Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld is taking back some of his most famous quips about the Iraq war – including those dealing with looting, Europe and weapons of mass destruction. The revelations are included in his 800-page autobiography “Known and Unknown,” The Washington Post
Rumsfeld acknowledges in the book, to be released Feb. 8, that he regrets saying "stuff happens" about looting in the aftermath of the Iraq invasion, as well as his disparagement of Germany and France as being “old Europe” for not supporting the war. He would also like to take back his "We know where they are" comment about the never-found weapons of mass destruction, according to the Post, which obtained an early copy of the book.
Despite such comments, Rumsfeld does not apologize for his handling of the war and believes it was the right call. He said if Saddam Hussein remained in power the Middle East would be "far more perilous than it is today," the Post said.
Rumsfeld writes that the failures in the first year of the Iraq war can be chalked up to indecisiveness on how to manage the postwar period. The Pentagon wanted to hand over power quickly to an interim Iraqi authority of former exiles while the State Department wanted a slower transition to allow time for new leaders to rise, the Post said.
Rumsfeld blames L. Paul Bremer III for pursuing the State Department’s vision over the Pentagon’s and said that President George W. Bush did not help matters. "There were far too many hands on the steering wheel, which, in my view, was a formula for running the truck into a ditch," Rumsfeld writes in the book, the Post said.
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