Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Rumsfeld’s memo and uncertainty in politics and war

David Tucker doesn’t mind that Rumsfeld’s private memo was leaked to the press, because he thinks it is a good memo: it asks the right questions. The fact that he can asks such questions in the middle of things, as it were, is a good sign. This is the sort of things our enemies have never understood about Americans: Americans are able to act decisively, yet seemingly be disengaged in the midst of that action and ask rather philosophic questions and, if necessary, turn on a dime. Surprise to our enemies, political or military. And, as George Will reflects on Rumsfeld political character (in our lifetime only two other people have had political careers of such breadth, George Schultz and Patrick Moynihan)and his mid-western roots (his biographer calls him a "child of that prairie-driven culture of vitality.") he explains that Rummy is acting according to his own axiom: "A narrow focus on the certain obscures the almost-certain." Politics isn’t mathematics, and certainty is a luxury policymakers often cannot wait for. It’s too bad that Rummy’s opponents (and the administration’s opponents) don’t understand all this, with "their calculated extravagance." I believe they will suffer for it.

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