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Rise in Opinion that Obstinate Rumsfeld is to Blame

Posted May. 06, 2004 21:07,   


Although U.S. President George W. Bush condemned the abuses of Iraqi prisoners by U.S. soldiers through the Arab media on May 5 and vowed to take action against those involved, the antipathy of the Arab community continues to grow.

Within the U.S., a view gaining weight asserts that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who has yet to apologize for this incident, is responsible.

Backlash of President Bush’s Interview—

President Bush held interviews with two Arab TV networks, stressing, “The United States I know is a kind nation that believes in freedom, and we do not tolerate such abuses.”

However, the Arab community expressed its dissatisfaction, pointing out that the U.S. is not a fair mediator of peace and President Bush is dismissing such views. On May 6, the leader of the largest Islamic political organization in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood, Muhammad Mahdi Akef demanded that President Bush be put before the International Criminal Court as a war criminal.

At an interview with news magazine Die Zeit, Angela Merkel, the leader of Germany’s leading opposition party, Christian Democratic Union, commented that the trust in democratic values are in danger due to the abuses against Iraqi prisoners.

Herve Ladsous, spokesperson for the French Foreign Ministry cited, “If the abuses truly took place, it is a disgraceful incident and clearly in violation of international agreements.”

Secretary Rumsfeld is to Blame—

During an interview with ABC TV this morning, Secretary Rumsfeld stated, “Any American who sees the photographs should feel regret toward the abused Iraqis,” but did not apologize for the incident.

In regard to this attitude, John Warner, head of the Senate Armed Services Committee, has raised the opinion that Secretary Rumsfeld is responsible.

Some Democrats are calling for the resignation of Rumsfeld, pointing to his attitude of seemingly avoiding responsibility on this issue and his dissatisfactory aiding of President Bush, reported AFP.

The Washington Post and New York Times internet issues all reported on May 6 that though President Bush was not considering removing Secretary Rumsfeld from office, he severely reproved the secretary.

The Washington Post reported that after the National Security Council this day, President Bush held a separate meeting with Secretary Rumsfeld and expressed his displeasure in not being notified, even though the secretary had known that the Defense Department had gotten a hold of the CBS photos of the abused prisoners.

The Investigation of the U.S. CIA—

On May 5, the Los Angeles Times reported that the CIA has begun investigations as it became known that the Abu Ghraib prison in question moved out 6~8 prisoners who were not registered on the inmate list to avoid being noticed by the delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Soon-Taek Kwon maypole@donga.com