Friday, April 28, 2006

DeWine’s Public Attack of Rumsfeld was Wrong!

Senator Mike DeWine (R-OH) was wrong to lash out at Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld over his management of the War on Terrorism in a Washington interview earlier this week. We must learn from the past and that includes learning from our past mistakes, but obviously Senator DeWine missed those history lessons from Vietnam.

In his interview with Salon's Walter Shapiro, DeWine stated that “Rumsfeld has made some very serious mistakes….Very serious mistakes. I think history will judge him very harshly.” He followed that with, “[c]learly not enough troops going in [to Iraq]. That was the biggest mistake. And a lot of mistakes would be covered under that.”

The lessons not learned by DeWine come from the 1962 to 1974 era when politicians in Washington tried micro-managing and second guessing the military. Without a day spent in a military uniform and without membership on the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services, Senator Mike DeWine has become a critic of the nuances of our War on Terrorism. To make matters worse, he felt compelled to make his views public.

Discussion and disagreement is fine, but the participants must choose their venues carefully. For Mike DeWine to disagree with Rumsfeld’s management of the War is all right, but to do so publicly does nothing more than “aid and abet” the enemy – a lesson he should have learned from Vietnam. Our enemies look for that public discord and when they find it within the same Party they become heartened even more.

Senator DeWine could not have expected to achieve any strategic military benefit from his public criticism of Rumsfeld, nor could he have expected any change in the direction of the efforts. However, he likely expected that his attack would distance himself from the Administration in a mistaken attempt to make himself appear more attractive to Ohio voters for the November general election should he pass the primary next week. His actions fall clearly within the classification of pandering. To pander for votes at the expense of our efforts to succeed in our War on Terrorism, to aid and abet our enemies, and to further put our troops in harm’s way is simply shameful of a sitting United States Senator.

William G. Pierce, P.E.

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