Saturday, November 11, 2006

Christopher Hitchens on the Fall of Donald Rumsfeld

From his Mirror (UK) article, The Man Who Would Not Listen:
Is it only five years since the society columns in Washington were describing Donald Rumsfeld as “hot”, and printing stories about how ladies of a certain age wanted his phone number?

The aplomb he displayed during the campaign in Afghanistan, and the way he seemed to enjoy his press conferences, were just the tonic that the country appeared to need after the humiliation and panic of 11 September.

It didn’t hurt that the Secretary of Defence had been seen in his shirt-sleeves, helping direct rescue operations after a plane ploughed into the Pentagon.

As the Taliban fled and Afghans greeted American soldiers as liberators, the escape of Osama bin-Laden was a detail that could be taken care of later, and “Rummy” seemed able to do no wrong.

By this month, it seemed not only that he could do nothing right, but that everything that had gone wrong was his fault.