September 30, 2004

We whack at another Urban Legend...

Robert Novak has an article about urban myths being peddled by Kerry. One of them is that Gen. Shinseki was fired for asking for more troops for Iraq:

...Kerry picked up the story April 13 during a campaign event in Providence, R.I., declaring: "Gen. Shinseki said very clearly: We need 200,000 troops. And what happened to him? He was forced into early retirement." Kerry reiterated this last week at a Columbus, Ohio, press conference: "Gen. Shinseki told this country how many troops we'd need. The president retired him early for telling the truth."

 That is not true, and even Bush critics in the Pentagon know it. The truth is that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, demanding control of the Army, collided with Shinseki on issues unrelated to Iraq. In March 2002, Rumsfeld announced that Shinseki's term as chief of staff would end as scheduled in June 2003 without extension -- an unprecedented action that made the general a lame duck. It was after that, not before it, on Feb. 25, 2003, that Shinseki told a Senate committee the U.S. would need "several hundred thousand" soldiers (not precisely 200,000) for Iraq occupation duty...

My recollection (correct me if I'm wrong) is that Shinseki had a whole iraq plan. And what's being done now by Bush critics is to take one single item of the plan, one that seems good in hindsight, and say, <saddened> "Why, Oh why, didn't we follow the sage advice of this wise wise man?" </saddened>
Ignoring, of course, the other 97% of the plan, which would have left us FUBAR.

I could show you MY plan for invading Iraq and I'm sure you could find something in it to criticize the administration for not doing. What would that mean? NOTHING! Any plan has probably gets something right.

Posted by John Weidner at September 30, 2004 2:42 PM
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