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Subject Are They Fighting a War or Selling Soda Pop? More Orwellian Doublespeak Nonsense from Donny R.
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Original Message Washington, 30 Nov. (AKI) - The US defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld has banned the use of the word ´insurgents´ when referring to the militants operating in Iraq. "Over the weekend I thought to myself. ´You know, that gives them a greater legitimacy than they seem to merit," he told journalists during a Pentagon briefing on Tuesday. "It was an epiphany," he said, throwing his hands in the air.

Rumsfeld encouraged those at the briefing to consult their dictionaries for the definition of ´insurgent´, which, according to one Oxford dictionary means "a rebel", while insurrection is defined as "rising against established authority".

"These people aren´t trying to promote something other than disorder, and to take over that country and turn it into a caliphate and then spread it around the world. This is a group of people who don´t merit the word ´insurgency´, I think," Rumsfeld said.

However, the ban proved a problem for the recently-appointed Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Peter Pace, who ran into trouble as the briefing continued, stumbling and pausing as he struggled to come up with a new word to describe the Iraqi insurgents. "I have to use the word ´insurgent´ because I can´t think of a better word right now," he admitted to Rumsfeld, who immediately suggested "´Enemies of the legitimate Iraqi government´, how´s that?". But, while discussing explosive devices Pace then used the ´I´ word again, prompting Rumsfeld to recoil in mock horror.

Pace also proved himself to be no ´yes´ man. When questioned about torture by the Iraqi authorities, Rumsfeld said "obviously, the United States does not have a responsibility." Pace, however, evidently disagreed, telling the briefing "It is the absolute responsibility of every US service member, if they see inhumane treatment being conducted, to intervene, to stop it."

When Rumsfeld tried to correct him, saying, "I don´t think you mean they have an obligation to physically stop it; it´s to report it," Pace stood his ground. "If they are physically present when inhumane treatment is taking place, sir, they have an obligation to try to stop it," the Joint Chiefs Chairman stated.

Commenting on the briefing, Washington Post opinionist Dana Milbank wrote that despite leading the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 as defence secretary, Rumsfeld came across at times as someone simply observing the Iraq war on television. He deflected one question about the use of white phospherous on the battlefield onto General Pace, and asked how widespread the abuse in Iraq was, he answered: "I am not going to be judging it from 4,000 miles away."

Asked about "uniformed death squads" in Iraq, after the brother of a prominant Sunni leader murdered along with his sons last week said the killers had Iraqi army uniforms and vehicles, Rumsfeld first tried to avoid answering, saying "I´m not going to comment on hypothetical questions." On the journalist pointing out that it was not hypothetical the defence secretary then suggested that the death-squad allegations could be politically motivated, before saying, "I just don´t know. I can only talk about what I know." And with an exaggerated shrug of the shoulders he rounded off his answer with, "That´s life".


30-Nov-05 11:59
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