Newly named Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has received positive reviews and immediate Senate confirmation for his new Cabinet gig. Nearly universal praise is being heaped on Gates for being open and honest about the nightmare that is the War in Iraq.
Simultaneously, deposed chieftain Donald "Rummy" Rumsfeld is being pilloried for an obviously misguided military strategy and implementation. But, as bad as things in Iraq have become (even Matt Lauer is calling it a ‘Civil War’ for heaven’s sake, as Rummy himself would say), the erstwhile Secretary will probably be best remembered for his evasive, vitriolic and just plain rude exchanges with the media.
The guy refused to ever admit there were problems, said that "…..one goes to war with what one has" and predicted, along with the vice president, that U.S. troops would be showered by flowers and greeted as liberators by Iraqi citizens. But, hey, that was then and this is now. Like Mel Gibson, Michael Richards and other "celebs" who have shot themselves in the foot (sorry for the quail-hunting analogy), Rummy can afford to just sit back and wait for the dust to settle. Happily for him, he has tons of options in the short-term future. He can do absolutely nothing (unlikely). He can go on the lecture circuit a la Messrs Welch, Clinton and Giuliani, and pull down a cool $100k per session (possible). Or, he can pen his memoirs for a huge, multi-million dollar fee and do a media tour of the morning talk shows (probable).
Either way, Rummy is sitting pretty. He may have left behind a car wreck of a situation in Iraq that could take years, if not decades, to correct. But, even his most ardent supporters should keep their handkerchiefs warm and dry. Rummy will be back (and better than ever).