December 8, 2004 [LINK]

Rummy visits [Kuwait]

During his visit to [Kuwait] today, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was asked by a soldier why more armored vehicles haven't been delivered to our troops serving in the hazardous "front lines." His answer that it's simply a problem with production, and that we can't expect to have all the equipment we would like to have, struck me as lame and dispiriting. I hope that was not an indication of Bush administration attitudes toward our incredibly brave soldiers in harm's way. They deserve better, from the American government as well as from the American people. Rumsfeld was the top military official bears some responsibility for what happened at Abu Ghraib, and has a lot to answer for, in my view. The fact that he is one of the few cabinet officials being kept on into the second term, while others who have performed their jobs perfectly well are leaving, concerns me.

Guarded optimism

Andrew Sullivan has sharply criticized President Bush for failing to prosecute the war against Islamic fascists (a.k.a. "terrorists") more effectively. Thus, his relatively upbeat assessment of the situation in Iraq, appearing in the The New Republic Online, bears reading.

The Kurds and the Shia understand that their interest today lies in a successful election. They're not unhappy to see Sunni and Baathist rebels get pummeled by American arms. In that, you see the beginning of the new Iraqi reality: a place where 80 percent of the country wants the democratic transition to succeed.