Letters

The Christian Science Monitor, January 3, 2005 | Go to article overview

Letters


Rumsfeld's leadership has won control, but not progress

Newt Gingrich's paean to Donald Rumsfeld's brilliance in his Dec. 28 Opinion piece, "Rumsfeld critics are off the mark," willfully ignores the real issue: He praises how well the Army fought in Iraq but avoids any discussion of Rumsfeld's abysmal failure to plan for the occupation, even though that's the reason he's under such criticism.

If this had been a Pearl Harbor or an unexpected development in the middle of an ongoing war, that would have been understandable, but this war took place at the time and place the Bush administration chose. There was no reason not to have the occupation planned out beforehand.

Rumsfeld has accomplished much, but the ultimate test for military leadership is what happens in the field. By that standard, he's failed.Fraser Sherman Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

Rumsfeld was an early, forceful advocate for attacking Iraq. Military operations have defeated Saddam Hussein's army, but have done little, if anything, to defeat terrorism. They have fueled it.

We won't make real progress in the war on terrorism until we alter the conditions which cause it to begin with: pervasive unemployment among the young, education dominated by extreme madrassahs, and our own failure to deal with the Palestinian problem. Our nation is woefully ill-prepared to address the religious and cultural issues that underlie this dynamic.

Rumsfeld has "won" the Beltway war for policy dominance over the CIA and State Department. Unless we view the war from more points than his desk at the Pentagon, his win will have been a Pyrrhic victory.Lt. Col. Jim Anderson (USA, Ret.) University Place, Wash.

The buck stops in Latin America

Regarding L. Ronald Scheman's Dec. 29 Opinion piece, "Reform US neighborhood bully image": Argentines were fully aware of how their nation arrived at such a state of financial affairs. Granting Argentina even more money would have been a temporary solution at best that would have led to even higher foreign-debt ratios. …

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