TT Nga Putin: Nếu TT Bush thất cử, khủng bố sẽ lan tràn trên nhiều nơi trên thế giớigreenspun.com : LUSENET : Vietnamese American Society : One Thread
TT Nga Putin: Nếu TT Bush thất cử, khủng bố sẽ lan tràn trên nhiều nơi trên thế giới!
Oct 18, 2004
Cali Today News- TT Vladimir Putin của Nga thúc giục các cử tri hăy bầu cho TT Bush và cho là những cuộc tấn công bạo động ở Iraq là nhằm ngăn cản không cho ông Bush tái đắt cử trong tháng 11 tới. Trong trường hợp TT Bush thất cử, theo ông Putin có thể sẽ có làn sóng khủng bố trên nhiều phần của thế giới.
Lên tiếng trong Hội Nghị “Central Asian Cooperation Organization” ở Tajikkistan thứ hai 18/10, ông Putin đă công khai bày tỏ sự ủng hộ của ông đối với TT Bush tái đắc cử cho nhiệm kỳ thứ hai.
Ông nhận định: “bất cứ quan sát viên không thiên vị nào cũng thấy các cuộc tấn công của phiến quân vào các tổ chức quốc tế ở Iraq cũng đều ít nhiều nhắm thẳng vào ông Bush. Bọn khủng bố quốc tế có mục tiêu là giáng thiệt hại tối đa cho Tt Bush để ngăn không cho ông chiến thắng. Nếu chúng thành công, chúng có thể ca khúc khải hoàn trên nước Mỹ và trên cả toàn bộ liên minh chống khủng bố trên thế giới.”
Ông nói tiếp: “Trong trường hợp đó, có thể bọn khủng bố quốc tế có được khuyến khích và nhiều rối loạn mới sẽ xảy ra trên nhiều phần của thế giới.”
Cuộc bầu cử ở Mỹ theo ư ông Putin, không thể ảnh hưởng đến cuộc bầu cử ở chính nước Iraq: “V́ thế chúng ta phải có thái độ thực tiễn và phải chuẩn bị đối phó với mọi t́nh huống có thể xảy ra, chúng ta tôn trọng mọỉi quyết định lựa chọn của nhân dân Mỹ”.
Tuy nhiên ông Putin vẫn nói rơ quan điểm của Nga là chống lại cuộc chiến ở Iraq: “Cho đến ngày hôm nay, quan điểm của chúng ta về vấn đề này vẫn tỏ ra khác với quan điểm của TT Bush.”
Lê Lộc theo CNN
-- Bỏ4 (CSonSale@yahoo.com), October 18, 2004
-- (email@example.com), October 18, 2004.
Anh chàng Putin cũng chả thíc ǵ Bush, nhưng Nga cũng đang đối đầu với tụi khủng bố AlQueda. Vụ Mỹ đánh Iraq sẽ đem b́nh ổn đến Miền Nam Âu Châu nhưng bọn Spanish, French, German nó ích kỷ ko chịu chi địa để Mỹ làm chúng hưởng. Vụ Afghan Mỹ vô trước rồi NATO mới vô, đánh ở Afghan c̣n khó khăn rất nhiều v́ Afghan ở trong nội địa xa biển, Mỹ cũng ổn định đưỢc. Vũ khí của bọn khủng bố đều mua từ bên tầy từ AK-47, RPG, Đại Liên 12.7mm, Đại Bác KZ 80mm, Hỏa Tiễn 122mm, SAM-7 ( kiểu ăn cắp kiểu của Nga ). Tụi G-8 nó đă có bài bản để trị chú chệt nếu c̣n phá thối, nền kinh tế chệt hoàn toàn lệ thuộc tụi G- 8, vậy ai là chủ c̣n ai là đầy tớ đă thấy quá rơ, thế mà bọn Đầu Gấu ở Bắc Bộ Phủ phải quỵ lụy dâng đất cho tầu đúng là thằng NCK cố vấn rất hay, ngày sụp đổ của đảng CSVN cũng ko xa v́ tụi G-8 cần 1 đầu cầu miền Nam Trung Hoa để chặn chú chệt hay check mate.
-- (Viet_Nam@Quê-Hương.govt), October 19, 2004.
