Glenn Church analyzes Donald Rumsfeld’s cheap political shot.
If only President Obama had a stiff backbone and strong will to keep America strong, then none of these embassy attacks would be happening. That is the sentiment of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld who expressed that in a Tweet.
There just happens to be a problem with this theory. Perhaps if Rumsfeld memory was a bit sharper or his ideology less biased, then he would see it.
Embassy attacks have been increasing with frequency over the last fifty years. The first one occurred in 1958 in Ankara. That was the only one under Eisenhower. The next one came in 1971 at Phnom Penh during the Nixon administration. There were three altogether under Nixon. Ford had one embassy attack. There were three under Carter, the most infamous being the one in Tehran.
The weak and terrorist coddling Reagan administration had seven attacks. Weak and terrorist coddling, according to Rumsfeld’s definition that is. That was the most in history up to that point. On to George H.W. Bush who had but one attack, and then Clinton who had only had four.
Finally, we arrive at the administration of George W. Bush, during which Donald Rumsfeld served as secretary of defense for five years. We know the United States was strong during those years as the US went to war against two countries, pummeled terrorists wherever it could and tortured terrorist suspects. As the Rumsfeld definition predicts, there were zero attacks during…oh, wait, it looks like there were a couple or three…er, make that ten, eleven, yes, twelve attacks during the Bush administration. The bulk of those coming when Mr. Perceived Weakness was Secretary of Defense as can be seen in the chronology below:
With the recent attacks in Egypt, Libya and Yemen, Obama’s total comes to four.
These totals may be underreported from Wikipedia because the Iranian hostage taking crisis is not even listed on the Wikipedia page identifying these terrorist attacks. That doesn’t matter. The point is that attacks have gone on against American embassies under both Republican and Democratic presidents.
Turning these events into cheap political points is disgusting. Considering this is coming from Rumsfeld, one of the worst secretaries of defenses in history, no one should be surprised. He mangled the invasion of Iraq, causing countless Americans and Iraqis to die in the ensuing years of violence and unrest. If Rumsfeld had planned D-Day, he would have taken the beaches of Normandy but had no plan on what to do next. With eight of the embassy attacks happening under his reign as defense secretary, Rumsfeld is the last person who should associate these attacks with weakness. He had more attacks under his watch than any defense secretary in history.
What is particularly galling is that the most recent attacks occurred on 9/11. Coincidence? Unlikely. It appears that an al-Qaeda group orchestrated some of these disturbances. That would help explain how an obscure film critical of Mohammad generated assaults on American embassies on a day of al-Qaeda’s most successful terrorist strike.
Playing right into the hands of these terrorists is a hasty criticism from the Romney campaign of the Obama administration before all the facts were known. Even worse is Rumsfeld, who blatantly distorted a tragedy to fit his politics.
Cross-posted from Glenn Church’s Foolocracy.
The Donald Rumsfeld source image is a U.S. government work and in the public domain.)