...as Reuters loses the plot.
If Rumsfeld has left us with anything worth keeping (and it certainly ain’t his prowess as a military planner) then it must be his contribution to the English language.
First we had his invention of ‘New Europe’, as a way of describing the pro-Atlanticist, free market, non-protectionist Poles and others (well, he got the pro-Atlanticist bit right). And then of course we had the almost Shakespearian:
"Reports that say that something hasn't happened are always interesting to me, because as we know, there are known knowns; there are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns -- the ones we don't know we don't know."
On WMD in Iraq he said:
"We know where they are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat."
But there again, he also said something that James Joyce would have been proud of::
"We do know of certain knowledge that he [Osama Bin Laden] is either in Afghanistan, or in some other country, or dead."
But my favourite is:
"I would not say that the future is necessarily less predictable than the past. I think the past was not predictable when it started."
He will be sorely missed by everyone, except maybe for Iraqis. Oh, and I bet Reuters journos are sorry to see him go, too.
Reason reports today:
Bad timing award on the day goes to this Reuters story, sent out at 10:50 a.m [about two hours before his resignation was announced].
Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, the face of U.S. war policy and a lightning rod for critics worldwide, will not be forced out just because he faces a tougher time from resurgent Democrats.
The Poetry of D.H. Rumsfeld, Slate magazine