By Bill Gertz THE WASHINGTON TIMES Published October 12, 2004
--------------------------------------------------------------------- ----------- China illegally supplied Saddam Hussein's regime with missile technology and other weaponry and was a major beneficiary of the U.N. oil-for-food program, according to a CIA report. The report by the Iraq Survey Group also stated that China, along with France and Russia, was bribed by Saddam with oil sales and weapons deals into working to end U.N. sanctions. One sale took place in 2001 and involved an intelligence officer in Beijing, Abd al-Wahab, who bought 10 to 20 gyroscopes and 20 accelerometers from a Chinese firm that was not identified by name. The equipment was to be used in Iraq's Al-Samud missile program, said a former high-ranking official of Iraq's Military Industrialization Commission, which was in charge of arms procurement. China was the third-largest recipient of oil vouchers from Saddam's regime, the report said. Russia and France were the two largest. The Iraqi government used the voucher system to siphon off $11 billion through contracting kickbacks and other corruption in the $64 billion humanitarian program, which operated from 1996 to 2003. The program was designed to get food and medicine to the Iraqi people, despite international sanctions. China also supplied rocket guidance software to the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission in 2002 that was labeled "children's software" to mask its military nature, the report said. The report sought to clear the Chinese government of a direct role in the illicit trade by stating the CIA had "no evidence" suggesting Beijing approved the exports. However, the report noted that the companies involved were "state-owned" firms that were newly privatized and were willing to circumvent U.N. monitoring in supplying goods illegally. Chinese Embassy spokesman Sun Weide said China's actions under the oil-for-food program were "totally legal." He also said Beijing complied strictly with U.N. resolutions regarding arms technology transfers to Saddam. Chinese assistance helped boost Iraq's missile programs, especially in the area of guidance and control systems, the report said, noting that "Chinese companies willingly supplied these types of items to the Iraqi regime." "In supplying prohibited goods, Chinese companies would frequently employ third countries and intermediaries to transship commodities into Iraq," the report said. "The Chinese-Iraqi procurement relationship was both politically problematic and economically pragmatic in nature, but it ultimately provided Iraq with prohibited items, mainly telecommunication equipment and items with ballistic missile applications." One of the Chinese front companies named in the report was Siam Premium Products. Other Iraqi intermediaries for the China military sales were identified in India, Turkey, Syria and Jordan. The CIA identified a major supplier of weapons goods to Iraq as the China North Industries Corp., or Norinco, which has been sanctioned by the U.S. government several times. Norinco agreed in 2000 to supply 200 gyroscopes for use in Russian and Chinese cruise missiles. It also sold machine tools with missile applications. The report, quoting documents obtained in Iraq, stated that Norinco agreed to continue selling military goods to Iraq despite Baghdad's debt of more than $3 billion to the company from earlier sales. The company said it would keep the arms trade secret from the Beijing government, and Iraq agreed to repay Norinco with crude oil and petroleum products, the report said. Iraq also was in the process of buying chemicals and materials for liquid-fuel missiles from Chinese and Indian companies. The sale may have been stopped by the U.S. military action that began in March 2003, the report said. The report also provided new details on Chinese assistance to Iraq's fiber-optic communications networks, which were used to "connect static command, control and communications bases." The report stated that the Chinese company Huawei and two other Chinese firms "illicitly provided transmission switches" for fiber- optic communications from 1999 to 2002. The equipment was banned under the oil-for-food program, and included more than 100,000 lines and fiber-optic cable, the report said. Chinese firms also supplied Iraq with graphite, a key component for missile nose cones, directional vanes and engine nozzle throats. "Recovered documents from 2001 indicated a drive to acquire Chinese graphite-related products such as electrodes, powder and missile-related fuel," the report said.
-- (Việt_Nhân@Filsons.com), October 19, 2004.
