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    13 December 2006

    Rummy: Iraq was not a "war on terror"

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    Cal Thomas: With what you know now, what might you have done differently in Iraq?

    Donald Rumsfeld: I don't think I would have called it the war on terror. I don't mean to be critical of those who have. Certainly, I have used the phrase frequently. Why do I say that? Because the word 'war' conjures up World War II more than it does the Cold War. It creates a level of expectation of victory and an ending within 30 or 60 minutes of a soap opera. It isn't going to happen that way. Furthermore, it is not a 'war on terror.' Terror is a weapon of choice for extremists who are trying to destabilize regimes and (through) a small group of clerics, impose their dark vision on all the people they can control. So 'war on terror' is a problem for me. [link; h/t ThinkProgress]

    Well, a pretty large consensus agreed with you before the neocon pipe-dreamers sold their unverified ideological plan and the war on Iraq to the President as a way of fighting the War on Terror. Now, few disagree that the war in Iraq is a part of the War on Terror, more will disagree that it is the main front of that war. Include me there, Iraq is but a part of the whole dynamic. Recent destabilization in North Africa and the Horn of Africa point to an emerging front of a level comparable to today's Iraq (think: failed states in Somalia and Sudan and then the failed state of Afghanistan in 2001). Additionally fighting the battle of hearts and minds (limiting anti-Americanism) should be given more thought and effort. It is a shame that the level of anti-Americanism hasn't budged do in large part to our governments arrogant, misinformed, and misguided policies in the region.

    This statement from this discredited Sec. of Defense is "remarkable." But would, as the question asked, this remarkable revelation have changed the course to war one bit had it occurred to Rummy or whomever prior to March 2003? I doubt it. These people were sitting on top of cherry picked Intel and a nation of traumatized citizens who had let world events cause them to set aside facts and reason in order to monger a war of perceived retaliation. It is a bit of dark historical irony that this action actually made the problem worse and that the War on Terror has become more difficult to win due to this administrations policy and the support they received from large parts of their traumatized constituency.

    Posted by Geoff

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