"Defense boss has few friends left"
Several high-profile former military officers have called for Rumsfeld's resignation, including a number of retired generals who led troops in Iraq. More recently, Rumsfeld was harangued by the Alaskan families of soldiers whose tours in Iraq were extended for four more months of combat duty in Baghdad.
In an interview during his flight to Fairbanks, Rumsfeld told The Associated Press he saw no reason for the soldiers or their families to be angry at him.
"These people are volunteers," he told reporters Saturday. "They all signed up. They all are there doing what they're doing because they want to."
Rumsfeld's admirers adore such frankness, but it doesn't sit well with everyone. Among the immediate critics of Rumsfeld's comments about the recently extended soldiers was Karen Meredith, of Mountain View, Calif., whose son Kenneth Ballard was killed in Iraq in May 2004.
"This arrogant, pathetic excuse of a man has once again disrespected and shown how little he regards the military that he supposedly leads," Meredith
wrote in her blog, ''Gold Star Mom Speaks Out.''