The Duck of Minerva

The Duck Quacks at Twilight

Secretary Rumsfeld is a funny guy

August 30, 2006

This must be a joke, albeit one that requires the audience to provide the punchline. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to the American Legion, August 29, 2006:

“Any kind of moral and intellectual confusion about who and what is right or wrong can severely weaken the ability of free societies to persevere.”

Surely Rummy was counting on his audience to remember the backstory. His famous leaked memo from October 2003 was full of potential zingers. Here’s a good one:

Today, we lack metrics to know if we are winning or losing the global war on terror. Are we capturing, killing or deterring and dissuading more terrorists every day than the madrassas and the radical clerics are recruiting, training and deploying against us?

That guy is doing a “helluva job,” don’tcha think?

More on Rumsfeld and that question-filled memo from October 2003: was he the victim of an Oscar slight? Or should he have been on the lamb?

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Rodger A. Payne is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Louisville. He serves on the University’s Sustainability Council and was a co-founder of the Peace, Conflict, and Social Justice program. He is the author of dozens of journal articles and book chapters and coauthor, with Nayef Samhat, of Democratizing Global Politics: Discourse Norms, International Regimes, and Political Community (SUNY, 2004). He is currently working on two major projects, one exploring the role of narratives in international politics and the other examining the implications of America First foreign policy.