The “Genius” of Donald Rumsfeld
Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld criticized President Obama’s diplomacy, saying a “trained ape” could do a better job.
In an interview with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren, Rumsfeld said that relations with Afghan President Hamid Karzai had gone “downhill like a toboggan” under the current president, even though the Bush administration’s ties with the Afghan leader had been “first rate.”
This administration, the White House and the State Department, have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It does not take a genius.
This is the same man – the genius – who, as George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense, badly mismanaged the ill-advised war against Iraq.
Rumsfeld has been widely condemned as incompetent. Eight retired generals and admirals called for Rumsfeld to resign in early 2006 in what was called the “Generals’ Revolt,” accusing him of “abysmal” military planning and lack of strategic competence.
Senator John McCain has been among Rumsfeld’s harshest critics, saying in 2007:
I think that Donald Rumsfeld will go down in history as one of the worst secretaries of defense in history.
We are paying a very heavy price for the mismanagement of Donald Rumsfeld of this war. The price is very, very heavy and I regret it enormously.
As tragic and misguided as Rumsfeld’s management of the War with Iraq was, and it was tragic, that is only part of the legacy of Donald Rumsfeld.
For back in December 1983, during the Iran-Iraq War, special presidential envoy Donald Rumsfeld held a meeting with Saddam Hussein that led to the normalization of ties between Washington and Baghdad.
According to the Washington Post, a review of government documents revealed that the administrations of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush both authorized providing Iraq with intelligence and logistical support, including the sale of anthrax and bubonic plague.
According to a 2002 CBS News report, Congressional investigations after the Gulf War revealed that the Commerce Department had licensed sales of biological agents, including anthrax and insecticides, which could be used in chemical weapons, to Iraq.
Donald Rumsfeld’s fingerprints are all over American foreign policy, as a member of Congress from 1962 to 1969 and service in the administrations of Presidents Nixon, Ford, Reagan and George W. Bush. And we are all the poorer for it.