Tags: Rumsfeld: | Don't | Expect | D-day-like | Ops

Rumsfeld: Don't Expect D-day-like Ops

Tuesday, 25 September 2001 12:00 AM

"Needless to say there is not going to be a D-Day as such, and I'm sure there will not be a signing ceremony on the (USS) Missouri as such," Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon news conference Tuesday. "This is not something will begin with a significant event or end with a significant event but it is something that will involve a sustained effort over a period of time."

Rumsfeld suggested that the scope and details of the military operation to be carried out under that name have not yet been determined.

"The question what it is the name of is a separate issue yet to be resolved," he said.

Rumsfeld painted a picture of a military campaign in flux, and one that would continue to be so.

"There will be things changing as we go along. It's not the kind of effort anyone can think out and say it will start here and end there," he said.

He likened the military campaign to a game of billiards where the players are "trying to figure out exactly what might happen, the balls careen around for a while and you don't know what will do it … but the end result is that al Qaida is heaved out and the people in Taliban who think that it's good for them and good for the world to harbor terrorists … lose, and lose seriously," he said.

"This is a broad sustained multi faceted effort that is notably distinctively different from prior efforts. By its very nature it is something that cannot be dealt with by some sort of massive attack or invasion. It is a much more nuanced, difficult, shadowy problem," he said. "(This) is not a quick fix, not something all of us that like to have something immediately over, it is not going to be that way. In my view you never bet against the American people. They will have the patience, they will recognize the importance of it."

Rumsfeld appealed to reporters to leave behind the vocabulary of retaliation and revenge for the deaths and damage wrought two weeks ago.

"The truth is this is not about revenge, it is not about retaliation. This is about self-defense … The United States knows the only way to defend against terrorism is to take the fight to the terrorists. And they do not sit in a big country with big buildings and big armies and big navies and big air forces," he said. "They live in shadows, they're all across the globe, they're in dozens and dozens and dozens of countries, and they're getting help from an awful lot of people who ought not to be helping them."

In his view, the best defense against terrorism is a bold offense.

"The U.S. fully intends to defend itself by going after the people who engaged in terrorist attacks against the USA and on other terrorist organizations who have been involved in other acts," he said.

Afghanistan and its ruling Taliban group clearly remain in the U.S. cross hairs: Rumsfeld flatly rejects Taliban claims that they do not know where prime suspect Osama bin Laden is.

"You'd have to believe in the tooth fairy to think they don't know where he is," he said.

Rumsfeld vowed not to lie to the press about the military's actions against terrorism, and promised there would be no misinformation campaign designed to confuse the enemy -- and the media -- about U.S. military moves.

"I don't recall that I've ever lied to the press, I don't intend to, and it seems to me that there will not be reason for it," he said. "I cannot imagine a situation where we would be so unskillful that we would be in a position that we would have to do that to protect lives."

Rumsfeld opened the news conference by announcing, unasked, the new name for the military response to the Sept. 11 attack: "Operation Enduring Freedom."

He abandoned "Operation Infinite Justice" because its religious overtones were deemed offensive to Muslims.

Rumsfeld said the new name would stick "unless it too has a problem, which after the vetting we have been engaged in would be disappointing."

Muslims objected to the code name "Infinite Justice" because their religion beliefs tell them only God, or Allah, can dole out final justice.

"Enduring Freedom," he cautioned, is not the "umbrella phrase" for the United States' multi-pronged effort to root out and defeat global terrorists.


Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Needless to say there is not going to be a D-Day as such, and I'm sure there will not be a signing ceremony on the (USS) Missouri as such, Rumsfeld said at a Pentagon news conference Tuesday. This is not something will begin with a significant event or end with a...
Tuesday, 25 September 2001 12:00 AM
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