Rumsfeld: Syria Attack Not Justified

From the Department of Extraordinary Chutzpah comes a report that Donald Rumsfeld — Donald F’ing Rumsfeld, for crying out loud — says that Obama hasn’t made the case for bombing Syria. The Guinness Book of World Records is investigating to see if this tops Bryan Fischer’s previous record for obliviousness to both reality and irony.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who ushered the U.S. into wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2001 and 2003, said the Obama administration has not clearly justified an attack on Syria.

“One thing that is very interesting, it seems to me, is that there really hasn’t been any indication from the administration as to what our national interest is with respect to this particular situation,” Rumsfeld said in an interview with Fox News’s Neil Cavuto.

He’s right, of course, but coming from the guy who lied repeatedly to justify going into Iraq? The guy who said that Eric Shinseki was “wildly off the mark” when he said the invasion would cost a couple hundred billion dollars (and he was, but in the other direction)? The guy who said we’d be greeted as heroes and would be in and out in a matter of weeks? Yeah, you should really just shut the fuck up, Rumsfeld.

Comments

  1. dingojack says

    No Ed clearly, in this case, ol’ Rummy is right.
    Here there really are WMD.
    (Wouldn’t want any visting chickenhawks to get so much as a hangnail would we?)
    @@
    Dingo

  2. John Pieret says

    Phantom “weapons of mass destruction” was enough to put a hundred thousand+ boots on the ground in Iraq but confirmed chemical weapons use isn’t enough to lob some cruise missles? Wanna bet what his reaction would have been if President Romney wanted to do the same. F’ing is too kind an epithet.

  3. Nice Ogress says

    Doubting Thomas has hit the nail on the head. There’s ‘no reason to go to war in Syria’ because There’s nothing there we want. The instant someone finds a resource worth exploiting there, we’ll start hearing the howls of soggy outrage about the terrible human rights issues and why aren’t we bombing them already?

    Could the base venality of the Republican war engine be any more obvious?

  4. colnago80 says

    Re Doubting Thomas @ #6

    Actually, Syria does have some oil, enough to cover domestic demand with a small amount left over for export. However, it’s pretty small beer as the Middle East goes. Hardly worth going to war over.

  5. Artor says

    Syria doesn’t have a large amount of oil, but it DOES have a route from many oil-producing regions to the Mediterranean. I have a vision of a big pipeline in Syria’s future…

  6. reinderdijkhuis says

    I’ve been waffling on the issue like, I suppose, everyone else, but the Rumsfeld Is Always Wrong principle is an unusually strong and clear argument in favor of military action in Syria.

    Not, surprisingly, a clincher. I’m still waffling. But a strong argument none the less.

  7. says

    The ReiKKKwing Whinemachine is going on about how Putin is punkin’ Obamandingo. Oddly, they haven’t been too upset about what he’s done to his own people or Shrubya’s mancrush on ol’ Vlad.

  8. intergalacticmedium says

    Do you strongly oppose intervention Ed? The situation looks like a more complex and challenging version of Libya in which an intervention is morally required or at the very least should be strongly considered.

  9. cry4turtles says

    If Obama wanted to drop daffodils, the Republican war machine would decry it and insist on carnations.

  10. David C Brayton says

    Rumsfeld is totally oblivious, cognitively blind, to anything that disagrees with his internal narrative that he was the best damn Secretary of War ever.

    His interview on NPR about his management style is still shocking.

    NPR Host: “You say that in order to manage effectively, you need metrics for success. What metrics did you use for success during your time as Secretary of Defense?”

    Rumsfeld “Huh?” Stunned silence.

  11. frankb says

    For us older folks anything that Henry Kissinger was for we should be against and vice versa. Kissinger has apparently learned in the last couple of years to keep his mouth shut. So now Rumsfeld’s the man (or baffoon).

  12. F [is for failure to emerge] says

    Because “national interest” is a valid reason. And apparently the only one. Whatever it happens to be at the time.

