Later today, in a special ceremony in Washington DC, Donald Rumsfeld will be frog-marched down the front steps of the Pentagon. In the month since he announced his retirement, my initial glee has eroded to a mere stump. The resignation of the disagreeable Defense Secretary, along with the quieter disappearance of the hardcore neocon architects of the war gave hope for a moment, and the results of last month's midterm election and the formation of the Iraq Study Group heralded a possible change in policy. Since then, the same complacent congress that acquiesced to our harebrained Iraq scheme has buttered up and squeezed the obsequious Robert Gates through the Senate Arms Services Committee, and unanimously approved him to replace the disgraced Rumsfeld. It appears that the old Secretary is little more than a convenient fall guy, and it's looking more like a return to business as usual, with the administration continually postponing any announcement of a “new strategy,” meanwhile diverting blame for the current state of affairs on Rumsfeld and, especially, the Iraqis. Bush seems reluctant to shoulder any responsibility for a plan that was doomed to failure from the beginning, and maybe that's as it should be, for the region will surely see no shortage of volunteers to cast blame our way for the aftermath of “Iraqi Freedom” for decades to come.
RUMSFELD CARTOON watercolor & ink 7" 9"