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Archive for Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rumsfeld: War difficult but important agent of change in Iraq, Afghanistan

July 26, 2012

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Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday in Lawrence praised the new democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan but said both would face challenges in years ahead coming out of the major U.S. ground wars.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld came to the Dole Institute of Politics on Thursday July 26, 2012, to talk about his life and career in politics, which saw some of the most infamous and pivotal times in recent history.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld came to the Dole Institute of Politics on Thursday July 26, 2012, to talk about his life and career in politics, which saw some of the most infamous and pivotal times in recent history.

“Where’s it going to end? I don’t know where it’s going to end, but I have a heavy respect for the idea they’re going to have to figure it out over time, and it won’t be like us,” he told a capacity crowd Thursday afternoon at the Dole Institute of Politics.

“The template we have in this country is a good one for us now. It’s not what we had 50 years ago, or 100 years ago, or 150 years ago. It’s difficult.”

He said America itself has gone through struggles and has changed during its history. A key turning point for the country was on the issue of slavery, which fueled the buildup to the Civil War.

“We did not arrive here out of a cellophane package,” Rumsfeld said. “It was a tough, tough go, and bumpy and difficult, and then other countries are having a tough time.”

During the interview with Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy, Rumsfeld also outlined criticism for the plan to run Iraq once Saddam Hussein was overthrown. The country became embroiled in violence for several years.

“You’re right. Our military is capable, and they are able to go in and in major combat operations prevail,” he said. “It’s after that, what happens?”  

As the popularity of the Iraq War plummeted, Rumsfeld ended up resigning in 2006 the day after Republicans lost both houses of Congress. On Thursday, however, he said he had offered to resign other times before he actually did.

Rumsfeld, 80, talked candidly about both Iraq and Afghanistan.

“We were fighting the first war of the information age,” he said.

But he also defended the Bush administration’s actions post 9/11 and said President Barack Obama, who railed against Bush policies during his 2008 campaign, has largely kept the same policies in place.

“There is no more vulnerable group than free people because by our very nature we want to be able to get up in the morning and go where we want and say what we want,” he said. “The idea that we should be terrorized and alter our free way of life is exactly what the terrorist wants. They want to alter our behavior, so 9/11 was a wake-up call and a tough time for President Bush.”

He attributed the major challenges to using the military as a major player to combat terrorism.           

“I guess the old Wyoming saying is dogs don’t bark at parked cars. If you’re doing something, somebody’s not going to like it. If you don’t do anything, no one will be unhappy, probably. But it was a tough eight years for him, and in my view he did a lot of things well.”

In response to a question from an audience member about Obama setting a deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, Rumsfeld said he disagreed with stating deadlines because it can give signals to al-Qaida and other terrorist groups about how long they need to remain in the country.

After the event, Rumsfeld signed copies of his new memoir, “Known and Unknown: A Memoir, The World According To Rummy,” proceeds from which he has promised to donate to veterans’ charities. He also planned to attend a fundraiser for Republican Congressman Kevin Yoder on Thursday evening in Johnson County. Yoder served as a law clerk at the Pentagon, and his grandparents also helped in Illinois for an early Rumsfeld congressional campaign.

A handful of anti-war protesters stood in the parking lot before and after the program.

Comments

verity 1 year, 8 months ago

I wonder how much different this would have been if we still had a draft. How well I remember the days when we did.

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 8 months ago

A very, very, bad man. Can't understand why he's not in jail. He deserves to be in a muslim torture chamber.

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catfishturkeyhunter 1 year, 8 months ago

Rumsfeld is a war criminal. These wars aren't about doing whats right for Iraq and Afghanistan. Its about making money for the defense industry, the oil industry and feeding America's relentless hunger for fossil fuels. Thats the bottom line. Far as I am concerned, win or loose, the job is finished in Iraq and Afghanistan so get our service men and women out and home where they belong. Its been too long.

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beatrice 1 year, 8 months ago

“We were fighting the first war of the information age,” he said.

How ironic given that it was a war waged over false information.

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somedude20 1 year, 8 months ago

These cats (Rum/Colin/Bush/Rove) are all lucky they were not tried as war criminals! They are kinda trapped in the good ole USA though because if they set foot in another country, they could be arrested and tried as such. Repubs censure Eric Holder but gave the people who sent way too many Americans and Iraqis to an early grave a free pass and a Jay Hawk pin

Team American......

