January 28, 2008

"...By lunchtime of September 11th"

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld

A couple of good quotes on former Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld, a man I greatly admire. As usual, the Corgis-of-doom are biting at his ankles...

Mark Steyn, at The Corner....

...Personally I find the idea of [McCain] running explicitly as a "man of honor" rather unseemly, and more than a little reminiscent of Emerson's line that "the louder he proclaimed his honor, the faster we counted the spoons" - the spoons in this case being campaign finance, illegal immigration, global warming, Big Pharma demonization, etc.

But, that aside, there's something extraordinarily petty about the High Horseman's jibes at both Romney and Rummy. Rumsfeld's tenure at Defense is for the historians now, but I know this: he was an unusually far-sighted thinker for a Cabinet official, and his instant strategic clarity by lunchtime of September 11th was critical to this nation's response. The reductive notion peddled by the Senator � that everything that's gone wrong in Iraq is Rumsfeld's fault and everything that's gone right is McCain's � is not only false but weirdly obsessive.

Rumsfeld's (and Bush's) strategic clarity was to realize immediately on 9/11 that we were AT WAR. As opposed to the view that we were dealing with an aberration by a few lunatics. And that we must fight for our civilization and our safety, and the peace of the world. Which instantly earned them the hatred of all the lefty nihilists, who don't think anything worth fighting for.

Another good one, by Hugh Hewitt:

Rumsfeld's life has been defined by public service of the highest sort. His leadership in the war, from the moment he went towards the crash site on 9/11, was defined by a relentless focus on the enemy, a focus so extraordinary that it made him a political liability and a target for every grouser inside the Pentagon and every critic of the war--for whatever reason-- outside of the building. His conflicts with State are still only dimly understood, and the mistakes in Iraq though always assigned to him will be found in time to have had many fathers.

Only small-minded people think Rumsfeld is other than a great American and patriot, though of course a controversial one. He continues to deserve the respect and thanks of the American people.

I thus wonder whenever Senator McCain snarls out "Rumsfeld" as he does in debate after debate if others beside me find it unsettling and off-putting that there is so much venom there?...
Posted by John Weidner at January 28, 2008 9:20 AM
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