November 10, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Gen. Myers praises Rumsfeld

At a lecture given at Kansas State University yesterday, retired Gen. Richard Myers, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, introduced his former boss, Donald Rumsfeld, paying special tribute to Rummy's reform initiatives:

in his tenure as Secretary of Defense, that the Department has undergone more profound change in the last six years than in any time in its history since the National Security Act of 1947...

(SOURCE:, via Instapundit) He also rebutted accusations that Rumsfeld ignored military advice:

I have worked with several secretaries of defense. I have never worked with one that has spent more time with the senior military leadership than this Secretary of Defense.

It is good to have a balanced perspective on this, so we don't go overboard in blaming scapegoats when things go wrong. Just as the war in Iraq is complex, making it hard to figure out who is winning, so too our Secretary of Defense is a complex man, and it will take years to sort out the good from the bad.

Al Qaeda gloats at SecDef's exit

Far, far from Kansas, meanwhile, the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, exulted in this week's electoral outcome and the consequent firing of Donald Rumsfeld. Somehow, though, the prospects of a change in U.S. strategy has not led then toward a more friendly disposition. Indeed, the guy actually threatened to blow up the White House. See Reuters. (via Drudge)

It would be easy to make too much of that statement, but it shouldn't be ignored, either. At one of his campaign stops last month, President Bush said that a victory by the Democrats in Congress would mean a victory for the terrorists. An editorial in today's News Leader took umbrage at that suggestion by Bush, who wishes he could take that back, I'll bet. It's obvious that enemy forces will be encouraged when our leaders stumble, but that doesn't mean that the President's opponents are, generally speaking, sympathetic to the enemy. When our leaders leave that impression, it only serves to divide our nation, which is the worst thing that can happen in time of war.