Speaking of Which: Donald Rumsfeld

I just finished watching The Unknown Known, a documentary about Donald Rumfeld. Particularly ,it is concerned with his involvement with the war in Iraq.

It cannot be missed that I, the viewer, am supposed to be struck by the irony of Rumsfeld’s statements. Several times Rumsfeld finishes saying something, and the camera just sits there on his face, as if waiting for realization to dawn upon him that he’s said something either incredibly foolish or contradictory to an earlier explanation. In my opinion, the documentarist failed. Before I watched the film I didn’t like or agree with Rumsfeld, but afterwards I did.

If I were to pinpoint the moment, it was when Rumsfeld explains that the goal of invading Iraq was to redraw the map of the Middle East. The documentarists visually oblige his wishes by showing a map of the Middle east blowing apart; country from country, and sect from sect. It’s supposed to look very daunting, but it must be said that if, in fact, that was the plan then it is proceeding according to pace and that sectarian violence in the Middle East could be beneficial to the US in two ways.

  1. They’re now fighting each other.
  2. European countries are no longer getting national defense and international influence at a deep discount. They could have joined us in subjugating the Middle East, but instead they nagged us about petty indiscretions in a time and place of war. Together, at our side, the US and Europe could have crushed all hope of a caliphate, but they didn’t and now the Middle East is at their doorstep and with the caliphate on its mind. This will force the European communities’ hands to mount their own defense instead hanging back and haranguing the US for “doing it wrong”

How many more steps ahead of us are guys like Rumsfeld, and why in the world am I allowed to vote?

25 thoughts on “Speaking of Which: Donald Rumsfeld

  1. The problem goes back to the Bible where our Lord said to count the cost BEFORE starting. We didn’t. First, we stovepiped intelligence, fake yellowcake documents, etc. so we could have a pretext for invading Iraq and overthrowing Saddam (And Iran and Iraq conveniently were fighting with each other for years until we intervened – we had this internecine war before we went in). The second part of the sale was it was going to be a “cakewalk” although we were already in a quagmire in Afghanistan. Then it was Bush with “Mission Accomplished” – when the only thing left was chaos. There is an ebook, but all the articles from an expert on the type of war and enemy we faced is at http://www.military.com/Opinions/0,,Lind_Index,00.html – William S Lind. He now writes at traditionalright.com. But he chronicled every stupid mistake, every misstep. His general point is we can do more if there is a state – even an evil dictator like Saddam Hussein – than the chaos of stateless warfare.

    Saddam could control the factions, even if brutally and the Christians were safe. Now we have the Islamist of the month club – ISIS, Al Queda, whatever, which we are both bombing and sending aid depending on which part of the map they are in.

    Same with Quadaffi. Even the Taliban wanted to turn over Osama. Syria is about to fall. These aren’t leaving different states when they fall, with better or worse leadership. They are leaving no state, no center of power, just hundreds of factions each having their different ideas.

    Are the Christians in the Middle east from Syria through Iraq and Egypt better off for Rumsfeld having shattered things – but without insuring he could build or rebuild something on the rubble? Burning down a house might force an evacuation, but that doesn’t rebuild the house we want on the ashes. Right now we just have a pile of ashes, the fire spread to the neighbors, and is still spreading.

    Voices like Pat Buchanan warned that would happen. We couldn’t – even with Europe – subjugate the middle east. Even Ronald Reagan, after the marine barracks bombing, left Lebanon because he realized “these people are crazy”.

    The VA isn’t even treating the combat wounded veterans. Love Rumsfield, hate the veterans. The cost was a trillion dollars, Love Rumsfield, hate any fiscal sanity or responsibility. I could go on, but a pipe dream plan that wouldn’t or couldn’t be seen to completion, but the first part destroying the existing stable structure was the only thing to accomplish was a terrible evil. And we are paying the price of his folly, not him.

    Also realize ISIS is coming here and is already here with our porous borders.

    Republics are better than tyrants, but stable tyrants are better than chaos.

  2. This is comical. That makes no sense. N Korea blows up San F, and we invade Mexico? If indeed those terrorists were in those planes, they were Saudis… Why did we invade Iraq? Why not destablize starting with Saudi’s since the terrorists were from there?

