You know what's great fun to do if you're on, say, a flight from Chicago to New York and you're getting a little bored? Why not play being President Ahmadinejad? Stand up and yell in a loud voice, "I've got a bomb!" Next thing you know the air marshal will be telling people, "It's OK, folks. Nothing to worry about. He hasn't got a bomb." And then the second marshal would say, "And even if he did have a bomb it's highly unlikely he'd ever use it." And then you threaten to kill the two Jews in row 12 and the stewardess says, "Relax, everyone. That's just a harmless rhetorical flourish." And then a group of passengers in rows 4 to 7 point out, "Yes, but it's entirely reasonable of him to have a bomb given the threatening behavior of the marshals and the cabin crew."The Wall Street Journal has a solid editorial defending Rumsfeld from the the criticism from those retired generals.
I find it fascinating that no one seems to be able to connect these two issues, even though they are both hot right now. Rumsfeld from day one has stood in the way of getting more troops into the U.S. military, and as a result now we will have serious difficulties putting boots on the ground to solve the Iran problem. Once again, defenders of the Secretary of Defense have not addressed this criticism. When that debate starts, and it will, remember that you saw it at the Big Tent first.