The AP reports: “Rumsfeld visits troops in Mosul base.” According to the story:
U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld visited wounded soldiers and brought holiday greetings on Christmas Eve amid tight security at an air base in northern Iraq where an insurgent’s attack killed 14 U.S. troops and eight other people earlier this week.
Hoping to demonstrate compassion for soldiers’ sacrifices, Rumsfeld landed in darkness and walked immediately from his plane to a combat surgical hospital where many of the bombing victims were treated after Tuesday’s lunchtime attack on a mess tent. The most seriously wounded already have been transferred to a U.S. military hospital in Germany.
Out of concern for security, Rumsfeld’s aides went to unusual lengths to keep his visit a secret prior to his arrival, with only a few reporters and one TV crew accompanying him on an overnight flight from Washington.
In an interview aboard the C-17 cargo plane that brought him to Mosul, Rumsfeld said he’d been planning to visit U.S. troops here long before the deadly attack Tuesday, believed to have been carried out by a homicide bomber.
“The focus of the trip is to thank the troops and wish them a Merry Christmas,” he said.
Does anyone wonder why Secretary Rumsfeld is popular with the troops? And while we’re on the subject, we may as well suggest a visit with Victor Davis Hanson while he makes the case for Rumsfeld: “Leave Rumsfeld be.”