As the Washington Post article states, “He declared that the insurgents would, henceforth, no longer be called insurgents.”
So, with what he called an epiphany, Rumsfeld has decided that these groups do not deserve the legitimacy that calling them insurgents granted them. However, the organizations are there. Simply changing what we call them will not change the way they operate, nor the way we need to react to them. I’m glad he feels proud of this accomplishment, but really, what does it prove? Nothing, if you’re looking for a change in our operations (or theirs). These groups are not going to think “We’re no longer ‘insurgents’, so we can’t do certain things anymore. They don’t play by any rules but their own, and certainly aren’t going to notice a little thing like an alteration of what we call them.
Rumsfeld also seems to have forgotten that if there’s going to be an actual name change, people should be informed:
“Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Peter Pace, standing at Rumsfeld's side, evidently didn't get the memo about the wording change. Describing combat in Iraq, he paused and said, "I have to use the word 'insurgent' because I can't think of a better word right now."”
" 'Enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government' -- how's that?" Rumsfeld proposed”
Even with this new name given to the former insurgents, the General forgot and called them by their old name again during his speech.
The article goes on to discuss Rumsfeld’s shortcomings as defense secretary. There are other ways in which he has attempted to change rules to suit his views, and they were not followed, either. If his strategy involves changing names and not really understanding what is going on in Iraq,
( “When Aldinger protested that the question was not hypothetical, Rumsfeld replied that Iraq is "a sovereign country" and suggested the death-squad allegations could be politically motivated. "I just don't know," he said. "I can only talk about what I know." With an exaggerated shrug, he added: "That's life."”)
perhaps it is time we get someone in the position who will pay attention to the important aspects of what is actually occurring on the ground, rather than agonizing over what we should call the enemy.