Saddam paid off French leaders
By Bill Gertz THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Saddam Hussein used a U.N. humanitarian program to pay $1.78 billion to French government officials, businessmen and journalists in a bid to have sanctions removed and U.S. policies opposed, according to a CIA report made public yesterday. The cash was part of $10.9 billion secretly skimmed from the U.N. oil-for-food program, which was used by Iraq to buy military goods, according to a 1,000-page report by the CIA-led Iraqi Survey Group. According to a section of the report on Iraqi weapons procurement, the survey group identified long-standing ties between Saddam and the French government. One 1992 Iraqi intelligence service report revealed that Iraq's ambassador to France paid $1 million to the French Socialist Party in 1988. The CIA report stated that the Iraqi ambassador was instructed to "utilize [the $1 million] to remind French Defense Minister Pierre Joxe indirectly about Iraq's previous positions toward France, in general, and the French Socialist party, in particular." In the late 1990s, Iraq also used an oil-purchasing voucher system through the U.N. oil-for-food program, which began in 1996 and ended in 2003, to influence the French to oppose U.S. initiatives at the United Nations and to work to lift sanctions, the report stated. The Iraqi Intelligence Service paid off French nationals by dispensing vouchers that allowed the holders to make hundreds of thousands of dollars in commissions by selling them to oil buyers. The payoffs help explain why the French government, along with Russia and China, opposed U.S. efforts in the United Nations in the months leading up to the March 2003 invasion, U.S. officials said. Iraqi intelligence agents also targeted French President Jacques Chirac, by giving gifts to a spokesman, two of his aides and two French businessmen, the report said. One Iraqi intelligence report stated that a French politician assured Saddam in a letter that France would use its veto in the U.N. Security Council against any U.S. effort to attack Iraq. Iraqi intelligence documents recovered in Iraq showed that the French citizens linked to the influence operation were "ministers and politicians, journalists and business people." "These influential individuals often had little prior connection to the oil industry and generally engaged European oil companies to lift the oil, but were still in a position to extract a substantial profit for themselves," the report said. Former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told the Survey Group that he personally awarded several Frenchmen "substantial" oil allotments. "According to Aziz, both parties understood that resale of the oil was to be reciprocated through efforts to lift U.N. sanctions or through opposition to American initiatives within the Security Council," the report said. The report named former French Interior Minister Charles Pascua as getting a voucher for 11 million barrels of oil, and Patrick Maugein, who received a voucher for 13 million barrels of oil. The report said Mr. Maugein, the chief executive officer of the SOCO oil company, was a "conduit" to Mr. Chirac. Michel Grimard, the founder of the French-Iraqi Export Club, received a voucher for 5.5 million barrels, and the Iraqi-French Friendship Society received vouchers for more than 10 million barrels. French oil companies Total and SOCAP were granted vouchers for 105 million and 93 million barrels of oil, respectively. The report stated that Iraq covertly purchased missiles and other military goods from Russia, Belarus, China, North Korea and South Korea. According to the report, illegal goods used in making weapons of mass destruction were sold to Iraq by companies in Jordan, India, France, Italy, Romania and Turkey. Conventional arms also were sold to Iraq by China, Jordan, India, South Korea, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Cyprus, Egypt, Lebanon, Georgia, France, Poland, Syria, Belarus, North Korea, Yugoslavia, Yemen, Russia, Romania and the Republic of China (Taiwan). The report said Saddam's regime obtained $1.5 billion from U.N. humanitarian contract kickbacks and $228.5 million in surcharges on U.N.-approved oil sales. Other oil smuggling provided the regime with $8 billion in cash outside of U.N.-approved oil sales, the CIA report reveals. Charles Duelfer, the director of the CIA survey group, told a congressional hearing yesterday that a "sizable portion" of Saddam's cash obtained from the oil-for-food program were diverted to the military, specifically the government-run Military Industrial Commission. "The funding for this organization, which had responsibility for many of the past [weapons of mass destruction] programs, went from approximately $7.8 million in 1998 to $350 million in 2001," Mr. Duelfer told the Senate Armed Services Committee. Mr. Duelfer said that during the period from 1998 to 2001, "many military programs were carried out — including many involving the willing export to Iraq of military items prohibited by the Security Council."
-- Saddam paid off French leaders (Việt_Nhân@Filsons.com), October 19, 2004.
