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Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld has published a new book. It's a book of advice. You too can get advice from The Man Who Screwed Up The War. You can give it as a gift to someone you want to catastrophically fail at life.
Fine, let's take a look. Marketplace highlights three of "Rumsfeld's Rules":
It’s easier to get into something than it is to get out.
“I thought of that when I was President Reagan’s Middle East envoy and we had 241 Marines killed at Beirut, at the airport. And I concluded then that the United States has to be careful about putting ground forces in because we’re such a big target. And I also over the years came to the conclusion over the years that the United States really was organized, trained and equipped to do nation-building.”
Those are two odd lessons to put together. Luckily, he forgot the first just in time to personally disprove the second.
“I’ve been mistaken so many times I don’t even blush for it anymore.” – Napoleon
“You see things that don’t turn out the way you hoped.”
Oh my God. What is this, life lessons for fifth graders?
Sometimes you goof up, kids. Sometimes you have to send a few thousand "sorry for your dead child" Hallmark cards when you goof up. Best you can hope for is that you get a motivational book out of it someday.
Monitor progress through metrics.
“I think that history over time will probably be a better judge than you or I, but I’ve been struck by the amount of criticism that the Bush administration has received and President Bush personally and the attempts to assign blame to him and I think it’s probably not going to sort out that way.”
Monitor progress through metrics, but if the metrics say you're a goddamn screw-up, tell people they're wrong and that they need to wait until new metrics appear that will make you look better. Repeat as necessary, possibly forever.
Yeah, we're done here.