  13. francesc says

    He is right.
    What he meant is “ok, we lied about going to Iraq, but our “national interests” were pretty clear in the case of Iraq, what should we be interested in Siria REALLY”?

    @3 “confirmed chemical weapons use isn’t enough to lob some cruise missles”
    You know, so far it’s only “confirmed” according to the US, Europe and the UN (and Russia, but that doesn’t count as Russia is Siria’s old ally) are still looking at the proofs. So, those who lied about the weapons of mass-destruction in Iraq should be trusted now, withouth further questioning?
    In fact, 15 years before Iraq’s war the US helped Saddam to use chemical weapons against Iran. That seems to be the best possible confirmation you may ever need.

  14. says

    @19:

    Really? That’s justification for Rumpledforeskin’s view?

    Shorter version of this:

    “You know, so far it’s only “confirmed” according to the US, Europe and the UN.”

    is.

    We can trust Vlad? REALLY?

    The fact that Syria doesn’t really have any treasure that’s portable and seems to be following the Russians v Chechen manual of foreign police doesn’t seem, um, eerily reminiscent of that conflict?

    Putin’s been flexing his muscles for about 10 years now and, like most mad dogs, would be best put down. Not gonna happen (unless it’s done internally) but it’s always nice to dream.

  15. francesc says

    @20. Sorry, punctuation marks.
    I meant : So far it is only “confirmed” according to the US. <-yeah, that point
    Europe and the UN are still looking at the proofs, like Russia, but I wouldn't trust Russia anyway. I wouldn't fully trust european governments either, but it would be an improvement.

  16. says

    @21:

    Thanks for the clarification.

    Governments lie to their people and to other governments. It seems to be in their DNA. Telling the truth, even when it will benefit them, seems not to be the default.

  17. John Pieret says

    francesc:

    So far it is only “confirmed” according to the US. <-yeah, that point
    Europe and the UN are still looking at the proofs, like Russia, but I wouldn't trust Russia anyway. I wouldn't fully trust european governments either, but it would be an improvement.

    There doesn’t seem to be any doubt anywhere that chemical weapons were used. Even the Syrians and Russians admit that but try to put the blame on the rebels. The French seem more convinced that the regime is responsibe than the US is. In any case, my point was the relative response between Iraq then and what is proposed for Syria now given the relative evidence that the respective regimes had/were about to do something bad. That disparity calls Rumsfeld’s judgment, not to mention his objectivity, into serious question.

  18. says

    “That disparity calls Rumsfeld’s judgment, not to mention his objectivity, into serious question.”

    That ship sailed around the same time as the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

  19. John Pieret says

    That ship sailed around the same time as the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria.

    Well, yes … but we just found the sunken remains af all three. ;-)

  20. laurentweppe says

    Once again, Ed, you don’t understand wingnutglote: what

    there really hasn’t been any indication from the administration as to what our national interest is with respect to this particular situation

    actually means in English is:

    The leftist pussies don’t have the balls to bully the plebs into supporting the war by using their lackeys in the media to tell them that anyone who voices disagreement with the coming war is a cowardly french traitor who deserves to be beaten up in the streets by bands of thuggish self-proclaimed patriots.

    Appart from Rumsfeld being a lying sack of stuff that give excrements a bad name, the fact is that the long term interest of western nations is quite obvious: the Assad dynasty will fall: after two years of civil war, the only question that remain is whether Bashar or his heir will be the one to end his life raped with a Bayonnet like Gaddafi: if the regime survives the current revolution, i will fall 20 years from now, having become during its respite more corrupt, incompetent and oppressive that it already is because every despotat follow the same road toward decadence.

    The question of the regime’s survival being moot, the only relevant question is “who will follow?”: that is will it be fundies funded by theocratic dictatorships trying to expand their sphere of influence, will it be, 20 years from now the children of slaughtered rebels with a score to settle whose first act once victorious will be the genocide of the Alawites and every other tribes accused of supporting the fallen dynasty, or will the victorious rebellion counts among its ranks a sufficient number of secularists who having received the help of western power will be able to limit the influence of the fundie faction and will be willing to listen if someone from the western world ask them to not take revenge on the civilians from the tribes who supported the Assad dynasty.

