Rumsfeld: Bush failed at identifying the enemy, and Obama is “much worse”

Even Rumsfeld is not stellar about it, referring to “radical Islamism” and “Islamists,” which are essentially Western constructs without any referent in Islam as it has been formulated by the Islamic sects and schools of jurisprudence. But in the main, his point is absolutely sound. From Breitbart TV (thanks to Wimpy):

ZAKARIA: What do you look back on in your tenure and say I would have done it differently?

RUMSFELD: “I think we”ve not done a good job, we”ve put a lot of pressure on terrorist networks, but for whatever reason Americans are reluctant to talk about radical Islamism and Islamists, we don’t want to be seen as against a religion. The Bush administration didn’t do a good job, we were careful and words were always sensitive and we never, you can’t win a battle of ideas unless you describe the enemy, say who it is, say what’s wrong with it, say what we do and why it’s right, we did that in the Cold War and we defeated Communism. We were tongue tied over this and the Obama administration is much worse, they won’t even use the word.”

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Comments

  1. says

    That failure to say i-s-l-a-m, period, is a problem that many others have, including Daniel Pipes and Barry Rubin. Though I love Barry Rubin’s columns, his choice of the expressions “islamism” and later “revolutionary islamism” to describe the cult of the black cube has made me wonder if, eventually, all that might be referred to as al-qaedist-bin-ladenist revolutionary islamism.

  2. says

    Political correctness is the curse of the West, and we will lose our civilization because we’re afraid to call a spade a spade. Winston Churchill wasn’t afraid to describe the enemy in 1940, and he had been calling out the Nazis since 1932. Nor was he afraid to call out Islam. Likewise Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy Adams, William Gladstone and John Wesley. Were they all wrong about Islam? Certainly not. They weren’t politically correct. The enemy of the West is Islam, and it has been ever since 623 AD, not 1967, 1979, 1983 or 2001. But then, history is a bowdlerized subject these days, and one of the biggest victims of political correctness. Gaining a history degree isn’t about stating the facts, but by putting what the academics want to read.

  3. says

    …you can’t win a battle of ideas unless you describe the enemy, say who it is, say what’s wrong with it, say what we do and why it’s right, we did that in the Cold War and we defeated Communism.

    We treated soviet communism with all the scorn and ridicule it deserved, and it eventually collapsed onto itself. Two major differences: Islam purports to be a religion instead of an ideology, and its principal proponent happens to be sitting on a big chunk of the world’s energy reserves. Still a very winnable battle, but western leaders seem to have neither the intellectual nor intestinal fortitude to fight it. So we continue with this multi-culti PC drivel and blame ‘fringe extremists’ when our civilians or military personnel are attacked. Madness.

  4. says

    Thank You Rummy! You hit the nail right on the head!!!

    “Know your enemy and know him well if you want to defeat him”

    General Douglas MacArthur “From “The art of war” Sun Tzu.

  5. says

    Too little too late too quiet, Mr. Secretary.

    If Rumsfeld had excoriated Bush for his textually fraudulent and intellectually bankrupt and historically dishonest “religion of peace” spewing nonsense early on in 2002, and resigned in disgust and protest, that might have been noticed and had some impact on the War Against Expansionistic, Terroristic Islam.

    Now, it is as ineffectual as pissing in zero-gravity.

  6. says

    How can one assume that Islam is a benign religion (Is there two different Islams?) when its founder is so evil. Mohammed led many wars and beheaded many a victims. He was a pedophile. He married Aisha at her age of 6 year old and consummated the marriage at her age of 9. He self-admitted to own many sex-slaves. His self-created koran has many verses that despise the non-believers and causes jihad onto the non-belivers.

    And, the test to be a muslim is mohammed being the Perfect Man!

  7. says

    “…you can’t win a battle of ideas unless you describe the enemy, say who it is, say what’s wrong with it, say what we do and why it’s right, we did that in the Cold War and we defeated Communism.”

    That’s a little bit encouraging. For me it is important to juxtapose the political systems of Islam and Democracy against each other and to make a choice for the one and against the other. And many Muslims and counterjihadists both seem to have made the choice for one or the other side.

