Sunday, June 26

RUSSERT V. RUMSFELD

Here's a quick report on Rumsfeld's appearance on MTP today. Note the bolded sections. "I DON'T REMEMBER"?????

It's so convenient, how the Iraqi government is "sovereign" any time we want them to take the blame for something.

RUMMY: Wars are tough things. Solid progress is being made. The political progress is considerable. Economic progress is being made. And yet Zarqawi and his people continue to kill people, and that's what the media reports, and that's all the American people see. But I think solid progress is being made.

Hagel is flat wrong. We are not losing in Iraq. Myers and Abizaid say we're not in a quagmire, we're making good progress. Afghanistan is terrific, women voting, etc., but Iraq's behind that a little. The progress is impressive and we just have to recognize that it's tough, it's difficult. The terrorists have no cause, they're opposing an elected Iraqi government. That isn't a long-term formula for success.

RUSSERT: Are we negotiating with the insurgency?

RUMMY: The government in Iraq is sovereign, they're the ones reaching out to those opposing the government, not to terrorists with blood on their hands. We'll facilitate those conversations from time to time.
The sweep of human history is to freedom. We can be optimistic about the future but there will be a lot of bumps in the road between now and then.

RUSSERT: Any misjudgments by you or the administration about Iraq?

RUMMY: In any war the battle plan doesn't survive first contact with the enemy. We're constantly adapting to the enemy, but that's not a mistake. Our military is the finest on the face of the earth, best-trained, best-equipped, best-led, and they're doing a fine job. Iraqi security forces are getting better every day. This is the reality of war, that there's violence, it's tough, and that's why it's everyone's last choice.

RUSSERT: Cheney predicting our being greeted as liberators. Misjudgment?

RUMMY: Before the war I drew up a long list of the things that could go wrong. A great many of the bad things that could have happened didn't because of the terrific job Franks did. A lot of Iraqi people did feel relief that Saddam was gone. On the other hand, the Sunnis, the people who lost out, didn't like it.

RUSSERT: Was a robust insurgency on your list of things that could go wrong?

RUMMY: I don't remember.


RUSSERT: IS the insurgency in its "last throes?"

RUMMY: There are various ways to measure it. If you measure the number of incidents, it's going down. If you measure the lethalities of those attacks, it's going up. The way to think of it is, the insurgents are foreigners in significant numbers, they're attacking Iraqis, they're opposing the government, they know if Iraq becomes a representative democracy, it's going to hurt them badly. If the constitution gets written, if we get past this and have more of an Iraqi face on this, over time -- foreign troops won't beat the insurgency, Iraqi people can beat the insurgency.

RUSSERT: We are in for a very long haul, right?

RUMMY: In October we'll have about 200,000 Iraqi forces.

RUSSERT: How many will be combat-ready?

RUMMY: You can't do it that way. You have to say, what are you trying to achieve with which groups. The biggest problems aren't numbers, they're the agencies, the chain of command.

I think you'll see the coalition forces being reduced over time. One variable is, the number and quality of the Iraqi security forces. Another variable is the intensity of the insurgency. The interaction of all those things will determine the pace of a draw-down. A heavy U.S. footprint, intrusive behavior, encourages the insurgency, so our generals are keeping it light.

RUSSERT: (Tim keeps showing quotes and video clips of administration predictions before the war. Rumsfeld keeps saying the generals determine(d) the force levels.) Downing Street Memo and WMD? After-war planning?

RUMMY: Great deal of post-combat planning. Commanders have an obligation for post-combat stabilization plan, and they did. Over time, there's no doubt that Iraq will have to finance its own reconstruction, and that will take a long time.

RUSSERT: Did you make a mistake in estimating the costs of the war?

RUMMY: I never estimated it. There are always unknowns. Anyone who tries to estimate the end, the time, the casualties in a war is making a big mistake. War is always a last choice and as George Washington said, you don't get out once you're in.

RUSSERT: What is the problem with armoring our Humvees?

RUMMY: It's being done. Each military branch is responsible for equipping their units. They've been working their heads off at doing it, and they've done it at a rapid clip.

RUSSERT: Recruiting shortfalls?

RUMMY: It's off, but the goal is higher than ever before. Army retention among those who've served in Iraq and Afghanistan is higher than for those who haven't. Navy, Air Force, Marine recruiting and retention is good. We'll be able to meet our recruiting goals for next year.

RUSSERT: Prisoner abuse: would you support an independent investigation?

RUMMY: The president and his advisers decided at the beginning that the WOT is different from any other war. The people at Gitmo are bad people. I agree with POTUS that you do treat terrorists differently than you do those in the criminal justice system.

RUSSERT: Are we creating more terrorists than we're killing?

RUMMY: Tough to know. The moderate Muslims will have to defeat the terrorists.

RUSSERT: (Re Karl Rove remarks) Are you comfortable with the way liberals responded after 9/11?

RUMMY: The bottom line is, do you want to treat terrorists with indictments or get them off the battlefield and get information that will stop other terrorist attacks? And that has been done, I assure you.

RUSSERT: But liberals opposed that?

RUMMY: I didn't suggest that. My impression is that Rove was referring to moveon.org and said so.

1 Comments:

Blogger LiteraryTech said...

It is wonderful that he is forced to actually acknowledge moveon.org. What a lame collection of comments.

12:00 AM  

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