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拉姆斯菲尔德:'A Trained Ape' Would Be Better At Foreign Policy Than Obama

25/03/2014|Paige Lavender | The Huffington Post

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld slammed President Barack Obama on Monday, saying "a trained ape" would have better foreign policy skills.
During an appearance on Fox News' "On the Record with Greta van Susteren," Rumsfeld criticized the White House for not securing a status of forces agreement with Afghanistan.

“We have status of forces agreements probably with 100, 125 countries in the world," Rumsfeld said. "This administration, the White House, and the State Department, have failed to get a status of forces agreement. A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement. It doesn’t take a genius.”

Rumsfeld bashes Obama on Afghanistan, says ‘a trained ape’ could do better
25/03/2014|AARON BLAKE The The Washington Post
Former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Monday attacked the Obama administration for failing to secure a status of forces agreement with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai.
Rumsfeld, speaking on Fox News, said even a "trained ape" could do better.
"A trained ape could get a status of forces agreement," Rumsfeld said. "It does not take a genius. And we have so mismanaged that relationship."
Rumsfeld noted that the United States has such agreements with more than 100 other countries. Such an agreement would allow the United States to station military forces in Afghanistan for years to come.
Karzai recently voiced support for Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine -- a significant blow to U.S.-Afghan relations. Rumsfeld said he understands Karzai's increasingly antagonistic relationship, given the Obama administration's treatment of him.
"United States diplomacy has been so bad -- so embarrassingly bad -- that I’m not the least bit surprised that he felt cornered and is feeling he has to defend himself in some way or he’s not president of that country,” Rumsfeld said.
Rumsfeld said the Bush administration had a "first-rate" relationship with Karzai and that it has gone "downhill like a toboggan" since Obama took over.



25/03/2014|The new yorker

Donald Rumsfeld, whose mastery of foreign policy was amply displayed in Iraq, thinks that “a trained ape” could have done a better job handling Afghanistan’s President, Hamid Karzai, than President Obama and his team have. The problem, Rumsfeld told Greta Van Susteren, of Fox, on Monday night, is that Obama has not been deferential enough to Karzai: “The President has been unpleasant to him.” His entire Administration has dealt with Karzai “repeatedly and publicly in an abusive, unpleasant manner.” Is that perhaps what Rumsfeld considers untrained?
What is it about Obama that bothers people like Rumsfeld? He might ask himself, for a moment, why the idea of Obama—the President of the United States—speaking out of turn bothers him so much, and why the word “ape” sprung to mind. Rumsfeld worked for George W. Bush, who made something of a fetish out of talking like a cowboy; he spent a lot of time in office trying to out-preen Dick Cheney; and yet he just doesn’t like Obama’s tone. What’s particularly odd is that Van Susteren was asking Rumsfeld about, of all things, Karzai’s statement of support for Russia’s annexation of Crimea. (Rumsfeld called it “understandable.”) Haven’t we been hearing from Republicans that Obama is too passive when it comes to Ukraine—that he’s too pleasant with Putin, and doesn’t talk tough in the way that they imagine they would? Just a few weeks ago, Rumsfeld told Van Susteren that “it is U.S. weakness that has shaken the world.” He has also railed against the President’s supposed “apologies” for America.
Van Susteren asked Rumsfeld why it was so hard to get Karzai to sign a status-of-forces agreement—a memorandum that would clarify the legal position of American troops in Afghanistan. Karzai has withheld his agreement for months, despite warnings that it won’t be possible to keep even a residual American force in Afghanistan without one, and despite the approval of Afghanistan’s loya jirga. (He may want to insure he has a card to play after the upcoming Presidential elections.) Rumsfeld scoffed at the idea that Karzai had been difficult—this is where he talked about how “a trained ape can get a status-of-forces agreement. It does not take a genius.”
By that, perhaps, Rumsfeld meant that it does not take a genius to put American troops in another country. Indeed, it does not—Rumsfeld proved that himself, by getting our forces over to Iraq. The hard part can be getting them out.
“I realize these are tough jobs, being President or Secretary of State. But, by golly, they have trashed Karzai publicly over and over and over,” Rumsfeld said. This when Karzai had been so “friendly” during the Bush Administration; under Obama, it had all “gone downhill like a toboggan.” And so, as far as Rumsfeld is concerned, Karzai, a man whose country was invaded by the Soviet Union, was left “feeling he has to defend himself” against a United States government now in the process of withdrawing from his territory by supporting Russia’s invasion of a third country. And, Rumsfeld said, “I personally sympathize with him.” The Obama Administration has certainly made mistakes in Afghanistan, but the most questionable moves, like doubling down on troop levels early on, have tended to be hawkish—and, Rumsfeld style, they didn’t really work. A bitterness toward Obama that would be rich enough to evoke Rumsfeldian warmth toward aspiring Russian proxies is quite a thing. (It seems likely that Karzai is hoping that Putin can be a source of replacement cash, a process that has already begun.)
Rumsfeld may be right that it’s easier than it looks to make Karzai happy, as long as one doesn’t mind losing a good deal of taxpayer money to Afghan graft, and American lives in opaque standoffs in villages where we have no idea who is paying whom for a drug route or a piece of a construction project two provinces over. When Van Susteren suggested that Karzai’s support for Putin on Crimea was “a poke in the eye” to the Americans who had fought and died in Afghanistan to keep his government safe, Rumsfeld brushed her off. Karzai, he said, might have conveyed “his extreme anger” to the American government, but “he also said to the American people give them my best wishes and my gratitude.” How very pleasant of him.


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