The dark hour remains connected with Donald Rumsfeld – when America fabricated evidence after 9/11 to take action against Iraq. At that time the decline of the USA began, which Joe Biden now wants to stop.
Donald Rumsfeld was snappy like no other and loved conflict like no other. His fighting spirit stopped short of anyone, neither the two presidents he served nor his cabinet colleagues like Colin Powell, whom he despised because he loved his armed forces so much that he never wanted to use them.
With his wire-rimmed glasses, Rumsfeld looked and acted like an intellectual. Like a little Kant, he philosophized about what people can know as opposed to what they cannot know – that is what he called the unknown unknown. That sounded good, it sounded difficult to think about, it impressed him, but in the end it was only Larifari. Nothing stopped him from making a decision that destroyed America’s reputation in the world: the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
The president was then called George W. Bush and was not the brightest under the sun. That is why he surrounded himself with two experienced grandmasters of Washington statecraft: Donald Rumsfeld and Richard Cheney, better known as Don and Dick. Defense minister one, vice-president the other. Two brothers in the spirit of nationalism that blossomed too late after the attacks on America on September 11, 2001. For them it was about revenge, about penance, about demonstrations of military size and violence.
A senseless circle of violence
The invasion of Afghanistan was self-evident. The Taliban had given Osama bin Laden a home and had to be punished for it. But what had already happened to Alexander the Great, the British and the Russians in this part of the world is happening to the Americans these days: a dishonorable withdrawal after 20 years and trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of deaths. And the Taliban, who ruled Kabul until 20 years ago, will soon rule it again. A senseless circle of violence that creates violence and leads to war. Is it more bleak? Is it going to get worse?
But Iraq was more important to Don and Dick than Afghanistan. They saw their real adversary in Saddam Hussein. He should go. His regime was due. They fabricated evidence, which the hated Colin Powell had to present to the United Nations as secure. Nothing was right. All lies and deceit. Saddam Hussein was neither the king of international terrorism nor did he possess the weapons of mass destruction for which he was accused. In the end, soldiers pulled him out of a hole in the ground in which he was hiding.
Donald Rumsfeld: The ex-US Secretary of Defense loved conflict. (Source: imago images)
The rest is known. Iraq as a vacuum. Syria as a follow-up war. America was losing influence, authority, and power. Don and Dick failed because they wanted revenge and didn’t think an inch further. They wreaked havoc, shrugged and went home. So began the decline of America, which US President Joe Biden is trying to stop today.
Everything done right, everything fine
Donald Rumsfeld, born in 1932, and Richard Cheney, born in 1941, grew up as war children and believed in America’s historic mission. 9/11 gave them the justification for a renewed projection of power, despite Korea, despite Vietnam. Ten years later, Rumsfeld published his memoirs, which he called “Known and Unknown”, and achieved amazing things: not a word of self-criticism, of insight, on the contrary, everything was necessary, everything was done right, everything was fine.
George W. Bush went among painters. Cheney has a weak heart and lives in seclusion. And Donald Rumsfeld, who liked to wave his index finger, reminds America of one of its dark hours in death.