Rumsfeld Career Ending in Ignominy of Iraq

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History seems to be in a hurry to judge Donald H. Rumsfeld.

And despite his half century in public service, a defense secretary who served three presidents and oversaw two wars is being sized up not by the long reach of his career but by its ending - the body slam of Iraq.

With an eye on his legacy, Rumsfeld asked to be judged by the extraordinary nature of today's threat, like none that has come before.

``There's no road map, no guidebook,'' he said. ``The hope has to be - not perfection - but that most decisions, with the perspective of time, will turn out to be the right ones and that the perspective of history will judge the overwhelming majority of those decisions favorably.''

In the early going, the assessment is harsh.

Ex-generals asserted he was a failure months before his continued service became untenable, an extraordinary airing of protest. Then came a clamor from Democrats and some Republicans for President Bush to show the door to a man who leaves the Pentagon on Monday after nearly six years on the job....

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