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Donald Rumsfeld - Still There


Remember Donald Rumsfeld?

He seems like a bad dream.

And yet here he is, popping up in Washington to talk about how the U.S. needs a Ministry of Propaganda.

Find out what he believes the government should do, particularly the U.S. Information Agency (USIA), in relaying messages across borders.

Errol Morris on Donald Rumsfeld: 'One of the strangest interviews I've ever done'

COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/donald-rumsfeld/ by Paolo Reyna on 2023-01-26T08:25:14.977Z

Insights By Donald Rumsfeld

Here’s what he told Sharon Weinberger of Wired’s Danger Room:

We need someone in the United States government, some entity, not like the old USIA . . . I think this agency, a new agency has to be something that would take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that exist today.

- Donald Henry Rumsfeld

Rumsfeld continued:

There are multiple channels for information . . . The Internet is there, pods are there, talk radio is there, e-mails are there. There are all kinds of opportunities.

- Donald Henry Rumsfeld

Then he added:

We do not with any systematic organized way attempt to engage the battle of ideas and talk about the idea of beheading, and what’s it’s about and what it means. And talk about the fact that people are killing more Muslims than they are non-Muslims, these extremists. They’re doing it with suicide bombs and the like.

- Donald Henry Rumsfeld

Finally, he ended with a recommended course of action:

We need to engage and not simply be passive and allow that battle of competition of ideas.

- Donald Henry Rumsfeld

Uh, yeah.

A smiling Donald Rumsfeld in white shirt under a navy blue blazer and blue tie at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
A smiling Donald Rumsfeld in white shirt under a navy blue blazer and blue tie at The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Understanding Donald Rumsfeld

First, let’s just note that Rumsfeld has always preferred the idea of technology to actually, you know, learning about technology.

“Pods are there?”

Does he mean iPods? Podcasts?

And to mention “talk radio” in the same breath as e-mail or these mysterious pods - what in the world is this septuagenarian talking about?

Donald Rumsfeld probably just learned how to program his VCR.

Second, when Rumsfeld tried a version of this in miniature in Iraq, his actual fix was comically stupid.

The Pentagon hired the Lincoln Group to pull off a propaganda campaign designed at discrediting the insurgency.

It amounted to planting fake news stories in the Iraqi press written by soldiers that said things like the insurgents “crawled on their bellies like dogs in the mud.”

For this, the Pentagon spent more than $25 million and arguably broke the law.

Aerial daytime view of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., with the Potomac River in the background
Aerial daytime view of the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., with the Potomac River in the background

Final Thoughts

Finally, Donald Rumsfeld manage to be the first secretary of defense in history not just to botch two wars, but to botch two wars simultaneously.

For that, no one should ever listen to this man ever again. Whatever he says is discredited by the sheer fact that he’s the one saying it.

Donald Rumsfeld should be legally obligated to end of all his sentences with, “...but, on the other hand, I’m a total jackass.”

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About The Authors

Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna - Paolo is a senior at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, majoring in International Studies with a Latin American emphasis. During the fall semester of 2012, he had the opportunity to study abroad in Peru, which piqued his interest in international growth. He learned about the disparities that impact indigenous peoples, got a taste of Peruvian culture, and improved his Spanish skills. Mitchel interned with the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, conducting research on food security in Latin America, after being inspired by his foreign experience. He wants to work in international development and for a government department, writing legislation. He loves playing intramural basketball and practicing for the Chicago marathon when he is not thinking about current events in Latin America.

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