  21. laurentweppe says

    By the way

    Europe and the UN (and Russia, but that doesn’t count as Russia is Siria’s old ally) are still looking at the proofs

    the french government just declassified data gathered by its intelligence services, so the use of chemical weapons by the regime is pretty much established.
    Also, please note the difference betwwen the american GOP behavior regarding Iraq and the pinko-french socialist government:
    Cheney & Co: There is WMD in Iraq, trust us on our good name
    Hollande & Co: There has been chemical weapons used by the Assad regime: look at the eveidences gathered by our spies that we just made public.

    France: still the better Republic

  22. francesc says

    “Also, please note the difference betwwen the american GOP behavior regarding Iraq and the pinko-french socialist government”
    I agree. Being bombed by Obama and Hollande is far cooler than being bombed by Bush and Blair.
    I think that we should be asking: what’s the desired outcome, and what’s the plan to get it? Is it reallistic or
    “a sufficient number of secularists who having received the help of western power will be able to limit the influence of the fundie faction and will be willing to listen if someone from the western world ask them to not take revenge”
    would it only work in a better world than ours is?
    Look, we didn’t like it when the muslims got the power in egypt, but now the military has come back, it is killing the muslim brotherhood and they may want to get a new dictator. Has the situation in Egypt improved? And everybody seems willing to say that the evil US are working with their enemies. Maybe the US are not the best to act as a global sheriff or diplomat in that scenario.

  23. francesc says

    @22
    “Telling the truth, even when it will benefit them, seems not to be the default.”
    And that’s one of the reasons why government secrecy is dangerous to democracy.

  24. says

    Syria doesn’t have a large amount of oil, but it DOES have a route from many oil-producing regions to the Mediterranean. I have a vision of a big pipeline in Syria’s future…

    Oh please. If that’s such a huge factor in determining US policy, why hasn’t that pipeline been built already, when Syria was stable and either Assad could have got the thing done with minimal fuss?

    Can’t we talk about ANY Muslim country without some totally clueless and asinine reference to oil?

  25. francesc says

    Well, from a real war -Irak and Afghanistan- to low profile intervention -Venezuela- it seems to be a correlation between US foreign affairs and oil (or gas, as in Libia. But that may have been a french craving). I’m going to be a cosnpiranoid and list some possible causes:
    1.- It’s a little country
    … easy target, US needs to really win some war in the zone after Irak and Afghanistan, wich can’t be labelled as victories at all
    … it may be easy to totally control it and put a sockpuppet government, wich may be relevant in the zone:
    2.- Area. Close to oil sources.
    – Israel is a friend but they like independence too much. maybe even more than some european governments.
    – Saudis are not trustworthy
    – Turkish are longtime allies but their government may not be as stable -nor democratic- as it seems right now
    – Irak’s government cannot be trusthed, either. There will be always an animadversion towards the US
    – Egypt was a good business partner before, not sure how the new dictator will evolve
    3.- …and close to Iran. Just in case.
    4.- Close to the channel between mediterranean and Indic, once discarded Egypt and Israel
    5.- There is a Russian base in the country. I don’t think that’s relevant anymore but…well… Putin is a little bit too enthusiastic sometimes
    6.- Muslim terrorists are helping to fight against the government. Surprising? That makes the decision more difficult. Do you want to overthrow the government and let the muslim radicals win? What if they support Hamas people in the future? But the US don’t want to support that government. Now I’m confused, we didn’t now Siria was an authocracy until recently, who did spoke too much about it and why? Was everything fine right until the international press put an eye on them, or did the CIA press to get it in the news?

    Well, some voices are saying that the US wants a long-term stalemate and the government was winning too fast. Other voices say that the government wasn’t really winning, and it is better that US wins the war and choose the new government than the terrorists.
    I don’t know of any trustworthy source for information about Siria.

  26. says

    I don’t know of any trustworthy source for information about Siria.

