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After Rummy folds, bet on Gates

Nov. 17, 2006

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Ben Humeniuk/Lariat Staff
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STAFF EDITORIAL

When President Bush announced the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld a day after the elections, Americans across the country heaved a big sigh of relief.

But others wondered why it took shaking up congressional control to get the White House to make a move on Rummy.

Was the public's overwhelmingly negative attitude on the war not enough to think a new strategy should be implemented?

This change, largely a result of the Election Day shift to the Democrats, gives hope to the election process and offers encouragement that when citizens don't like what's happening in their country's government, they let their representatives know. And if they don't listen, they vote them out of office.

As recent as Nov. 1 Bush said that Rumsfeld was "doing a fantastic job, and I strongly support (him)."

Seven days later he was announcing Rumsfeld's departure.

Bush's swift nomination of Robert Gates, former head of the CIA and current president of our neighboring school, Texas A&M University, will hopefully patch our open wound of anger, confusion and uncertainty about the war in Iraq.

Americans showed at the polls they weren't satisfied with the status quo. Rumsfeld might have essentially poisoned the water of his fellow Republicans during his six years as secretary of defense. We can only hope that Gates can provide the antidote.

What America needs from Gates is not a fresh face in office, but a fresh strategy for the war in Iraq. Gates has a varied past that will hopefully give us an edge in the war on terror.

Our motto for the war has been "Stay the course." With Gates now in charge, let's say, "Don't stay the course." Change up the course. Make a new path on the course. Who cares about the course? Just do what's right. A change in leadership was vital to our continued success.