Vol. 4 Num 36 Wed. July 02, 2003  

Iraq no quagmire, says Rumsfeld

Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Monday remnants of toppled President Saddam Hussein's government have coalesced into a "terrorist network" in Iraq, but rejected the notion that U.S. and British forces are facing a guerrilla war or are stuck in a quagmire.

During a Pentagon briefing, Rumsfeld compared the postwar situation in Iraq to the difficult path taken by the United States after declaring its independence from Britain and before establishing a new Constitution and electing a president.

Rumsfeld also accused some members of the news media, who he did not identify, of hoping Iraq becomes another Vietnam.

When a reporter identified the Vietnam War during the briefing as "your classic quagmire," Rumsfeld cut her off and said: "There are so many cartoons where people, press people, are saying, 'Is it Vietnam yet?' hoping it is and wondering if it is. And it isn't. It's a different time. It's a different era. It's a different place."

The US military has launched numerous raids in recent days aimed at halting escalating attacks against the American and British troops occupying Iraq.