2002 October 08 Tuesday
Rumsfeld on America's Huge Unilateral Coalition

In US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's Oct. 7, 2002 briefing he reflected on the one year anniversary of the start of the air war in Afghanistan. Unilateral America operating outside of the UN's auspices has worked with about 90 nations in pursuing terrorists:

It was a year ago today that the global war on terrorism began, when U.S. and coalition forces commenced military operations in and over Afghanistan. Our coalition now comprises some 90 nations -- nearly half of the world's countries. I'm told it's the largest military coalition ever assembled in human history.

Rummy provided a US combat casualty total so far:

But sadly, success on the global war on terror has not been without cost. Fifty-three Americans have died in the war thus far. Their names appear on the screen. And many others have been injured. Our coalition partners have also suffered casualties as well. We remember them with gratitude. We remember also the many Afghans who were -- fought for the liberation of their country and were wounded or died in battle.

The sacrifice of all of those who died is a reminder that we are engaged in a difficult and dangerous undertaking, but it is an effort that is vital to the security of our people.

I believe the names that are listed are all military except for the CIA, Mr. Spann.

Rummy on the UN resolution process so far:

Last, the answer to your question is yes. There's no question but that Saddam Hussein has in the past and is now attempting to manage that whole process, and he's very good at it. He leans forward when he has to, and he leans back when he can get away with it. And it is -- he's very skillful at disinformation and not telling the truth. He is very skillful at timing things in a way that causes the interaction at the United Nations to do things that favor him. How it will all come out, I don't know. It seems to me one would -- at least one would think that after 11 years of doing it, pretty soon people would wake up and say, "A-ha! That's what he's doing." And we'll see.

Rummy on Bin Laden:

Rumsfeld: If you go back to what was read about a year ago today, what I said, I said what I believed then and I believe today. This is not about him. It is a problem that's much bigger than one individual. It was that day. I said so. I tried to dissuade people from personalizing this global war on terrorism into the face or name of a single individual; that that would be unwise and misguided, misdirected. I did my best. I failed. There's a fixation on him, and I suppose we'll just all have to work our way through it.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 October 08 10:08 AM 


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