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Can You Find the Source For This Quote?

I have found this quote all over the internet:

“Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war.” — Donald Rumsfeld

Curiously, I have not found a single professional news source for this quote, even though I have searched the Google News, New York Times, Washington Post and Lexis-Nexis archives for the past two years. I have also searched through the transcripts at and and found nothing.

The first reference I can find to this apparent quote is in June of 2003 in a piece by Will Durst for the Progressive. But Durst does not provide his source.

Can you find a source for this quotation? Or is this quotation fake?

10 thoughts on “Can You Find the Source For This Quote?”

  1. Kevin says:

    If you can’t find a source from a professional publication after an exhaustive search and the article you found it in doesn’t name a source, my money is on it being a fake. And I’ll take the #3 horse to place.

  2. J. Matthew says:

    Well, Kevin, that was kind of my suspicion. I’m giving others who may know of an ultimate source an opportunity to pipe up here.

  3. Kevin says:

    Well, I FIGURED you did but I felt compelled to blabber anyway and make myself appear to, once more, know what the heck I was talking about.

  4. HareTrinity says:

    Is this humour I see before me?

    Didn’t know you had it in you, Kevin.

  5. Tuck says:

    What, are you kidding me? Kevin has used so much humor (in the sarcasm variety mostly, but others too) that I thought you would have figured it out by now! 😉 Maybe US humor and expressions are too foreign for you to grasp.

  6. HareTrinity says:

    I meant good humour.

  7. Kevin says:

    Wow! A complement from HareTrinity! O Blessed Day! This will save me from the despair I have felt since hearing of the breakup of Brad and Jennifer!

    (I’d insert a smirky emoticon here if I could, HareT)

  8. HareTrinity says:

    Yes, bless-ed you indeed be [Insert 🙂 here]

    It was pretty self-aware humour. Y’know, if you stopped being such an ass, maybe we’d get along. There’s discouragement if you ever heard it, hm?

  9. Tuck says:

    ” Y’know, if you stopped being such an ass, ”

    Then you’d have nothing in common! Yuk Yuk!!!! 😉

  10. David says:

    The ‘quote’ “Death has a tendency to encourage a depressing view of war”
    might well have been uttered by Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld,who is
    famous, or infamous, for pretentious quotes presented as wisdom. It could not
    have been uttered by anyone with an ounce of introspection or literary
    sensibility. It certainly has no profound meaning. Because of Death people
    tend to be depressed by war. Death is depressing. Historically, depression
    doesn’t come before, but after the deaths of war, as in the Iraqal Debacle.
    Better quotations are: Defeat ensures a depressing view of war. Or: Victory,
    in spite of Death, makes war respectable.

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