Saturday, June 21, 2003

Can you feel the love?

Donald Rumsfeld and former Army Chief of Staff Eric Shinseki have never liked each other, with the two men clashing during the past two years over the Army's budget and future weapons systems. Rumsfeld's in-your-face approach rankled Shinseki, a quiet general who tried not to make waves. The general was even publicly rebuked by Rumsfeld's staff for telling Congress it might take hundreds of thousands of troops to secure post-Saddam Iraq, a prediction that looks ever more correct. Well, Shinseki's retirement ceremony last week was no time to bury the hatchet. During his speech, Shinseki spent 20 minutes listing all the people who had helped the Army during his tenure, including the large congressional delegation that came to the ceremony. Rumsfeld's name wasn't mentioned once. Shinseki even took a jab, talking about "arrogance of power" being the worst substitute for true leadership. All the feelings, it seems, are mutual: No one from Rumsfeld's staff showed up to bid the general farewell.