Along with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, it’s hard to imagine anyone with less credibility in fighting the war on terror than Donald Rumsfeld. But his botched invasion under false pretenses, along with other missteps and misstatements were conveniently overlooked as Fox News recast him as an elder statesman on terrorism who should teach President Obama a thing or two.
Rumsfeld got nearly 13 minutes to lecture President Obama and rehab his own image:
RUMSFELD: An Islamist has a desire to impose their will over others, and they’re attacking the very concept of the nation state, and they try to punish people, we see it not just Christians, but Jews as well, and the desecration of churches and graveyards, beheading people. …The idea that we can just sit back and let it happen and think it will go away – it won’t go away. It will grow and build until we go out and deal with them in a very forceful way, I’m afraid.
Host Neil Cavuto feigned balance by mentioning that “many people” blame Rumsfeld for Americans’ lack of appetite for more war. But Cavuto never mentioned why so many blame Rumsfeld and the “question” was little more than an opening for more Rummy Rehab.
CAVUTO: All these many years later, Secretary, as you know, the temperament for a protracted struggle or even an engaged campaign against ISIS just isn’t there, and many people blame you. Many people blame President Bush. What do you say to them that you have soured Americans on the notion of an extended battle against terror?”
Rumsfeld took the bait:
RUMSFELD: …It’s just going to take time for people to accept the reality that what we’re engaged in here is not World War I, it’s not World War II. We’re engaged in a protracted struggle against radical Islamists and the important thing is, we need to acknowledge it, we need to face it, and we need to accept it.
…I think the United States government, over a good number of years now, has been rather inept in dealing with this problem from an ideological standpoint.
It was decent of Rummy not to say exactly how many of those “good number of years” that the government has been “rather inept” at dealing with terrorism, though he was clearly implying ineptitude under Obama. But it’s hard to think of what could be more inept foreign policy than his Bush administration's invasion of Iraq under false pretenses and destabilizing the country and paving the way for sectarianism and terrorism. Besides that, there was the ineptitude of Rumsfeld’s overly rosy predictions about the invasion, his underestimation of its costs and failure to take personal responsibility for assurances that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.
Of course, Cavuto didn’t remind any of the viewers of that not-very-flattering-to-Republicans bit of history. Instead, he promoted the idea of Rumsfeld as wise leader: “Let me get a sense of what you would do? …If Republicans were in charge, …what would you do differently that we’re not seeing now?”
”We can’t nation build,” Rumsfeld said. Even though that’s exactly what we did in Iraq. “…So what do we do about it? Well, we’re good at intelligence, we’re good at special operations, we’re good at supporting and training other countries,” Rumsfeld said.
Rumsfeld also whined, “I can’t imagine a month that’s taken place since this administration’s been in office that they haven’t found some way to blame George Bush for something.”
When Cavuto noted that Rumsfeld gets blamed, too, and asked if it bothers him, Rumsfeld came up with another whopper: “It’s not constructive or useful to do it. I try to avoid doing it.”
Rumsfeld said he tries to avoid being too critical of both his predecessors and successors because he didn’t “walk in their shoes.”
Of course, he meant that as another criticism of the Obama administration
Watch the whitewashing of history below, from yesterday’s Your World.
That takes a whole lotta balls. Screw you Rummy.