XCII - Known and Unknown, a Memoir, by Donald Rumsfeld, comments by André Bandeira
Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of Defense in George Bush's cabinet, wrote this Memoir and carefully reviewed it. In a «schocked and awed» society, where Psychology is more effective then notional nuclear arsenals, one has to massage perception, in order to remember.Historical reports have always been different from what History itself was.Thus, this careful review may be useful to a court hearing, and I don't mean the «Court of History». The gossip I leave it to irresponsible journalists and broadcast zombies. Still, Rumsfeld didn't admire Condoleezza Rice. He probably scorned her and she deserved it. The same goes for Paul Bremer III. The planned, by both, implementation (forcefully, of course) of a dogmatic democracy, in Irak, was either pathetic (Rice) or an obscure episode in US domestic social climbing (Bremer III). The memorialist knows Patraeus: he was driving and ambitious. When Rumsfeld handed his letter of resignation over to Pr. Bush, Henry Kissinger invited him to share with that he was being criticized for overpowering the Generals, whereas what he consented to was precisely the opposite. Let's begin by the end of the book: Rumsfeld was frustrated because the National Defense Review didn't include his proposal of a «counter-ideological» strategy ( against islamism/radical islamism). The problem, here, is recurring: the United States -- of which Rumsfeld ends up praising the Yankee part of it and the «cartoon» Kit Carson -- is not a Nation. The USA are only the top-of-the-cream center of Power in Western Civilization (West of what? Of Asia of course). Sometimes they have civil wars and other times, they have «creative destructions», some call «free market». That is the reason why Rumsfeld's attempts to finance a «counter-counter-ideology» dust down as maxims, quotations and very-well-saids. His analysis of Extremism based on Religion is correct and reliable, but an astute allocation in a balanced budget is not enough. The strength of the West doesn't dwell on ideologies (whenever they pop-up, the West weakens) but in spirit and soul, whatever this may mean. That's is why Rumsfeld, if he ever aspired to, could never become President. As political scientist for background (that means a policy-manager in office) he is not a Politician. But, ironically, this fact comes to his rescue: he presented twice his letter of resignatin after the shame of Abu Grahib jail broke out. The blame stays on George Bush. Rumsfeld represents the hawkish America we already knew -- that is the «known unknown». In a USA which is declining - and that is the «unknown unknown» -- where the decline should happen in an orderly manner, Rumsfeld is not an «oldie», everybody should respect. He is the hindsight we should care about. He neither should be confused with the frail morality of young conservatives, managing the wreck of Peer-Gynt socialists, nor with the hidden agenda of the self-labeled neo-conservatives. In this book, Rumsfeld remains superbly wise and a touch of final humbleness, may announce that his life is only about to begin -- he kept his family. But, still, the wrestler Donald Rumsfeld stays clumsy, and his vanity, albeit meek, holds futile. All he knows, he got it from allowing the adversary to move first. Indeed, he left many more «unknown unknowns» than knowlegeable unknowns. And the laconic part of his book, still lurks proud and stubborn, with almost no angle exposed, prone to any kind of flexibility. The wrestler didn't disclose any secret. He did his job. Unfortunately, the job description is depressing.