  3. I’m not endorsing Rumsfeld or his plan, and I wonder if he even got his way. I simply don’t have enough information.

    However, in the spirit of this investigation…tz said:

    Right now we just have a pile of ashes, the fire spread to the neighbors, and is still spreading.

    and jeff said:

    If indeed those terrorists were in those planes, they were Saudis… Why did we invade Iraq? Why not destablize starting with Saudi’s since the terrorists were from there?

    They’re all busy now, aren’t they? Any large scale terrorist attacks from anyone since Iraq and Afghanistan disintegrated? Is there any advantage to fighting 100 weak and disparate enemies; versus six or seven coordinated enemies?

    N Korea blows up San F, and we invade Mexico?

    Why are you assuming that direct retaliation is always the sensible thing to do?

  4. The commander in chief is first and foremost the leader in protecting the U.S. and it’s inhabitants, and along with that to keep his oath to follow the constitution.

    I use to be a die hard conservative republican. As a 29 year old sitting in front of the TV with my 2 year old in my lap I watched the 2nd tower get hit, which I thought was a replay, then watched as they some how collapsed. I wanted nothing more than revenge when I heard it was a terrorist attack. I was a very new born again christian who trusted our government.

    How did Silverstein “pull” WTC7? How was it possible for him to say it was already a loss and to just “pull” it to have it collapse? Have you ever looked into what was on the 23rd floor of the WTC7?

    I am in no way a conspiracy nut. I have several businesses and an intact family and am a God fearing church goer. Something nefarious is going on in this world as the bible states… principalities of good and evil that we do not know of. If you believe this world will get better than good for you. If, however you know it’s going to get worse than you start to see the destruction of not only this country, but the world.

    How could we get into the middle east and make it look as someone else is to blame and we “had” to go into the middle east?

    How many Iraqis on those planes? How many Afghanis on those planes?

    Rumsfield and Bush stated going after anyone who supports, finances and harbors terrorists… How many bombs have we dropped in Saudi Arabia?

    As of now I do not feel (nor in the past including 9/11) a threat personally from any terrorist/s. I do however fear for my life walking on an inner city street in the middle of the night. Is that not local/domestic terror? Would Rumi’s wife feel safe doing the same?

    The Elites want a NWO, something I had never heard of and now understand. I was 16 years old when Bush Sr. was running for office. I cannot believe I was handing out buttons and stickers on Halloween for him and Quayle. May God have mercy on those who perpetrate war for their own gain without provocation from a real threat…. using our money and resources for what?

  5. Cane Caldo,

    Direct retaliation? Japan bombs Pearl Harbor and we….. attack Spain? No we openly declared war and attacked Japan and finished what we got into.

    What was it 17 of the 19 were Saudis? Bush says we’ll go after those who harbor? Bomb Saudis…

    Did you want another Veitnam? That is what we have. Why in the world would you not go directly to the source?

    After dropping the A-bombs, the entire world took notice. They were like Holy $h!+! Don’t F— with America.

    You A-bomb Saudi, and everyone goes… Holy $h!+ and doesn’t F— with us, the end.

  6. If you want a loooooooooong drawn out “conflict” (not war), you do what Bush and Rumsfield did.

    You want to protect and defend, lesson chaos and blood shed you attack full force and end it.

    A bully pushes you around, you don’t hit the next kid you see. You take it to the bully directly and others stop and think….

    As Americans, we have a moral compass and the ability to be the biggest guy on the block.


    You are smarter than I, know more and probably studied more than I, so no argument from me. I just can’t get 5 from 2+2, and a close friend who was a SEAL can’t make sense of it either.

  7. @Jeff

    I just can’t get 5 from 2+2, and a close friend who was a SEAL can’t make sense of it either.

    You and I probably have a lot of sentiments in common. I’ve said the things you’ve written in these comments. This post is an exercise in putting sentiments aside and just trying to “see”; trying to make some sense of these things.

    Starting with the proposition that Rumsfeld was central to American policy for decades because he was in or around the White House. That means he had to be strategically savvy to stay inside that circle–through every Republican administration from Nixon to Bush Jr.!

    Here’s another example. You said:

    Japan bombs Pearl Harbor and we….. attack Spain?

    Actually, we went to war with Germany. We put Japan on the back burner. That fact gets collapsed, and at some point we began teaching children that Pearl Harbor justifies D-Day, and no one bats an eye.

