Posted by CODEPINK Staff
War Criminal: Donald Rumsfeld's Bloody War
by Nancy Mancias
Any war with Iraq would be swift and not require a full US mobilisation. --US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
For decades, Donald Rumsfeld has had his bloody finger prints all over Iraqi business. Back in 1983, he traveled to Iraq as Reagan’s personal representative to meet with Saddam Hussein. He developed strong diplomatic relationships with the country. The Chicago Tribune Magazine listed one of his greatest achievements as opening up U.S. relations with Iraq. The U.S. announced it was satisfied with the normal ties between both countries even though at the time Iraq was engaged in a brutal war with Iran. Saddam Hussein was encouraged by the White House to shop for U.S. military goods, which eventually would be used to attack the Kurds.
Rumsfeld's tone towards Saddam Hussein began to change when Iraq invaded Kuwait, threatening western oil. The precursor to the Gulf War.
After 9/11, the U.S. charged its way into war in Afghanistan, but under the influence of Donald Rumsfeld, the Bush administration began looking at possible action against another country. Just before Thanksgiving 2001, Bush asked Rumsfeld to secretly draw up plans against Iraq.
While Rumsfeld was in Europe campaigning for the invasion of Iraq he said at an American air base in northern Italy, "It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months." The Bush administration was beating the war drum while chief UN nuclear watchdogs were quickly meeting with Iraqis to show cooperation, but Washington was unimpressed.
On March 19, 2003, the U.S. invades Iraq, occupying the country for now seven years and seven months. Rumsfeld once again shapes the relationship between the U.S. and Iraq.
In 2004, as Donald Rumsfeld testified at the Senate Armed Services hearing, clad in pink and holding pink signs "FIRE RUMSFELD," CODEPINK activists interrupted Rumsfeld as he began giving his opening statement apologizing for the abuses of Iraqi prisoners who were tortured in Abu Ghraib.
Even though Rumsfeld has over the years created disastrous, brutal and reckless diplomatic relationships and made decisions on behalf of corporations, he is scheduled to receive the Victory and Freedom award in December 2010 at the Nixon library in California. His new memoir Known and Unknown will be published by Sentinel on Jan. 25, 2011.