In reality, [Rumsfeld] has carefully allotted troops in Iraq because he has few to spare elsewhere — and all for reasons beyond his control. If Senator Lott or kindred pundits first show us exactly where the money is to come from to enlarge the military (tax hikes, cuts in new Medicare entitlements, or budgetary freezes?), and, second, that Mr. Rumsfeld opposes expanding our defense budget — “No, President Bush, I don’t need any more money, since the Clinton formula was about right for our present responsibilities” — then he should be held responsible. So far that has not happened.
[…]The blame with this war falls not with Donald Rumsfeld. We are more often the problem — our mercurial mood swings and demands for instant perfection devoid of historical perspective about the tragic nature of god-awful war. Our military has waged two brilliant campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. There has been an even more inspired postwar success in Afghanistan where elections were held in a country deemed a hopeless Dark-Age relic. A thousand brave Americans gave their lives in combat to ensure that the most wicked nation in the Middle East might soon be the best, and the odds are that those remarkable dead, not the columnists in New York, will be proven right — no thanks to post-facto harping from thousands of American academics and insiders in chorus with that continent of appeasement Europe.