RUMSFELD CANNOT ADMIT HE MIGHT BE WRONG | 2003-08-30
"I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider that you might be mistaken!" This is a famous quote from Oliver Cromwell to the Scottish Presbyterian rulers before he went to war with them.
When a good soldier is asked a policy question, his answer is, "That question is for a higher pay grade." I was in such a pay grade, and God knows the people who trusted me were at that level. if you have a conscience, you keep telling yourself that you didn't really make that decision that keeps you awake at night.
Sometimes you believe it, sometimes you don't.
My blood runs cold when I hear a quote from Lyndon Johnson. A reporter said that he leveled with them once about the Vietnam War. Said Johnson, "I will not be the first American president to go down into history for losing a war."
As I say, that statement gives me cold chills. Here was a man who was making decisions about the deaths of thousands of Americans on the basis of how he would look in the history books.
I seem to be the only person who gets the willies at thinking about this statement. If I caught myself thinking that way, I'd go to the nearest insane asylum.
Rumsfeld suffers from the same disease. He will not consider that maybe the critics were right, maybe we do need more troops in Iraq. I don't say we do, I just say that Rumsfeld will not consider it because it would mean he is wrong.
I have a feeling that Rumsfeld and Bush worry a lot more about being right than they do about being personally responsible for getting Americans killed.