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December 23, 2004
Rummy Steps Up

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld made a surprise visit to the troops in Iraq, spending Christmas Eve with the men and women in Mosul where a bomber killed twenty-two earlier this week:

U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, on a surprise Christmas Eve visit with the troops three days after the devastating attack on a U.S. military dining hall here, told soldiers he remained confident of defeating the insurgency and stabilizing Iraq, while noting that to some "it looks bleak."

"There's no doubt in my mind, this is achievable," Rumsfeld, who flew here under tight security, told a couple of hundred 1st Brigade soldiers of the 25th Infantry Division at their commander's headquarters. He promised them that later in life they will look back and feel pride at having contributed to a mission of historic importance.

"When it looks bleak, when one worries about how it's going to come out, when one reads and hears the naysayers and the doubters who say it can't be done, and that we're in a quagmire here," one should recall that there have been such doubters "throughout every conflict in the history of the world," he said.

No doubt naysayers will chalk this up to politics, just when George Bush made his surprise trip to visit the troops for Thanksgiving 2003. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to start seeing a "fake turkey" meme spring up in the next few days. The point is that Rumsfeld should be out there, under secure circumstances, to support the men and women doing the fighting and the dying.

But Rummy goes one step further. Rather than spew facile bon mots, Rumsfeld leveled with the warriors, allowing them to feel all right about their moments of doubt. He spoke from the heart, it appears, and didn't just come out there to blow smoke. He also apparently refused to cancel the trip even after investigators have determined that the Mosul explosion came from an infiltrator, highlighting the personal risk Rumsfeld took on making this trip.

One visit doesn't solve all of our problems out there, but when the top brass come all the way to Mosul to talk to those serving our country with respect and candor, it sends a strong message of support. I applaud Rumsfeld for his commitment to the men and women who serve under him.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at December 23, 2004 10:04 PM

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» Secretary Rumsfeld - Leadership from CDR Salamander
Not much needs to be said here but Bravo Zulu. Ignore what you read and hear from the MSM. In the Fleet and with the Soldiers, Marines and Airmen who work for the man, Secretary Rumsfeld is a highly respected, honored, and appreciated Secretary of... [Read More]

Tracked on December 23, 2004 10:57 PM

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