MANAGUA, Nicaragua (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, under fire from critics for his handling of
Iraq, on Tuesday vigorously defended the U.S. war on terrorism and ruled out negotiation with Muslim extremists.
"They're attacking the ability of a people to be free," Rumsfeld said. "You can acquiesce and let them win, or you can decide that you're not going to acquiesce and not let them win."
"You're not going to have a negotiation with them to be not extreme because that's what they are, is extreme," he told reporters after a meeting of defense ministers in Nicaragua's capital, Managua.
Rumsfeld rejected suggestions that disagreement about the wars in Iraq and
Afghanistan and international criticism of the United States should change Washington's defense policies or lead to the abandonment of operations in the two countries.
The wars have become campaign issues ahead of the November 7 election to determine control of the U.S. Congress. A Taliban resurgence in Afghanistan and unrelenting violence in Iraq have led to calls for Rumsfeld's resignation and a timetable for withdrawing American troops.
"Now you can debate exactly how it should be done, or whether it should be done," Rumsfeld said. "But the fundamental issue is what's facing free people everywhere in the world. And simply because someone doesn't like that, in my view, is not a reason to pretend, to stick your head in the sand and pretend that that's not the case."
Rumsfeld has stepped up his warnings against a "blame America" mentality and drawn comparisons to World War Two to make the point that the United States' current enemy cannot be appeased.
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
Frist Now Member of "Blame America Party"
Posted by Humbug at 5:36 PM