Rumsfeld says Syria ‘not behaving in wise manner’

Note how the report below clearly outlines Rumsfeld’s veiled threats to Syria and how he, and by implication, his threats, received a “warm reception”. In contrast, protests against him receive only brief mention. As if protestors were a fringe minority and opposition to the next step in the “War on Terror” was somehow marginal when, in fact, it is widespread.

Note, moreover, that when one of protestors steps forward to announce that “military families” think that Rumsfeld lied, the reporter doesn’t follow up and ask if Rumsfeld’s accuser was speaking on behalf of military families or was in fact part of a military family himself. Instead, the following foregoes the opportunity to explore opposition o the “War on Terror” in the military itself and simply recounts what could well turn into the opening announcement of next phase of the “War on Terror”.

Rumsfeld says Syria ‘not behaving in wise manner’
Dan Whitcomb – Reuters Thursday August 4, 2005

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Thursday criticized Syria’s leaders for “not behaving in a wise manner” by aiding Iraqi insurgents and warned that such conduct could come back to haunt them.

“The United States and the world obviously has to create a better clarity in the minds of leaders of Syria that what they are doing is harmful ultimately to themselves,” Rumsfeld said after a speech in Beverly Hills at which he was twice heckled.

In the early days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks the United States praised Syria for its cooperation in combating terrorism but more recently cooperation with Syria has come to an end, with Washington accusing the government in Damascus of not doing enough to stop insurgents crossing into Iraq.

Rumsfeld said he was referring to Syria’s refusal to return Iraqi funds, housing of Baathists from Saddam Hussein’s fallen regime and the flow of insurgents across the border. He said Syria was also “undoubtedly financing” some of the Iraqi insurgency.

“(Syria is) going to have to live in that neighborhood and Iraq doesn’t like what Syria’s doing,” Rumsfeld said in a question-and-answer session following his speech to the Los Angeles World Affairs Council at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

“Iraq is going to be in that neighborhood for a very long time. It’s a bigger country and a richer country and will be a more powerful country,” he said. “(In my view) the Syrians are not behaving in a wise manner at the present time.”

He added that “other countries and the United States are simply going to have to continue to try and put pressure on them so that they understand the disadvantages that accrue to them by their behavior.”

Though Rumsfeld got a warm reception from the World Affairs Council, some two dozen anti-war protesters gathered outside.

His speech was interrupted at one point by a woman who stood up and shouted: “Rumsfeld, you lied to us!”

Rumsfeld paused during his remarks but made no mention of the incident as the woman was hustled from the room by hotel security. Several minutes later, as the defense secretary was departing, a man who had been sitting in an area reserved for reporters strode forward and yelled: “Mr. Rumsfeld, military families think you’re lying to them!”

Rumsfeld did not acknowledge the man, who was also removed by security guards.

During his speech Rumsfeld remembered 21 U.S. Marines killed in Iraq during the past week, calling them “patriots who were determined to stop terrorists from reclaiming Iraq and launching more attacks on our people.”

“Our nation needed them, called on them in battle and we mourn them now in death,” he said. “Our country will honor them completing the mission for which they fought and died. May God watch over and comfort their grieving families.”