    I believe the D-Day invasion was the right thing to do. The fact remains that the shores of France and the shores of Japan are on completely different oceans, and yet the strategy worked.

  8. How did Silverstein “pull” WTC7? How was it possible for him to say it was already a loss and to just “pull” it to have it collapse? Have you ever looked into what was on the 23rd floor of the WTC7?

    I am in no way a conspiracy nut.

    I doubt that you are a nut. But you cannot state paragraph one then disclaim affinity for conspiracy.

  9. @seneca

    Stability? The mid-east?

    Perhaps that was exactly Rumsfeld’s thoughts as well. “Stability” sounds nice, though, and “instability” sounds bad. So, even if (and I’m just imagining here) his idea was to create instability, he wouldn’t be able to say that. His own team of conservatives (me, Jeff…lots of us) would have harrumphed him right off the platform–even if it was the best strategy, and even though our idea of “stability” in fact means letting guys like the Butcher of Baghdad run wild in the hope that they control the jihadis. They were failing, and so maybe Rumsfeld thinks the instability of in-fighting will maintain ourstability. I’m not saying Rummy thought these things, but it’s possible and it makes sense of what otherwise seems somewhat senseless to me.

    The point is: Anyone would have to maintain the rhetoric of “stability” to get staunch guys like us to go for it; even if the goal is actually instability for the other guy. We would have to be allowed to think whatever fits our sentiments as long as we go along.

  10. IF you don’t understand that Rumsfeld is evil, there is little reason to comment further. Here is a guy that ramrodded aspartame into the food supply for no reason other than profit – in the process, slowly poisoning an entire generation of Americans – aspartame is in almost everything these days, even protein powder! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aspartame_controversy#U.S._FDA_approval … given what we have recently found out about drug trials, it seems even more likely that Rumsfeld as CEO of Searle was culpable.

  11. @Paddy


    I don’t claim to know whether Rumsfeld is good or evil. Nothing in the post or the comments should be construed as pro-Rumsfeld except in the sense that I’m saying there are reasons to believe that he was not simply incompetent; that (good or evil) it is possible that he wasn’t acting in utter ignorance; a view demonstrated above by tz and jeff in comments above and by me in the past. You’ve added another bit of evidence to say that Rumsfeld excels at winning.

    Maybe you’re right and maybe he should be strung up for both Iraq and aspartame. I don’t have the knowledge to make that call. The last line of my post is:

    How many more steps ahead of us are guys like Rumsfeld, and why in the world am I allowed to vote?

    That’s not an endorsement.

  12. Thanks for your welcome and your even-handed response.

    The plan to destroy various countries in the Middle East appears to have been written long before the events of September 11, 2001. Those conspiracy nut wackos who talked about Iraq, Syria, Lybia etc. all being on a “hit list” have certainly been justified by recent events…

    Maybe evil only appears to have greater competence. It is easier, after all, to destroy a building than to construct one.

  13. D-Day was necessary at that point, but I am very sympathetic to the view that we should have let Hitler and Stalin beat each others brains out more.

    Few people think about how bad Stalin (our buddy at the time) was. He did as much or more damage to people than Hitler, especially after the war.

  14. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/09/27) | The Reactivity Place

  15. @BradA
    That would mean a greater part of Europe, especially Germany, to be ‘liberated’ by Soviets, falling under their rule as a result.

  16. A WWII-related joke I heard the other day (probably stolen from someone’s routine):

    People always talk about how bad Hitler was, but you gotta give him some credit. After all: At least he killed Hitler.

  17. I was against both Iraq wars from the very beginning. Rumsfeld sounds like someone who is too smart for their own good. I have heard his line of reasoning before: that keeping the Mideast embroiled in sectarian squabbles somehow benefits the US. Just wondering whether the slaughter of thousands of Christians and destruction of their ancient communities was part of the plan? What about the importation of hundreds of thousands – even millions – of completely unassimilable Muslim “refugees” into the US and Europe? Was that also part of Rumsfeld’s plan? Acceptable collateral damage, I suppose.

  18. The Neocon strategy has always been “invade the world, invite the world.” It makes no sense. Perhaps there is some justice in the fact that the pussy European countries that get a free ride on our defense budget but never help us are now gonna be forced to pay for their own defense against the invaders from the Middle East. But we have open borders, too. We shot ourselves in the foot. That is what the Neocons in the Bush administration were stupid about.

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