Rumsfeld, architect of Iraq war, says Obama hasn't yet justified Syria attack
August 29th, 2013
09:30 AM ET
9 years ago

Rumsfeld, architect of Iraq war, says Obama hasn't yet justified Syria attack

(CNN) – Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who along with President George W. Bush helped send the United States military action in Iraq and Afghanistan, said in an interview Wednesday the White House has yet to justify potential strikes in Syria.

And he sharply criticized President Barack Obama’s administration for allowing details about that potential military action to become public before any decisions have been made.

“I can’t imagine what they’re thinking, why they would want the Assad regime to have crystal clarity with respect to what they intend,” Rumsfeld said in an interview on the Fox Business Network.

Obama told the "PBS Newshour" on Wednesday that he hadn’t yet made a final decision about U.S. military action in Syria, though U.S. officials have been cited widely in news reports pointing to cruise missile attacks on military facilities as a likely American response to alleged chemical weapons use by the Syrian regime.

Acknowledging it was difficult to fully ascertain the administration’s thinking as an outsider, Rumsfeld maintained it was puzzling the amount of information that’s made its way to the public.

"The idea of demystifying for the enemy what you're going to do is mindless,” he said.

Rumsfeld served a secretary of defense from 2001-2006, a period that saw the U.S. begin wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. He said in the interview, however, that current statements from Obama and his aides haven’t met the threshold for intervention in Syria.

“There really hasn’t been any indication from the administration as to what our national interest is with respect to this particular situation,” he said. “When you think about what’s really important in that region – it’s Iran’s nuclear program and the relationship between Iran and Syria, the Assad regime, with respect to terrorists that go around killing innocent men, women and children, including Americans.”

He added that Secretary of State John Kerry, who left the U.S. Senate earlier this year for the top diplomatic post, had been “dealt a bad hand” by his predecessor Hillary Clinton and Obama, who he claimed had created a global leadership void.

“This administration has been in a withdrawal mode, an apology mode,” he said, adding: “That vacuum we’ve created is being filled by people that don’t have our values or interests.”

Filed under: Donald Rumsfeld • Syria
soundoff (636 Responses)
  1. Dee

    Gee, where is all that oil from Bush's Oil War? Yea, we siezed it all right. Libs and Dems are Crazy fools! This Admin is doing more damage to America than any in the past, and it will hit when Obummer make his exit in the grand design of Communist progression!

    August 29, 2013 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  2. Jim

    I am shocked! He disagrees with the opposing political party on foreign policy? Unfathomable!

    August 29, 2013 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  3. jamesfoley

    The Audacity of a dope

    August 29, 2013 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. jamesfoley

    Side note... G. Gordon Liddy would also appreciate it if everyone would just stop playing the blame game.... you're dividing the country 😉

    August 29, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  5. Warren

    LMAO...Rumsfeild...really! What a joke

    August 29, 2013 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  6. Yolanda

    Do anyone know how the war in iraq was planned? Noone knows because it wasnt.... They started bombing cities that they thought had weapons of mass destruction. Nope!!! we all knows that it was about the OIL.THey didnt start destroying there oil refinaries for nothing They started bombing anything in sight for days not mentioning how much money its going to cost.. That was okay in the eyes of some .. Now i bet you if he spend half the money that Bush spent i can bet you they will raise hell and hot water. They spent hundreds of Trillions of dollars on a war that was unjustifyable...

    August 29, 2013 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  7. charles bowen

    I'd Betcha Old Rand Paul would break his leg rushing into war if syria was gassing him or his but its only gassing them or theirs so their is no rush right Rand, you got a lot o your daddy in you boy ,he dosent care much either... Charles Bowen Solomon Stone

    August 29, 2013 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  8. BK Moore

    Rumsfeld, Cheney and Bush should all be behind bars. America was still #1 before Bush got into the White House, and his puppet masters Rumsfeld and Cheney helped him ruin our economy with The Pointless War. But it's refreshing to hear Rumsfeld share his "thoughts" – it just reinforces my belief that Bush is a war criminal, and should be hauled off to The Hague.

