Donald Rumsfeld

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Rumsfeld famously shook hands with Saddam Hussein in 1983, illustrating the fact that Hussein was supported by the United States two decades before it was decided that he was a threat to US security.

About

Donald Rumsfeld was the 21st United States Secretary of Defense from January 20, 2001 to November 8, 2006, under President George W. Bush" [W], and as such was a member of the 2000-2007 US Presidential Administration.

He also served in this same capacity under President Gerald Ford in 1975-77.

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  • 2014-05-29 [L..T] [[2014/05/29/Bush counterterrorism czar: Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld all committed war crimes|]]

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  • 2009-04-02 [Talk|Index] Fake Faith and Epic Crimes § “Spain’s celebrated Judge Baltasar Garzon, who indicted Pinochet and the leaders of the Argentinian military junta, has called for George W. Bush, Blair and former Spanish prime minister Jose Maria Aznar to be prosecuted for the invasion of Iraq — "one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history: a devastating attack on the rule of law" that had left the UN "in tatters." He said, "There is enough of an argument in 650,000 deaths for this investigation to start without delay."”
  • 2008-05-14 [Talk|Index] Rummy and the Generals for Hire § “This President's pretty much a victim of success. We haven't had an attack in five years. The perception of the threat is so low in this society that it's not surprising that the behavior pattern reflects a low threat assessment. ... The correction for that, I suppose, is an attack.”
  • 2006-04-16 [Talk|Index] A General Misunderstanding § A defense of Rumsfeld by one of his former generals: “...that doesn't mean that a "What's next?" plan didn't exist. It did; it was known as Phase IV of the overall operation. General Franks drafted it and the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the State Department, the Pentagon, the Treasury Department and all members of the Cabinet had input. It was thoroughly "war-gamed" by the Joint Chiefs.”

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Quotes by

There's something about the body politic in the United States that they can accept the enemy killing innocent men, women and children and cutting off people's heads, but have zero tolerance for some soldier who does something he shouldn't do.
– Donald Rumsfeld, July, 2006 [1]

This idea, i.e. that it's somehow biased or unfair to hold our own forces accountable to any higher standards than those to which we hold the enemy, has been widely propagated in neocon circles. The obvious answer is something like "Well of course people can accept that in the enemy and not in our own troops – that's why they're the enemy! We're supposed to be the good guys! If we're no better than they are, then why does it even matter which side wins?" Claiming or implying that the US shouldn't be held to higher standards than those of our enemies is basically an immoral stance; it denies any moral grounds for doing battle other than an "Us vs. Them" mentality, and implies that we should continue to do battle even if we are not clearly in the right. (I mean, is this not blindingly obvious to anyone except a politician? Do we need a page for further discussion of this idea?)

Addendum: This is an example of the more general statement "don't criticize the good guys": don't criticize Christianity, criticize Islam! Don't criticize the US when we act barbaric; criticize our barbaric enemies! And so on.

Quotes about

The man who oversaw our humiliation in not one but two catastrophic Asian land wars, who supported Saddam for decades till the maniac slipped his leash, who participated in the incredible Blunder of 1991, who later perceived Saddam bulging with hair-trigger WMDs, who suppressed military counsel about troop levels, who confidently predicted we would be greeted by the Iraqi people with "kisses and flowers," who sanctioned torture, who declared "mission accomplished" while predicting a short happy transition to peace and democracy in Iraq, who oversaw the worst decline in our state of readiness in generations and has alienated most of the Officer Corps and most of our allies...

...now appears to be claiming (without offering a scintilla of evidence) that he is such a superior manager of our nation's defense that there are no possible replacements. None at all. Not even from the pool of experienced and well-respected conservatives.