Rice-Rumsfeld: Peace is at Hand

Condoleezza Rice and Senator Joseph Biden appeared on Face the Nation Sunday. Rice was spinning how well the plan to turn over Iraq’s security was going, but Biden basically called her and Sec. Rumsfeld liars.

Rice: It’s not going to happen. The Iraqi security forces are being built and built quickly. They performed very well in Najaf.

Biden: The secretary–I mean, look, I am kind of dumbfounded by what Dr. Rice said and what, for example, the–Secretary Rumsfeld said on Friday. He said again we’ve got 95,000 trained Iraqi forces now, down from the 200 he said we had trained nine months ago. In fact not—to the best of my knowledge, in my trips there recently, my staff trips there just a couple weeks ago, talking to General Patrias, not one single solitary Iraqi policeman has completed the 24- week training course on the ground. They continue to mislead the American people about the state of affairs. And it’s incredibly, incredibly, incredibly dangerous.

SCHIEFFER: Well, would you just say, in concise language here, do you think–Dr. Rice says no, it’s not the case, but do you believe, and is it your analysis that the situation is worse now than it was in June when we handed over sovereignty?

Sen. BIDEN: It clearly is worse now, but it has more potential if, in fact, the president will lead and implement the UN resolution…And the question was asked, what is the military policy? You know, Fallujah is in good shape? Najaf is in good shape? What are we talking about?

Why would Dr. Rice and Sec. Rumsfeld be so dishonest about the situation in Iraq? Maybe the 1968 and 1972 campaigns provide one clue. Richard Nixon’s 1968 campaign emphasized “Peace with Honor” but in October 1972, the Indochina situation was a disaster. Yet, Nixon had his Secretary of State tell the nation “Peace is at Hand”.

If the American people know the real situation in Iraq today is a disaster, Bush-Cheney ’04 will not turn out as well as the Nixon bid to gain reelection. So if Rice and Rumsfeld view their jobs as supporting the political goals of Karl Rove, how can they be honest? If Rice and Rumsfeld, on the other hand, see their jobs as serving the national security interests of the American people, why have they not yet resigned from this White House?