Apparently Rumsfeld has been chosen as the fall guy for Iraq, as this piece by Martin Sieff, “UPI Senior News Analyst” shows:
“Even worse for Rumsfeld and his coterie of neo-conservative true believers who have run the Pentagon for the past 3½ years, three major institutions in the Washington power structure have decided that after almost a full presidential term of being treated with contempt and abuse by them, it’s payback time.
Those three institutions are: The United States Army, the Central Intelligence Agency and the old, relatively moderate but highly experienced Republican leadership in the United States Senate.”
You can add a fourth basically-conservative institution to the anti-Rumsfeld list: the UPI, which is owned by Rev. Moon. As I understand, UPI is mostly a simple news-dissemination organization, and doesn’t normally do opinion like this. (Sieff is defnitely right-wing — he was originally from the Washington Times and has written for the National Review.)
It looks to me as if the neocons will be thrown overboard to try to save the Bush Presidency. It seems unlikely to me that anyone will abandon Bush himself, though Kerry has really done nothing to make it impossible for Sens. Hagel and Lugar (or other rational conservatives) to support him.
P.S. Correspondents have notified me that Sieff also has written for Salon, and that he’s been critical of Bush for over a year. The recognizable names in a “UPI columnist” Google are hard-right paleocons such as Joe Sobran and Ann Coulter, and some of them have apparently been critical of the Iraq adventure all along.