‘The real victim of the Iraq War’: AP roasted for describing late Donald Rumsfeld as ‘visionary’ whose reputation was ‘soiled’
News of ex-congressman and defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s death soon attracted critics of his role in the Iraq War, but when the media described the Bush-era official as all but a victim of circumstance, tempers blew up.
Rumsfeld’s death was announced on Wednesday. He passed away on June 29 in Taos, New Mexico at the age of 88. A statement from the late public official’s family described him as being “dedicated to country” and having an “unwavering love” for family and friends.
Social media reactions to Rumsfeld’s death were not so kind, with most pointing to his advocacy for the Iraq War and integral role in the US’ controversial ‘War on Terror’ as his most egregious acts in public office.
Donald Rumsfeld was a merciless war criminal who presided over systemic torture, massacres of civilians, illegal wars. That’s his legacy and how he should forever be remembered.— jeremy scahill (@jeremyscahill) June 30, 2021
Donald Rumsfeld is dead.That’s it. That’s the tweet.— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) June 30, 2021
Rumsfeld served as defense secretary twice, the first time in the Gerard Ford administration and the last time in the George W. Bush administration. He would eventually resign the position under Bush in 2006 after increased scrutiny surrounding his role as an advocate for the War on Terror, specifically the conflict in Iraq, which was sold to the American people by officials such as Rumsfeld who suggested there were WMDs (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq, a claim that proved to be false.
Following news of his death, the Associated Press described Rumsfeld as “the two-time defense secretary whose reputation as a skilled bureaucrat and visionary of a modern US military was soiled by the long and costly Iraq war.” This earned AP backlash from critics who accused the outlet of making Rumsfeld a “victim” of the war which he was considered a key architect of.
BREAKING: Donald Rumsfeld, the two-time defense secretary whose reputation as a skilled bureaucrat and visionary of a modern U.S. military was soiled by the long and costly Iraq war, has died at age 88, his family says. https://t.co/1eCjLJ6A8l— The Associated Press (@AP) June 30, 2021
“Donald Rumsfeld being described as ‘a visionary’ makes me sick. The man was a war monger, a murderer, an imperialist. He is responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands and the displacement of millions more,” musician Laura Jansen tweeted.
“Turns out Donald Rumsfeld was an incredible ‘visionary’ before the Iraq War came along and ‘soiled’ him. He was the real victim of the Iraq War all along. Thanks, AP,” journalist Michael Tracey said.
His reputation was soiled by contact with reality. https://t.co/dw3tRCd2e3— Matthew Federman (@matthewfederman) June 30, 2021
Even in his farewell statement as defense secretary, Rumsfeld defended the Iraq War, despite the thousands of military and civilian deaths – some estimate the war-related deaths to be in the hundreds of thousands – and cities decimated by bombings and the surge of combat troops. Rumsfeld warned that “weakness” and the “perception of weakness” could be considered “provocative” in the region.
Rumsfeld again defended the Iraq War in his 2011 memoir, saying capturing and executing Saddam Hussein made the region “more stable and secure,” a position few agreed with as the war raged on and groups like Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) took advantage of the instability in the region.Also on rt.com Iraq War architect Donald Rumsfeld dead at 88
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