Rumsfeld Claims Embassy Attacks Result of “Perceived American Weakness”

Rumsfeld Donald     -

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:

Source: Wikipedia


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.)

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9 thoughts on “Rumsfeld Claims Embassy Attacks Result of “Perceived American Weakness”

  1. via Facebook

    There were 8 attacks while he was SecDef and 9/11. the man knows what he’s talking about haha. i hate that fucking bungling war criminal.

  2. I will always remember Rummy as the idiot who said, “You go to war with the army you’ve got,” in defense of the fact that many many soldiers did not have body armor and other protective equipment when he and Shrub II invaded Iraq. The invasion was ill conceived and based on lies but even considering that, the army should have been properly equipped before any action was taken.

    If we had been invaded that would have been a different story and we would have had to defend the country with the army we had. The commander that knows what he is doing makes sure his troops have every conceivable advantage before engaging the enemy. That is only common sense.

  3. Rumsfeld couldn’t get an interview so he tweeted like the twit bird that he is. Bringing our children in harms way in the iRAQ war with armaments similar to the Russian fiasco,he and Bush committed the worse crime to our nation.He had Bin Laden in Pakistan and had no guts to go after him.

    Rumsfeld is trying to redefine weakness since he was the weakest of them all.

  4. Excellent piece that sets the record straight! As this post states, turning these events into cheap political points is disgusting. In my mind its reprehensible. Its pretty sad when you’re losing and haven’t anything positive to run on, that you resort to sick attacks like we’ve seen from Romney over these tragic embassy attacks, and this one from Rumsfeld that doesn’t hold water. This is what desperation looks like, my friends.

  5. Some few years ago, my cat Freti (who died in ’08) had an appointment with the vet, and as soon as the cat carrier appeared, he hid, and got himself into a place from which there was no coaxing, grabbing, enticing or otherwise removing him. With a cab on the way and having to owe for a visit not canceled 24 hours in advance, I showed up at The Cat Doctor* with my other cat, Kveldulf. I explained the situation to the doctor this way:

    “I never thought I’d ever be paraphrasing Donald Rumsfeld, but sometimes you go to the vet with the cat you have, not the cat you want.”

    Freti eventually got his exam, too, and my vet now makes housecalls, and the home visit fee is only about $5.00 more than cab fare to and from the office. The evil cat carrier has been retired.

    *The Cat Doctor is the name of her practice.

  6. The attack in Libya was in response to the recent drone death of Al-Qaeda number two man. The unrest in other parts of the middle east was provoked by an American Christian group, well known homegrown anti-Islamists and a man named Nakouka Bassely Nakoula who is from Egypt, he is a arab Coptic Christian. He has spent time in federal prision for bank fraud, and has to pay back over 790 thousand dollars in restitution to the banks, he also was arrested and charged with meth cooking. He is the one who sent this movie with Arabic subtitles directly to a wingnut Glenn Beck type media figure in Egypt. He also said that this was just a film clip of a major motion picture, that is playing nationwide and doing gangbusters, because all the Americans hate and laugh at Islam.

    Does anyone remember being in grammar school and you just hated someone, either because they were nasty, mean to you or just different, and you wanted everybody else to hate that person too? This, to me is what this motley crue of movie makers wanted to accomplish. All three groups hate Islam, and they want Americans to hate them too.

  7. @E.A.Blair – poor Kveldulf. It wasn’t even his time.

    When I heard that the film was promoted by someone from Egypt, I knew the all parties had been played. I guess with Romney in charge, we would be on our way to war.

  8. @Cheryl – Kveldulf is still with me, and he turned seventeen this year (I’ll give him a scratching behind the ears for you). Freti was nineteen when he died, and I like to think he had a good life. He was a sweet cat, and he breathed his last curled up at my feet. After a few months, I got Isa, and she’s a sweetie too (in case you’re wondering about my cats’ names, they’re all from Viking history and lore. Astrid and Thorbjorn are also gone but not forgotten).

    If I were inclined to believe in conspiracy theories, I could probably read a lot into the timing of the release of that movie trailer, and wonder if any of the money involved had ties to people backing Romney and/or supporting the president’s ouster. If someone wanted to embarrass the President, it backfired and Romney ended up embarrassing himself. It’s almost as if he had a script for a different outcome, but went ahead with it anyway, and ended up delivering the right lines to the wrong audience.

    Romney’s political advisers are all PNAC NeoConservatives for whom war is a business, not a tool. Almost every one of them is a flaming chickenhawk. Palin said that President Obama should “…grow a big stick.” What I’d rather see is Obama handing her a sharp stick and posting her to guard duty in Benghazi – along with Limbaugh, Hannity, Malkin, Coulter and the whole lot of them.

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