Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Are you coming up with some proposals for me to send around?

Yesterday afternoon, Alexis Madrigal of The Atlantic unearthed what is almost certainly the most awesome Rumsfeld "snowflake" of all time. (This got some play in Politico's "Morning Defense" today -- though in true traditional media fashion, it was unsourced; I guess it's possible Phil Ewing just stumbled over it on the same day -- so I assume a lot of people are picking up on it. To those of you who have seen this already: sorry. But not that sorry. This will never get old.) Here it is, reproduced in full:
If for some reason you can't read/see this, here's the text:
April 7, 2003 11:46 AM 
TO: Doug Feith 
FROM: Donald Rumsfeld 
SUBJECT: Issues w/Various Countries 
We need more coercive diplomacy with respect to Syria and Libya, and we need it fast. If they mess up Iraq, it will delay bringing our troops home. [Ed.: LULZ!] 
We also need to solve the Pakistan problem. 
And Korea doesn't seem to be going well. 
Are you coming up with proposals for me to send around? 
I wish I could say I'd never gotten similarly vague email "direction" at work, but I'd be lying. But come on now: I'm not the story here.

Mr. Secretary -- Really excellent work here. You pretty much nailed down all the important security issues of the day -- really prescient stuff. I like how you didn't just stick to the fundamental roles and missions of the Defense Department, but really conceptualized your mission in an aggressive, proactive way. Drop some coercive diplomacy on that ass! Solve the Pakistan problem! And shit, come up with a Korea policy while you're at it! You know what, though? You're probably not best qualified to do that, and you've got a lot of demands on your time. Just drop all that stuff off in Dougie's inbox. Hell, what are Number Twos for?

Seriously, what kind of balls does it take to release something like this on your own promotional website? Probably about the same enormous balls it takes to imagine that the Secretary of Defense (or the Under Secretary, really) should be the lead on solving foreign policy problems, I guess. It's no wonder Rumsfeld wasn't interested in spending a whole lot of time fiddling with stability operations in Iraq -- he had foreign policy to conduct!

1 comment:

  1. How are you supposed to respond to a "snowflake" like that?


    1. First, invent time machine....


    Seriously. Can you imagine getting one of those?