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tbaker 1 year, 8 months ago

In hindsight, Iraq was a mistake, we should not have invaded. Although it did and is today an example to the rest of the Arab world that inspires people being oppressed by dictators. Iraq has a little bit to do with the Arab Spring, which will just usher in a new crop of despots, but this sort of change is slow and incremental in this culture.

Afghanistan was and continues to be a noble, worthwhile mission but I still oppose it. We stayed too long and went way past our original strategy of removing the Taliban government and killing off as much of Al Qaeda as we could find. We got involved in “nation building” thanks largely to the US military industrial complex which is a total loser of a mission and costs billions we will get zero ROI for. Mostly I oppose Afghanistan is because I know the US will not do what it takes to win simply because in the age of political correctness, what is required to win over there is much to unsavory. Since the objective of war is to win, sending kids into an unwinnable meat grinder is immoral, my two oldest sons included.

I used to sit in the cheap seats way in back on weekly VTCs with Mr. Rumsfeld. He is an arrogant, pompous, ruthless tyrant who completely terrified the general officers who worked for him. He is utterly fearless and has the work ethic of an Olympic tri-athlete and a genius IQ. The man accomplished more than what the previous three or four SECDEFs did in their tenure, but left a lot of ruined careers in his wake.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

What democracies?

That is glass house thinking...

If democracies are in place why are any troops or private armies still there? Why did BUSHCO create 5o bases in Iraq?

Rummy = madness

The republican RINO party is trying to squash democracy in America as we speak.

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Gotland 1 year, 8 months ago

The war was to destroy the largest land army in the region to protect Israel. We could have accomplished the same results with assassination and cruise missiles. But that wouldn’t benefit Israel.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 8 months ago

Rummy should have 'been' complex "forward" thinking and invited the Muslim Brotherhood to the "50 shades of grey" House like the complex "I'm Flexible" Barack Hussein ' has.

Then Islamic deaths during Bushy's reign would look as 'collateral' as the 10's of thousands of deaths in 'Syria' look to the 'critical thinking' Genies today.

just sayin'

"Choom" on brah

0

msezdsit 1 year, 8 months ago

Rumsfeld: War difficult but important agent of change in Iraq, Afghanistan

The ahole is still tying to sell these wars. Thats enough reason to lock the guy up.

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Liberty275 1 year, 8 months ago

Too bad Saddam and his sons aren't still gassing the Kurds, bulldozing Shiites into mass graves and running rape rooms and funding suicide bombers in Israel, eh haters? Do you also generally cheer when men have their hands cut off in public for being thieves?

I can understand you being upset because we destroyed a socialist regime. I suppose it was sad to see your philosophical brother hang from a rope.

0

lawslady 1 year, 8 months ago

Just wondering..... Did any of those commenting attend the event? Even if (or because) you don't like this man, it might be interesting to hear what he had to say first hand, or to be there to ask him the questions you want answered.

1

Abdu Omar 1 year, 8 months ago

Putting this man's photo on the front page of the LJWorld is an affront to every decent and lawbiding citizen in this beautiful city. His politics, leadership and savagery has made a mockery of America throughout the world and to have him speak at our great Dole Institute is a very bad idea. Along with Bush and Cheney, this man should be arrested for war crimes and an attack upon a sovereign nation without provocation.

This man has caused thousands of deaths, famine and destruction of property for no reason. Why would The Dole Center invite him to speak? Are there no other speakers available?

10

weiser 1 year, 8 months ago

We should have left the extremist muslims in charge, I hate women drivers, they should not be allowed to go to school, and most of them should cover their face.

0

Horace 1 year, 8 months ago

Sounds like this guy is as delusional s ever. He led us into a a pointless war and fired the general who correctly pointed out that hundreds of thousands of troops would be needed.

If only he had enough shame to remove himself from public.

6

Clara Westphal 1 year, 8 months ago

Our troops do not need to be in any country fighting their wars for them.

Bring our troops home to protect our homeland. That is where they are needed.

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msezdsit 1 year, 8 months ago

"......praised the new democracies in Iraq and Afghanistan." rummy

Iran won rummy's war. Iraq used to have an army before the US destroyed it now Iran (or anyone in the region) could flick Iraq over with their little finger. Thats real stability in the region. Brilliant rummy, just brilliant. Afghanistan, well, theres a model democracy if their ever was one.

If you see this guy speak you would have to wonder if everything he says is a lie. He certainly lied us into the Iraq war and should be in jail. All his neocon buddies are still at it. Just give us a war,any war, just so long as we have a war. Great policy.

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Robert Rauktis 1 year, 8 months ago

Could this guy find his car in the parking lot? Or did he wait for everyone else to leave?

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