My response to this was:
"So, how is this not blaming the soldiers?!"
Well, apparently General Anthony Zinni, former commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East, felt the same way about Rice's statement. In fact, he said that Donald Rumsfeld should resign for his failures.
ZINNI: We just heard the Secretary of State say these were tactical mistakes. These were not tactical mistakes. These were strategic mistakes, mistakes of policies made back here. Don't blame the troops. They're the ones that perform the tactics on the ground. They’ve been magnificent. If anything saves us, it will be them. . .
RUSSERT: Should someone resign?
ZINNI: Secretary of Defense to begin with.
RUSSERT: Anyone else?
ZINNI: Well, I think that those that have been responsible for the planning, for overriding all the efforts that were made in planning before that, that those that stood by and allowed this to happen that didn’t speak out . . . I think they have to be held accountable.
The point is, those that are in power now that have been part of this are finding that their time is spent defending the past. And if they have to defend the past, they’re unable to make the kinds of changes, adjustments, admit to mistakes and move on. And that’s where we are now, trying to rewrite history, defend the past. Ridiculous statements that well, wait 20 years and history will tell you how this turns out. Well, I don’t think anybody wants 20 years to continue like it is now.
If you ask me, Zinni would make an excellent replacement for Rumsfeld.