Some of the better points scored by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld in his speech Monday before the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. See his full speech here.
“What is needed is resolve, not retreat; courage, not concession. Rather than thinking in terms of an exit strategy, we should be focused on a strategy for success.
Quitting is not a strategy. Quitting is an invitation to more attacks and more terrorist violence here at home.
Many reporters in Afghanistan and Iraq have done excellent reporting, and some have lost their lives.
[But] (s)peed, it appears, is often the first goal–not accuracy, not context.
I understand that there may be great pressure on them to tell a dramatic story. And while it is easy to use a bombing or a terrorist attack to support a belief that Iraq is a failure, that is not the accurate picture. And further, it is not good journalism.
Consider this: You couldn’t tell the full story of Iwo Jima simply by listing the nearly 26,000 American casualties over about 40 days; or explain the importance of Grant’s push to Virginia just by noting the savagery of the battles. So too, in Iraq, it is appropriate to note not only how many Americans have been killed–and may God bless them and their families–but what they died for–or more accurately, what they lived for.
Further it is worth noting that there are 158,000 Americans in uniform who are sending e-mails back to friends and families, telling them the truth as they see it. And much of it is different than what those in the United States are seeing and reading about every day.
But to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, we are all Republicans. We are all Democrats. We are all Americans. We are all in this together. And what we do today will not only impact us, but our children and our grandchildren, and the kind of world they will live in.