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Secretary Rumsfeld Stakeout After Closed Hearing

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
April 28, 2004
Secretary Rumsfeld Stakeout After Closed Hearing

            UNKNOWN:  The secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs have finished another regular briefing of over half of the United States Senate.  We covered a full range of issues with regard to Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere in the world.  The secretary will take a question or two with the gentlemen.

 

            Mr. Secretary? 

 

            RUMSFELD:  Thank you sir.  We're due over in the House of Representatives to brief them in about 13 minutes, so I'll take a question or two.

 

            Q:  [Inaudible.]

 

            RUMSFELD:  Well, one always would wish that more people would grab a hold of that country and provide the kind of leadership that's important.   I think that it is useful, however, to think of how many have done that.  You have 25 members of the governing council who have shown courage.  You have the ministers of all the cabinet departments who have shown courage.  You have governors and city councils and provincial councils all across the nation.  You have people who have -- 200,000 who have joined the Iraqi security forces and, with only a few exceptions, have performed well.  And we also know that the remnants of that regime killed those people.  Three hundred of the Iraqi security people have lost their lives. 

 

            We know that teachers have been threatened with guns and said, "Close your schools."  So it takes courage in a violent environment for a person to stand up and say, "I'm for law and order, I'm for freedom, I'm for a representative system."  And there are a lot of them doing that. 

 

            I don't see a lot of that in the newspapers, frankly.  What we see are the ones who are critics and who are doing bad things.  I mean, here's a wonderful picture that just gives you a little sense of -- this is a mosque in An Najaf.  And you can see they have all kinds of religious instruments, called rocket-propelled grenades and AK-47s.  That's what they do in their mosques.  So that isn't in the paper. 

 

            Q:  Mr. Secretary, can you tell us...

 

            UNKNOWN:  Could you speak up, please?  Thank you.

 

            Q:    [Inaudible]  the coalition might threaten it  further  [Inaudible]  Abizaid's decision and can you tell us  what importance you now attach to the coalition remaining [Inaudible]?

 

            RUMSFELD:  Well, we have gone around to the - I think it's 33 or 2 -- countries now that are involved in Iraq with the United States and Great Britain.  And with the exception of Spain and Honduras, the countries have been very, very stand-up.  I mean, we've heard comments from Italy and we've heard comments from other nations who've said that they have considered it and they have made a considered judgment that they don't believe that appeasement is a good idea.  They don't believe that you can make a separate peace with terrorists, that they believe this is noble tasks and that it's important that it be finished.  And I must say, I recognize that that takes political courage, on the part of those governments and it also takes personal courage on the part of their troops and we're darned appreciative of that.  We're going to have to-

 

            Q:  [Inaudible]

 

            RUMSFELD:  Time will tell. 

 

            UNKNOWN:  Question?

 

            Q:  What about the operations  [Inaudible] outside of [Inaudible] ?

 

            RUMSFELD:  What's going on is some terrorists and regime remnants have been attacking our forces and our forces have been going in and killing them.

 

            UNKNOWN:  Thank you very much.