POST-WAR IRAQ: The brilliant Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld gives an interview to the AP. On moving towards local elections:
Rumsfeld: What we want to do is to first assure that there’s a relatively permissive environment, a secure environment. ... And increasingly a number of humanitarian people who are only allowed to do emergency situations are saying well we are leaving because there was not an emergency. ... In some cases they are actually forming town councils and beginning that process.Town councils are indeed one of the most fundamental units of government, and it's a good start. The fact that emergency aid organizations are leaving is interesting, and something I hadn't read elsewhere. On whether or not Iraq's new government will be a theocracy:
Rumsfeld: ... And there'll be some sort of a representative government that will evolve and a non-dictatorial, a non-repressive government. And if you are suggesting how would we feel about an Iranian type government, with a few clerics running everything in the country. The answer is, that ain't gonna happen, I just don't see how that’s going to happen.And the money quote, regarding future US military presence:
Rumsfeld: I don't anticipate or not anticipate. It seems to me that one would hope that Iraq would not invest in a military, in a way that distracted from the needs of the Iraqi people. They have a neighbor that they've been at war with. Iran. And, so there is that issue and the question is, what is best for Iraq and what do the Iraqi people and the Iraqi government that eventually all decides is in their best interest. It may be that they would like to have a security relationship with other countries that would enable them to not make those massive investments and still feel that they were in a relatively secure situation, relative to their neighbors. It may be that that's not the case and it's all so far in the future that it's not something.That's a yes. Good thing, too.
Q: And what would you say to the weapons inspectors, in fact, Hans Blix said recently that the U.S. side of demonstration of this was pathetic in terms of finding
Rumsfeld: The U.S. what?
Q: That in terms of the record of finding weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was pathetic and he thought the weapons inspectors should
Rumsfeld: Is it that his record or, was pathetic or U.N.'s record?
Q: The U.S. presentation, of the case that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.
Rumsfeld: I haven’t read what he said.