    Then you should shut the fuck up and stop pretending you have anything worthwhile to say on the subject. Your willful ignorance certainly shows in all of your childishly simplistic talking-points (not to mention your inability to spell the country’s name).

    If you can’t be bothered to get a basic education, at least try to use a little common sense.

  27. francesc says

    Well, Syria it’s spelled Siria in my own language. Sorry about that, I should have checked it. Chronologically English is my fourth language, although I’m more ashamed of my french.

    It’s not “willful ignorance”, it’s that those “reliable” sources have been caught lying before. You may want to stop pretending to know what’s happening in Syria because you have seen it on TV.
    Also, I don’t know what’s being discussed in the US war rooms, but as Syria is not the only country with an ongoing civil war, I just don’t think philantropy is the only reason for the US.
    Other countries with conflicts (kinda off) are, appart from Afghanistan and Iraq,
    - you could say that in Palestine, Pakistan, India, Colombia, Somalia, Philippines, Argelia and Yemen (shiites in there) and Uganda (fundie christians) their governments are fighting terrorists. Just, you know, according to Al-Assad he is also fighting terrorists. In Somalia the UN (and US) tried to help some years ago.
    -Then you have “ethnic” wars in Kurdistan -part of Turkey-, Chechnya (Russia), Ethiopia, Somalia, Kashmir (India, again), Nigeria (hey, there is oil in there too), Sri Lanka, Sudan, Thailand and Myanmar.
    - And a civil war in Central African Republic, Congo and Chad (not sure if that one should be on the second group)

    So, would you say that the only reason for the US to bomb Syria is their use of chemical weapons?

  28. says

    You may want to stop pretending to know what’s happening in Syria because you have seen it on TV.

    First, how do you know where I’m getting my iknformation? And second, you haven’t specified what I’ve got wrong; nor have you shown yourself to be in any better informed than I am. If I’m the one admitting a situation is more complex than one foreign power’s economic interests, and you’re the one trying to talk down to me, then YOU are the one who needs to reassess his sources, not me. Your problem is simplemindedness, not sources.

  29. francesc says

    I am the one trying to talk down to you?
    “Then you should shut the fuck up and stop pretending you have anything worthwhile to say on the subject. Your willful ignorance certainly shows in all of your childishly simplistic talking-points”
    That was on your comment 33.
    I know, I’ve already asserted it twice, that I don’t know enough about that war. As I was saying, it’s not wilfull ignorance, I’ve read probably a lot more about it than the average guy. It’s only that I doubt the sources, from NYT to Al Jazeera, the thing happening in Syria seems to be a proxy war for a lot of interests. I’m asserting that I don’t know enough of a problem. Why cannot we say that? Hey, we don’t know yet how the life begin! We probably will do eventually, but there is a lot of work to do.

    “If I’m the one admitting a situation is more complex than one foreign power’s economic interests”
    Wait, I was the one doing that. So, just to be clear, do we agree that the US are not moved only by philantrophy, neither only by economic -and political- interests, but probably by both? If we could agree on that, the rest are pretty trivial details.

    I’m getting used to everyone -also here, in Spain- having a strong opinion about the war, what I’m saying is: I -and everyone, and it’s been that way for some time- only have a piece of information.
    You haven’t provided any information at all, specifically not any outside the general knowledge, so I’m guessing you don’t have it, either. And thus, I reason that your information has similar sources as everyone else. I would be glad to be proven wrong and learn something in the process.
    (now is when I discover that you are a prominent US diplomat in a middle-east country and I have to STFU)

    So far I have given some reasons for the US to be interested in Syria, of course that may or may not justify the bombing, and may not be the only cause or not even a cause to this attack. You could have argumented against any of them or even better, you could have provided more plausible reasons.
    I have given other examples of countries in conflict wich are not going to be bombed and whose people is dying -granted, not chemically, why is that a magical word?. All of those situations are different to Syria’s war. We could discuss about those differencies.

    But, nope, your input so far has been that I’m silly, illiterate, lazy and naïve.

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