It has been a busy few days for Rumsfeld and the WH. Republicans are starting to call for Rummy's head for the remarks he made to the troops regarding "going to war with the army you have"...Republicans and neo-cons call for 'arrogant' Rumsfeld to quit..
But wait a second... Rummy, arrogant? Just a few months ago he was the 'Marlboro Man'... my what a difference an unscripted press conference makes...
Add to that the continuing trend of soldiers looking for a way out... a report in today's New York Times states the National Guard is 30% behind in its recruiting goals in the last two months and is implementing bonus recruitment 'incentives' of up to $15,000...
There is also a whopper of a stat in the latest issue of Harper Magazine's (Jan 2005) Index:
"The G.I. Rights Hotline (800-394-9544) has received approx. 34,800 phone calls this last year from soldiers seeking a way out of the military."
-- G.I. Rights Hotline, as of November 2004
That's a big number. It would be interesting to determine how many of these calls were from soldiers currently under 'stop loss' orders vs. regular enlisted.
Back in Iraq, the new government continues to have a rough go of it. The deputy head of the Communications Ministry was the latest official to be murdered; he was shot dead on the streets of Baghdad yesterday and three more National Guardsmen were killed in a roadside bombing.
Moving along to the paradise that is Mosul, we find a... "Westerner beheaded on Mosul street as American forces lose control of key city". Did we really have control of this city (or Fallujah, or Tikrit, or Basra, etc...) to begin with? Regardless of the White House and Pentagon spin machine, this does not sound like we have any situation in Iraq under control... (see also "US Military Obstructing Medical Care in Iraq").
And just when you thought you had heard about enough bad news... multiple new abuse claims have surfaced... New Documents Show String of Iraq Abuse Claims... and Osama has risen again just in time to remind everyone right before the busy holiday travel season that he is still on the loose...
How would you like to be Rummy this week?
[updated with correct NY Times link]