December 13, 2004

no one will ever know your name...

Rich Lowry wrote a good piece on that soldier with the questions for Don Rumsfeld...

...Specialist Thomas Wilson, who asked the question, is being hailed in the press for his bravery. Indeed, asking his question took guts (although it was apparently planted with him by a reporter). But make no mistake, there are much more stirring acts of courage by U.S. soldiers every day in Iraq that somehow escape the media's attention. Ask Rumsfeld a tough question, sue the military, desert or disobey orders, and you achieve fame. But if you happen to sustain a gunshot wound in the battle of Fallujah and ignore it because you so desperately want to stay with your fellow soldiers and believe so much in your mission, well then, no one will ever know your name.

But the press has its priorities. The old saw used to be that American Jews would ask of anything, "Yes, but is it good for the Jews?" The Rummy-hating media and Left evaluate any Iraq-related event through a similar filter, "Yes, but is it bad for Rumsfeld?"

Don Rumsfeld is an exceptional leader, and we are very lucky to have him. There aren't many areas of life where the leader of a huge organization lets himself in for sharp questions from the lowest ranks. Or many organizations where you can do that and not worry about retaliation. Wouldn't it be sweet if Dan Rather had to submit to probing questions from voters about why he tried to throw the election with forged documents? Or if newspaper management had to publicly sweat while answering questions about the circulation scandals?

And the lack of armored Humvees was not a scandal, it was an unanticipated need, one that the army quickly took steps to fix. Unanticipated because this was a campaign unique in the history of war. A enemy nation with a large modern military didn't fight, not seriously, but immediately dissolved itself and started a guerilla war! Even in the first weeks of the invasion, the serious fighting was against irregulars, not against Republican Guard armored divisions! (Read this for an example.)

Posted by John Weidner at December 13, 2004 1:02 PM
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