    But those who choose for the full Democratic system, to which a big part of Islam and Muslims are in contradiction, do depend on a majority of Western citizens.

    And I see 3 big groups; Muslims and Democracy-loyalists, counterjihadists opposed to them and a very large group of “neutrals”, or MultiCultural-Political Correct people. And it seems not at all sure if the counterjihadists can get enough of the neutrals on their side in the coming decade. Perhaps the Democratic system and people are suicidal, too weak to withstand the onslaught of Muslims, weaker in almost every respect, but stronger in purposefulness and commitment, at least much stronger than the majority of “neutrals”.

    Perhaps it will help the Democratic side and condemn the Islamic side if in the coming decade Western countries will gain Energy Independence. I hear America considers buying huge rivers of oil from Canada’s Athabasca Tar Sands instead of from tyrannically ruled countries.

    There is also the technological and economical possibility of exploiting shale oil, making America, Europe, Israel energy independent. There is the move to alternative energy by Danmark, Germany, China and other countries, also intended to achieve energy-independence. Brazil recently declared itself energy-independent, thanks to ethanol. But there is also discussion about algae-biofuel firms in SouthWestUSA.

    A democratic block that is freed from paying it’s enemies, who use this vast richness to maintain an otherwise failing tyrannical system, and on detrimental policies towards democratic countries, especially America and Israel, could outcompete their tyrannical competitors much better I suppose. And it need no longer worry about guarding the oil lanes and appeasing oil suppliers as was so often the case, especially in 1973-2011, including George Bush excusing Saudi Arabia, home of 15 of the 19 9/11-perpetrators.

    And for energy-independence there might well be found a majority in voters and members of parliament.

  8. says

    McCain, Lieberman, and Gingrich are as bad.

    Consider the following September 1st article wherein clueless Joe explains that our “war against terrorism’ is being hurt by the Obama administration’s fear of offending Muslims; stating that “it continues to call terrorism that aims to harm the U.S., “violent extremism” instead of “violent Islamist extremism.”

    Adding that it “still refuses to call our enemy in this war by its proper name: violent Islamist extremism.”

    Lieberman: Obama’s concern with offending Muslims is hurting the war effort
    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/179239-lieberman-obama-shies-from-naming-terrorists-as-islamist-

    And how many times has McCain referred to the problem as “radical islamic terrorists”, or Gingrich with his “radical Islamists”.

    They are each quite unafraid to express their personal explanation of the problem, though each is inexcusably wrong.

  9. says

    Bush the Younger and Obama are both pathetic presidents who will eventually find their way into the bottom five, along with Harding and Nixon.

    But Rumsfeld has a lot of nerve. He and the boys invaded Iraq, a country run by a secular, albeit bloodthirsty, dictator. Eliminating Saddam freed Islamic forces to do battle. Rumsfeld should be regarded with the same contempt as we regard Bush and Obama.

    Muslims can only survive in one of two forms of government. The first is a ruthless, secular dictatorship, e.g. Syria. The second is an Islamic totalitarian government, e.g. Iran. Eliminating the former will result in the latter, as we are now seeing in Libya.

  10. says

    One more thing:

    ‘Is there two different Islams?’

    Is there a radical islam and a benign islam? The answer to that question is no, no, and hell no.

  11. says

    Zakaria might claim to be a secular, liberal, open-minded Indian Muslim who immigrated to America. They way he pounds on counter-jihadists, he seems to have at least some sympathy for the global jihad.

  12. says

    “… Rumsfeld has a lot of nerve. He and the boys invaded Iraq, a country run by a secular, albeit bloodthirsty, dictator. Eliminating Saddam freed Islamic forces to do battle. Rumsfeld should be regarded with the same contempt as we regard Bush and Obama.”

    Well maybe. But on the point Robert quotes he is essentially right. And he is the only one I hear from the upper ranks of the political class making that point. Hopefully people won’t reject the message because they don’t like the messenger. But a number will.