Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Limited Mandate?

This is "quote of the day" worthy:

The second time General Pace had to reel Rumsfeld in was when Pace was asked by reporters if U.S. troops in Iraq were supposed to step in and stop Iraqi troops from abusing fellow Iraqis. Pace was in the process of giving the right answer (Yes), when Don-in-the-Box popped up again. "No, no that's not their job," he corrected the general.

Pace had no choice. "Ah, well, yes sir, but if our troops are there they are supposed to stop such behavior."

The look on Rumsfeld's face was the same look parents get when they tell their teenagers, "If your friends start drinking or using drugs you leave that party and come straight home!" You know the look -- the eyeballs rollup as the head jerks dismissively to one side.

From that look it was clear that Rumsfeld believes that, while U.S. troops had the right to invade Iraq, topple its government and occupy the country, they have no business telling Iraqis not to beat, torture or kill their own folks. Not our job, he says. (Administration vice-enabler, Dick Cheney, appears to agree.) [emphasis added]
The general topic of discussion in the article has to do with the author's suggestion that Rumsfeld might actually be mentally unfit to continue in his present role as Secretary of Defense. With stories like this beginning to circulate, even in conservative (albeit neo-conservative) circles, Rummy might not be long for this administration. Can't you just feel the Joe-mentum building? Not that I care to endorse the view that Rumsfeld is actually mentally incapacitated. I'm in no position to say.

(h/t to Atrios)

[UPDATE: Tim Dunlop says no rest for the wicked, with more critique of the increasingly disconnected Defense Secretary. Apparently, the media is to blame for all that ails Iraq. Who knew?]

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