The Man They Loved to Hate (Rumsfeld and “Old” Europe)

Posted by John Rosenthal

In accepting the resignation of Donald Rumsfeld, George Bush has thrown a first bone to his European critics and the Euro-wannabes in the Democratic Party. But there should be no mistaking the fact that "European" hostility to Rumsfeld — which is to say, in reality, Franco-German hostility to Rumsfeld — had to do not with his conduct of the Iraq War, but with the War itself. An interview that French journalist Michel Gurfinkiel conducted with Rumsfeld in October 2002 [link in French] provides a good measure of the extent to which this hostility — both in "old" Europe and in America — has been propagated on the basis of phantasms and not facts. The interview first appeared in the weekly Valeurs Actuelles.

 
Gurfinkiel asked Rumsfeld what had thus far been accomplished in America’s war against terrorism apart from the intervention in Afghanistan. Rumsfeld gave a few examples and then the exchange continued as follows: 
 

D.R.: …But the most important work remains to be done. We have to put the terrorists on the defensive, to prevent the creation of new "sanctuaries" in countries like Yemen or Somalia, and, above all, to prevent terrorists from getting access to weapons of mass destruction.

 
M.G.
: You have in mind Iraq and the other countries of the "Axis of Evil"?

 
D.R.
: We have indeed to concentrate on those states that are trying to acquire such weapons and that could provide them to terrorist organizations.

 
 
"We have, above all, to prevent terrorists from getting access to weapons of mass destruction. We have to concentrate on those states that are trying to acquire such weapons and that could provide them to terrorist organizations." These two sentences contain the simple, straightforward justification for the Iraq War that has been thoroughly obscured by years of "Bush Lied!", conspiracy-mongering hysteria in the dominant European and American media. I emphasize the words "that are trying to acquire" as a reminder that the war was not about actual possession of WMD, even if the available intelligence strongly suggested that Iraq did indeed already possess biological and chemical weapons.

 
For much more on "old" Europe’s hateful obsession with Donald Rumsfeld, see my March 2005 article from The NY Sun "Fabricated Outrage" .

 

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