May 07, 2003

Tough Talk from Condi Condoleeza

Tough Talk from Condi

Condoleeza Rice quoted in a NYT article.

"Meanwhile, Condoleezza Rice, President Bush's national security adviser, accused France of trying to take NATO hostage and of threatening smaller countries that had backed the White House position on the war.

"The United States did not divide the Europeans," she said in interviews published today in the Spanish newspapers El Pais, El Mundo, ABC and La Vanguardia. "It wasn't us that threatened smaller countries with reprisals nor tried to shut up the countries of Eastern Europe."

As for attempts by France, as well as Germany, to prevent NATO from reinforcing the security of Turkey, Dr. Rice said, "Nobody should take NATO hostage."

And an interesting contrarian nugget from Donald Rumsfeld:

Still, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, during a recent visit to the Middle East, suggested that Turkey's denial of access might have actually helped the United States war effort by giving Mr. Hussein a false sense of security.

"Turkey's decision not to allow coalition forces to enter Iraq from the north was disappointing, to be sure, but that disappointment eventually was turned to our advantage," Mr. Rumsfeld told troops last month at the United States Central Command headquarters in Qatar.

The Iraqi regime may have been caught off guard, he said, as it waited for the American troops to open a northern front. "This contributed to the surprise of the Iraqi regime when the war began without those forces," Mr. Rumsfeld said.

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