    August 29, 2013 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. Bill

    Obama has danced around this long enough. By the time he decides to take some action it will be too late. His approach to this crisis is the dumbest that I can imagine. Can't he, just once, take politics out of the equation? Guess his handlers won't let him.

    August 29, 2013 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  10. Aarky

    Rummy was even specific about all those WMD somewhere near Tikrit. All the other posters have ripped the skin off this scoundrel. No need for more except we also need to rip General Powell for his opining on this situation after he lied on cue with that fake vial of anthrax at the UN ten years ago.

    August 29, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  11. contessa

    Who cares what this loser says!! Thanks to him, Goerge Bush, and the Bush Administration, we are still at War, and trying desparately to crawl out of a recession that was very close to a depression!

    August 29, 2013 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  12. bettiejean

    Seeing this headline regarding a Rumsfeld opinion on the Syrian situation, I was going to be embarrassed for whatever idiot sought out the Iraq-liar Rumsfeld's opinion, but then I saw it was the Fox Business Network, and it's not even worth being embarrassed for them.

    August 29, 2013 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  13. JCRMD

    This guy has guts, he is not sold when WMD were actually used in front of the world on television, yet he was sold in Iraq were they never existed

    August 29, 2013 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Runsfeld is an idiot with absolutely no credibility. He defended the war in Iraq and stated it was to take out WND's, which have yet to be found. Four thousand American service members gave their lives and multiples more bear permanent scares from George Jr.s and his lies.

    August 29, 2013 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  15. dixiesyndicate

    I swear I thought I was reading The Onion till I did a double take on the address bar. I need a drink.

    August 29, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  16. JHA

    Rumsfeld has no credibility.

    August 29, 2013 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  17. Smitty

    Oh my God. Rumsfeld criticizing Obama about using force?? What a maroon. Gee, it was like just yesterday that the ban of wandering idiots got us into Iraq for no apparent reason at all. Now, with tens of thousands dead in an obvious violation of human rights, Dumb and dumbest crawl out their holes for a quick comment. Here's my quick comment, go AWAY! You were the sorriest excuse for a Secretary of Defense we have ever seen, and nothing, no time interval, no new war, no controversy, no election, nothing, will ever rid Washington of the reeking STENCH of your leadership.

    August 29, 2013 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  18. Robert

    You'd better switch to decaf, bubba. Coffee is for closers.

    August 29, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  19. Richard Mitchell

    Rumsfeld being a War Crime wouldn't think twice about using chemicals weapons if the U.S. Government would have let him. Neverhave figured why Cheney and Rumsfeld weren't brought up on charges on Treason.

    August 29, 2013 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  20. Greg

    Why, pray tell, would I care about what he has to say about anything?

    August 29, 2013 10:59 pm at 10:59 pm |
  21. us_1776

    If Rummie's not sold then it must be right.


    August 29, 2013 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  22. Joshua

    I wish this immoral guy whose hands soaked with innocent blood has no moral authority to give his opinion on anything he and dick Cheney are not once to give suggestion to anyone including dead donkey

    August 29, 2013 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  23. sonny

    Why isn't he in cuffs?

    August 29, 2013 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  24. Robert

    To call this arrogant war criminal an architect is an insult to honorable profession. He should sit in The Haage net to his kind or shut up and be glad he got away with murder! How many died in a needles war??????????????

    August 29, 2013 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  25. Christopher

    Where are the anti-war protestors to call foul on Obama (same one's who called foul on Bush?). And this is even shaping up to be more of a misguided hair-brain policy. For this administration to even consider a strike without hard proof evidence that it is the Syrian government is totally irresponsible and even dangerous leadership. At least Bush acted on what he believed was solid intelligence that Iraq had WMDs. Obama is going on a hunch at best.

    August 29, 2013 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
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