2 years ago as I listened to George W Bush give his "victory" speech after the election, I sat at my desk and cried. I couldn't understand how so many people could trust the administration that had failed this country. For our group of Gold Star families, the run up to November 7, 2006 was days filled with sadness, depression, nervousness. What would our fellow citizens do when they showed up to vote? Who ARE these people?
For all of Bush's protests, the election on Tuesday was a referendum on the war in Iraq, corruption, morality and everything else that defines this administration and the Republican Congress. To be sure, many of the Democrats do not deserve a second look, but every elected official, regardless of affiliation, got the message loud and clear- it is time for a change in this country NOW! There is hope for better tomorrows and that makes today a very good day.
How can you top a Democratic sweep of both houses of Congress? I could barely supress the grins. I could have been happy with just that news- there was hope and validation for all we have been saying for so long. And just before 10 this morning, I received a quick email from a friend
AP: Rumsfeld stepping down
Thought that might make you smile.
Thought that might make you smile.
He did not, however, send a link. Of course it made me smile, but I need details! Was he just messing with me? Not this friend, but still. Within moments, my brother who works at a TV station in Cincinnati, called with news, literally hot off the wire. I'm feeling downright perky now. A call from another Gold Star Mom, a post on a Gold Star family message board, more phone calls, lots of emails. What's not to like? Rusmfeld is out and I don't care why.
Rumsfeld never supported the military; either the troops at ground level or the highest of the high at the Pentagon. His arrogance and patronizing was horrifying to hear and watch, as if the troops were little green army men to be moved around at his will with no regard to their value.
People will analyze and discuss the nominee to replace Rumsfeld in the days to come; but he's not looking good, this longtime friend of the Bush family, former CIA director, Robert Gates. Let's not say "anything is better than Rumsfeld", let's be smart about it as this new Congress should be. It's time to be smart for our military, their families and our country.
As we bid good bye to the Secretary of Defense, I will heed my brother's advise, to not pull a muscle while I am doing the Happy Dance. If anyone feels an ounce of sympathy for Donald Rumsfeld, Reuters reminds us of some of Rumsfeld's words of wisdom.
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns. There are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns. That is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknown's, the ones we don't know we don't know. And if one looks throughout the history of our country and other free countries, it is the latter category that tend to be the difficult ones," Rumsfeld said on Feb. 12, 2002.
"Stuff happens," Rumsfeld said on April 11, 2003, when asked about rampant lawlessness in Baghdad after U.S. troops captured the capital. "It's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things."
"You go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you might want or wish to have at a later time," Rumsfeld on Dec. 8, 2004 told a U.S. soldier in Kuwait who asked him why U.S. troops had to dig through local landfills for pieces of rusted scrap metal and glass to provide armor for their vehicles before driving into Iraq.
"His regime has large, unaccounted for stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, including VX, sarin, mustard gas, anthrax, botulism and possibly smallpox. And he has an active program to acquire and develop nuclear weapons," Rumsfeld said on Jan. 20, 2003. Before the Iraq war, Rumsfeld often warned of President Saddam Hussein's arsenal of weapons of mass destruction. None of these were found.
"We know where they are," Rumsfeld said on March 30, 2003 in the days after the Iraq invasion, when asked whether he found it curious U.S. forces had not yet found weapons of mass destruction. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
"The Gulf War in the 1990s lasted five days on the ground. I can't tell you if the use of force in Iraq today would last five days, or five weeks or five months. But it certainly isn't going to last any longer than that", Rumsfeld said on Nov. 14, 2002, three months before the invasion.
"Now, you're thinking of Europe as Germany and France. I don't. I think that's old Europe, Rumsfeld said on Jan. 22, 2003.
"It is easier to get into something than to get out of it," Rumsfeld wrote in his published list of truisms known as "Rumsfeld's Rules."
And finally, back in December 2004, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld faced renewed criticism Sunday from lawmakers after he said he has not personally signed letters sent to family members of troops killed in action. That he did not take the time to personally sign these letters demonstrated how he felt about and valued these soldiers and their families. I have one of these letters.
It is long past time for Rumsfeld to go. He failed the troops and he failed this country. GOOD RIDDANCE!