THE BLOG
05/19/2005 08:14 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

IRAQ: Remember, Rummy Admitted He Doesn't Know What Success Is

Arianna correctly points out that today"s New York Times story on Iraq is, by far, the most important news out there today (you might not know it from the Beltway media's masturbatory hyperventilating about the filibuster fight). The key segment of the article quotes a military officer saying "the success of American goals in Iraq was not assured." He said, "I think that this could still fail."

This is really bad news for our country on a number of levels. The only good news is that at least rank-and-file officers are willing to be honest with Americans where the Bush administration has made an art out of lying. From early on, however, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld indicated that we were going to be lied to about all of this. As he said at his confirmation hearing in on January 11, 2001:

"How would you characterize what success is? When you've done something, how do you know when you've done it that you've done what you went in to do, and what is success, and what's your exit strategy? When does it end? Is there some point where it's over, or is it interminable?"

Let me repeat this: America's Secretary of Defense is unclear about what success is, and how to know if a military engagement accomplished its goals. This is the same Secretary of Defense who led America into a war in the Middle East. Knowing that, are we really surprised that things aren't going so well over in Iraq? And knowing that he doesn't appear to even understand what an "exit strategy" is, do we really expect American troops to be home anytime soon?