Learning From Our Defeat: The Assumptions of Donald Rumsfeld

One hopes for statesmen chastened by defeat. In this world of our hopes, the authors of catastrophe would discuss their mistakes with the humility, introspection, and sense of disgrace these mistakes deserve. Decisions that led to death—death in its thousands and hundreds of thousands—would be examined with probing honesty. The decision makers behind them would be seized with a fierce guilt and urgency. They would quest to understand the nature of their errors. They would incessantly press upon us the lessons of experience, gripped with fear that the next generation might repeat their calamities. One can imagine such a statesman, chastened by defeat. Douglas Feith is not he.


This entry originally appeared at scholars-stage.org/learning-from-our-defeat-1-the-assumptions-of-donald-rumsfeld, and may be a summary or abridged version.