Let the Iraqis Eat Cake. Or Something Else. We’ll Walk. Donald Rumsfeld today revealed what everybody already knows. The battle against insurgents will take longer than the rose petalled predictions the Bush administration offered. Rumsfled effectively confirms the truth behind the Downing Street Memos. If twelve years was part of the Bush plan all along and Bush didn’t tell the American public that, Rumsfeld effectively is calling Bush a liar.
NOTE TO WHITE HOUSE REPORTERS COURT STENOGRAPHERS: Ask Scott McClellan about this once, then twice, until you get an answer.
WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Sunday he is bracing for even more violence in Iraq and acknowledged that the insurgency "could go on for any number of years."
Defeating the insurgency may take as long as 12 years, he said, with Iraqi security forces, not U.S. and foreign troops, taking the lead and finishing the job.
Rumsfeld, making the rounds of the Sunday talk shows, said insurgents want to disrupt the democratic transformation as Iraqi leaders draft a constitution and plan for elections in December to choose a full-term government.
"I would anticipate you're going to see an escalation of violence between now and the December elections," the Pentagon chief told NBC's "Meet the Press." And after then, it will take a long time to drive out insurgents."
"Coalition forces, foreign forces are not going to repress that insurgency. We're going to create an environment that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi security forces can win against that insurgency," he said. "Insurgencies tend to go on five, six, eight, 10, 12 years," Rumsfeld said on "Fox News Sunday."
Somebody should also clue in Cheney. Last throes apparently take at least twelve years.
UPDATED 10 PM EST: MORE WISDOM FROM RUMSFELD Now this is where it gets really scary.
Iraqis are supposed to vote in December on a government to be outlined in the constitution.
"There is no Ho Chi Minh or Mao (Zedong) there," Rumsfeld said, referring to the famed revolutionary leaders in Vietnam and China.
"There's a Jordanian terrorist who's killing Iraqi people. There's no national movement in that country. They don't have a vision. They're losers, and they're going to lose," he said.
Rumsfeld said Iraqi security forces have gained respect among the Iraqi people. He suggested that the ability of insurgents to kill in large numbers does not mean public support is diminishing or that political, economic and security progress has been lacking.
"It doesn't take a genius to go blow up a restaurant or attack a police station, a suicide bomber. You can kill — a kid with a suicide vest can kill a lot of people," the secretary said.
"Does that mean that the population is 'going south' and there's no plan and no progress? No, it doesn't mean that at all," he said. [SF GATE]
Rumsfeld says the insurgents will lose. So they must lose. Rumsfeld belittles the opponents of the most powerful army in the world. There's no national movement in that country. They don't have a vision. They're losers . . . But this rag tag bunch of nobodies has battled the United States army to at least a draw so far. One can only imagine how much worse things would be going if at least one of the sides had a vision. It would be great if our side had one.
UPDATED 10:30 PM EST: LAUGHTER FROM RUMSFELD Ron Brynaert at [WhyAreWeBackInIraq?] has the scoop on the No Fly Zone Early Strikes. Rumsfeld says he ordered them because . . . he didn’t like it. Then he laughs about it all.
Department of Defense briefing from September 16, 2002, with Gen. Peter Pace, Vice-Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld (defenselink.mil):
Q: "General Pace, you didn't really answer whether -- is that laying
the groundwork for an Iraqi strike? In other words, why the change on
this? Some might say this was just laying the groundwork"
Rumsfeld: "Well, it can't hurt. I directed it."
Q: "Why did you direct it?"
Rumsfeld: "Because it seemed right at the time. The -- I don't like
the idea of our planes being shot at. We're there implementing U.N.
resolutions. The -- it's not just the United States. It's the British,
the coalition forces involved. And the idea that our planes go out and
get shot at with impunity bothers me."
Q: "Can you --"
Q: "When did you direct the change?"
Rumsfeld: "And I don't like it. I don't like it. And so what we are
doing is we are attempting to, in an orderly way, as the general
indicated, arrange our response options in a way that we think -- hope
-- we hope will be net harmful to their capabilities on the ground. We
can't know for sure if it has been net harmful, but our intention is to
make it net harmful."
Q: "But is this laying the groundwork for Iraq? That's the question."
Rumsfeld: "The President hasn't made a decision with respect to Iraq. Didn't I say that earlier? I thought I said that."
Q: "When did you order the change?"
Q: "When did you order this? When did this change take place, Mr. Secretary?"
Q: "Now?" (Laughter.)
Rumsfeld: "Less than a year -- less than a year and more than a
week." (Laughter.) I think less than six months and more than a month."
Rumsfeld: "But I can't remember. I don't keep track of all -- I don't keep notes."
Q: "Can you take my question, please?"
Q: "Could someone take that question and get back to us?"
Q: "General, do you remember?"
Pace: "I remember it happening since I've been here, which was 1 October last year."
Pace: "Which is almost a year now. But I don't remember."
Q: "Will you take that question?"
Rumsfeld: "If you want to take the rhythm of what happened, what
happened was that after I came, which is the extent of my knowledge --
or recollection, there had been a pattern of responses that had been
relatively only marginally effective, both in the North and the South.
And we were flying patterns that were getting us shot at. And our
responses being what they were, at some point -- and I don't remember,
I think it was this year -- at some point -- maybe it was, like, last
year -- we decided, after a good deal of talk, General Pace, General
Myers, others in the National Security Council, that it really did not
make an awful lot of sense to be flying patterns that we were being
shot at if in response, we were not doing any real damage that would
make it worth putting pilots at risk. So we modified some of our
flights to that they were then flying in areas that were less likely to
put them at risk and more in keeping with the value of what we were
achieving by doing it." MORE >>> [WhyAreWeBackInIraq?]
Funny. Nobody's laughing about this early start to the war now. Rumsfeld's lack of memory on this will be remembered. How long will it be before he gets fired? Or indicted?