.

      Comment by Dr. Steven Taylor — Saturday, November 4, 2024 @ 1:19 pm

    3. [...] Dr. Steven Taylor of PoliBlog — conservative but not crazy — writes, Much will no doubt be made about the timing, but it is worth noting that the response is [to] the President–he is the one who brought the whole thing up in the first place. [...]

      Pingback by The Mahablog » How Low Can They Go? How Dumb Can They Get? — Saturday, November 4, 2024 @ 2:24 pm

    4. As such, this is a fairly dramatic editorial.

      It is clear what they are doing here. As Bush said, if you vote for Democrats you vote for the terrorists’ side. If the Dems win, Army Times benefits since the terrorists will continue to do their evil deeds and the Army Times will have more stuff to cover and, hence, sell more newspapers.

      If the Republicans win, the terrorists lose and we see more or less immediate peace. As Cheney said today, “we’ve got the basic strategy right.” Thus, if we continue to give Rummy and Cheney a long leash, the war will be won and less people will be interested in reading about the Army and, hence, the Army Times loses readership.

      Comment by Ratoe — Saturday, November 4, 2024 @ 3:12 pm

    5. Ratoe - That is the dumbest thing I have read in a long time. This war is a fucking disaster. Leaving Rumsfeld to manage it for another two years will ensure it continues to be a fucking disaster. This whole administration should be hanged for gross mismanagement of the entire operation. They got us into it with no way out. I support the troops but not the idealogical idiots that has put them in harm’s way for NO good reason. They are NOT fighting the war on terror. They are stuck in the middle of a civil war. This is NOT winnable by us. Bush/Cheney/Rummy have been a complete and spectacular disaster for this country.

      Comment by Col Mike — Sunday, November 5, 2024 @ 3:17 pm

    6. 24 more hours until the GOP smackdown.

      Comment by bob — Sunday, November 5, 2024 @ 9:40 pm

    7. Since objectivity isn’t a strong point with the other commenters, I hesitate to attempt it. But your suggestion that we can’t chalk up Hodierne’s remarks to “liberla media bias” is nonsense. Hodierne was an antiwar photographer labeled a traitor by Army reps during the Vietnam war. He pursued a liberla MSM career until Gennett sent him to run the Army Times after Bush was elected. The Army Times has veered sharply left since Gannett purchased the group in 1997. And this editor is writing his own opinions, not the majority opinion of the other writers or even the rest of the staff.

      This is a political hit piece with no credibility and says nothing new and echoes the generic anti-republican talking points.

      The MSM are so ubiquitous that we think their point of view has merit–it doesn’t.

      Comment by Filbert — Monday, November 6, 2024 @ 10:34 pm

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