What Were Dick Cheney And Donald Rumsfeld Trying To Tell You?

What Were Dick Cheney And Donald Rumsfeld Trying To Tell You?

If you’ve played Modern Warfare 2 — and if you’ve died at any point in the game’s campaign — you may have received an inspirational quote from John F. Kennedy. Of course. But what were Cheney and Rumsfeld talking about?

I’m singling these two men out because their inclusion caught me most by surprise. Gandhi and Mark Twain are expected. Even Albert Einstein isn’t much of a shock. But two of the United States’ recent leaders, both controversial figures, were not men who I expected to see quoted in the game.

Here’s what they say and what I’ve been able to learn about it.

Dick Cheney’s quote in the game is: “Principle is OK up to a certain point, but principle doesn’t do any good if you lose.”

I assumed this was a recent quote from the former Vice President. Wrong. I’ve yet to find out just what he was talking about, but it appears that his quote comes from his tenure in the Gerald Ford White House, at least according to Nixon White House whistle-blower John Dean. So this quote is from 1976 or thereabouts.

Former secretary of defence Donald Rumsfeld’s in-game quote is: “We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.”

He said that not during his first tenure as secretary for the Ford White House but during his term under George W. Bush.

Rumsfeld was talking to ABC reporter George Stephanopoulos in March 2003, during the second week of the current war in Iraq:

From an official transcript:

MR. STEPHANOPOULOS: Finally, weapons of mass destruction. Key goal of the military campaign is finding those weapons of mass destruction. None have been found yet. There was a raid on the Answar Al-Islam Camp up in the north last night. A lot of people expected to find ricin there. None was found. How big of a problem is that? And is it curious to you that given how much control US and coalition forces now have in the country, they haven’t found any weapons of mass destruction?

SEC. RUMSFELD: Not at all. If you think — let me take that, both pieces — the area in the south and the west and the north that coalition forces control is substantial. It happens not to be the area where weapons of mass destruction were dispersed. We know where they are. They’re in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat.

The WMD’s Rumsfeld referred to were never found.

Any other quotes in Modern Warfare 2 catch you be surprise?


    • I think using recent quotes was a nod to the whole ‘history is written by the victors’ aspect of the story line. I would guess that putting quotes from the people who already ‘won history’ alongside the people who history hasn’t decided on yet is meant to cause you to question how these quotes would have been received at the time.

      Then again, maybe I’m just over thinking it and they wanted to add modern quotes for Modern Warfare. =P

  • I quite liked “Patriotism is the belief that your country is the best in the world because you were born in it” (I can’t remember the attribution, but it’s in there). I got the sense that more than a few were a bit tongue in cheek…

    • i love the mix of patriotism and anti-establishment(ism) in MW2, i think the quotes are generally indicative of the conflicting attitudes towards war today.

      something cod WAW sorely missed with its keifer sutherland spearheaded ‘bad nazis!’ and ‘crazy japs!’ sentiment….

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