Known knowns, known unknowns, unknown unknowns etc
This is probably a sure-fire way to make myself political toast with Labour colleagues but I actually feel rather sorry for Donald Rumsfeld and find the gloating at his resignation distasteful.
1) Well for a start off his strategy in Iraq was our Labour government's too so if he's such a bad/wrong person so are we - or at least everyone of us that supported the government line.
2) If you are going to have Republicans in power (and I'd rather we were now 6 years into an Al Gore Presidency) I would rather they were idealistic ones that believed in spreading democracy to the Middle East than Kissinger/Nixon style cynics practicising real-politik and focussed just on national self-interest rather than some higher ideological ends.
3) He's the fall guy for his boss in the White House who in a European political system would be the one resigning after these elections.
4) He actually did the traditional job of Defense Secretary very well - overseeing two stunning military victories in Afganistan and Iraq in a matter of weeks - what he is being blamed for is the subsequent failiure to rebuild Iraq and of the US armed forces to peacekeep - neither of which traditionally were or should be core US military functions.
My hunch is history will say Rumsfeld made all of us a lot safer by destroying the Taliban/al-Qaeda base in Afghanistan and removing Saddam from power so he wasn't around to refresh his WMD arsenal and marry it with N Korean missile technology.
There are a lot of Afghans and Iraqis (particularly Kurds and Shiites) who have a lot to thank him for.