It is rich hearing Donald Rumsfeld, who made some outlandish statements to advance the 2003 Iraq War he helped instigate and manage as secretary of defense, fault US President Barack Obama for not providing “clarity of vision.”
Rumsfeld, in a Friday interview with Rusty Humphries of the Washington Times, says:
If there is one thing that we have seen, it’s that this presidency has been exemplified by not providing the kind of clarity of vision that a leader must provide if in fact they want followers. So, if you don’t decide what your mission is, where you’re going, and give people confidence that you will go there and not back off and not move aside you’re not going to get any followers.
Here are some examples of Rumsfeld’s “clarity of vision” before and in the early days of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq:
The Iraq War would last ‘[f]ive days or five weeks or five months, but it certainly isn’t going to last any longer than that.’
November 14, 2002 interview on Infinity Radio.
Not at all. If you think — let me take that, both pieces — the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.
March 30, 2003 on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos.
It turns out Rumsfeld misled Americans in two of the key arguments for convincing many Americans to support the US invasion of Iraq — that the war would be short and that the war was needed to protect the American people from weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Obama’s hyping the danger of ISIS to the American people and declaring that the war will be won with no US “boots on the ground” appears to demonstrate exactly the kind of “clarity of vision” Rumsfeld personifies. It also demonstrates the linguistic contortions to which presidential administrations will resort when propagandizing for war. Maybe in a few years Obama will, following Rumsfeld’s lead, deny ever having made the claims.