Rumsfeld Urges Iraqi Leaders to See Things His Way
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
(SSN Baghdad) Ten weeks after Iraqis braved death to go to the polls, there has already been a major challenge to the newly elected democratic government, by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Rumsfeld suggested that the newly elected Iraqi leaders may be dragging their feet in the forming of a new government.
Rumsfeld suggested that the newly elected Iraqi leaders may be dragging their feet in the forming of a new government. Rumsfeld wanted to make it clear to the sovereign Iraqi people that there could be serious consequences if they did not follow the advice of the United States. "We have an opportunity to continue to make progress politically, economically," Rumsfeld said. "Anything that would delay that or disrupt that as a result of turbulence ... would be unfortunate."
However, members of the democratically elected sovereign Iraqi parliament responded that they had good reasons to do a house cleaning in the intelligence services and Defense Ministry, which stand accused of intimidation and murder of supporters of the United Iraqi Alliance. They also fear that insurgents have infiltrated the senior posts in the security ministries.
We have reservations about his opposing a purge before the government has even been officially created
Surprisingly, Iraqi leaders did not approve of Sec. Rumsfeld telling them how to run their sovereign country. "We have reservations about his opposing a purge before the government has even been officially created," said Saad Qindeel, the head of the political bureau of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq, the largest party in the alliance.
This news comes at a time when many of the coalition forces are withdrawing or announcing their withdrawal from Iraq. Poland, often sited by President Bush as the pride of the coalition, has announced it is going to pull its forces from Iraq by the end of the year.
Despite the fact that they are threatening members of the new government and passing information to insurgents, Rumsfeld feels that a purge of the services could wipe out the progress that American forces have made in training and mobilizing police and soldiers. "It's not so much a matter of continuity as a matter of competence, of capability," Rumsfeld said during a stop in a Kurdish city. "It's a matter of not ... setting back the important progress that's been achieved.” It is feared that if thousand of soldiers still loyal to Saddam are fired from the security services now, it may weaken Iraq’s future.
Rusmfeld added that American troops would be kept in Iraq until the country’s leaders could prove that they were "highly competent people who are not going to politicize security forces." And if there’s one person who can identify the politicizing of decisions about the military, it’s Donald Rumsfeld.
James Skippenofsky, Senior Iraq Correspondent
Also, protecting his (and the administration's) ass: Imagine all the crap the administration would catch if the new Iraqi government turns out to be another evil empire (as bad or worse than Saddam's government).