French connection armed Saddam
By Bill Gertz THE WASHINGTON TIMES
The United States stood by for years as supposed allies helped its enemies obtain the world's most dangerous weapons, reveals Bill Gertz, defense and national security reporter for The Washington Times, in the new book "Treachery" (Crown Forum). In this excerpt, he details France's persistence in arming Saddam Hussein. First of three excerpts New intelligence revealing how long France continued to supply and arm Saddam Hussein's regime infuriated U.S. officials as the nation prepared for military action against Iraq. The intelligence reports showing French assistance to Saddam ongoing in the late winter of 2002 helped explain why France refused to deal harshly with Iraq and blocked U.S. moves at the United Nations. "No wonder the French are opposing us," one U.S. intelligence official remarked after illegal sales to Iraq of military and dual- use parts, originating in France, were discovered early last year before the war began. That official was careful to stipulate that intelligence reports did not indicate whether the French government had sanctioned or knew about the parts transfers. The French company at the beginning of the pipeline remained unidentified in the reports. France's government tightly controls its aerospace and defense firms, however, so it would be difficult to believe that the illegal transfers of equipment parts took place without the knowledge of at least some government officials. Iraq's Mirage F-1 fighter jets were made by France's Dassault Aviation. Its Gazelle attack helicopters were made by Aerospatiale, which became part of a consortium of European defense companies. "It is well-known that the Iraqis use front companies to try to obtain a number of prohibited items," a senior Bush administration official said before the war, refusing to discuss Iraq's purchase of French warplane and helicopter parts. The State Department confirmed intelligence indicating the French had given support to Iraq's military. "U.N. sanctions prohibit the transfer to Iraq of arms and materiel of all types, including military aircraft and spare parts," State Department spokeswoman Jo-Anne Prokopowicz said. "We take illicit transfers to Iraq very seriously and work closely with our allies to prevent Iraq from acquiring sensitive equipment." Sen. Ted Stevens, Alaska Republican and chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, declared that France's selling of military equipment to Iraq was "international treason" as well as a violation of a U.N. resolution. "As a pilot and a former war pilot, this disturbs me greatly that the French would allow in any way parts for the Mirage to be exported so the Iraqis could continue to use those planes," Stevens said. "The French, unfortunately, are becoming less trustworthy than the Russians," said Rep. Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania Republican and vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. "It's outrageous they would allow technology to support the jets of Saddam Hussein to be transferred." The U.S. military was about to go to war with Iraq, and thanks to the French, the Iraqi air force had become more dangerous. The pipeline French aid to Iraq goes back decades and includes transfers of advanced conventional arms and components for weapons of mass destruction. The central figure in these weapons ties is French President Jacques Chirac. His relationship with Saddam dates to 1975, when, as prime minister, the French politician rolled out the red carpet when the Iraqi strongman visited Paris. "I welcome you as my personal friend," Chirac told Saddam, then vice president of Iraq. The French put Saddam up at the Hotel Marigny, an annex to the presidential palace, and gave him the trappings of a head of state. The French wanted Iraqi oil, and by establishing this friendship, Chirac would help France replace the Soviet Union as Iraq's leading supplier of weapons and military goods. In fact, Chirac helped sell Saddam the two nuclear reactors that started Baghdad on the path to nuclear weapons capability. France's corrupt dealings with Saddam flourished throughout the 1990s, despite the strict arms embargo against Iraq imposed by the United Nations after the Persian Gulf war. By 2000, France had become Iraq's largest supplier of military and dual-use equipment, according to a senior member of Congress who declined to be identified. Saddam developed networks for illegal supplies to get around the U.N. arms embargo and achieve a military buildup in the years before U.S. forces launched a second assault on Iraq. One spare-parts pipeline flowed from a French company to Al Tamoor Trading Co. in the United Arab Emirates. Tamoor then sent the parts by truck through Turkey, and into Iraq. The Iraqis obtained spare parts for their French-made Mirage F-1 jets and Gazelle attack helicopters through this pipeline. A huge debt U.S. intelligence would not discover the pipeline until the eve of war last year; sensitive intelligence indicated that parts had been smuggled to Iraq as recently as that January. "A thriving gray-arms market and porous borders have allowed Baghdad to acquire smaller arms and components for larger arms, such as spare parts for aircraft, air-defense systems and armored vehicles," the CIA said in a report to Congress made public that month. U.S. intelligence agencies later came under fire over questions about prewar estimates of Iraq's stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction. But intelligence on Iraq's hidden procurement networks was confirmed. An initial accounting by the Pentagon in the months after the fall of Baghdad revealed that Saddam covertly acquired between 650,000 and 1 million tons of conventional weapons from foreign sources. The main suppliers were Russia, China and France. By contrast, the U.S. arsenal is between 1.6 million and 1.8 million tons. As of last year, Iraq owed France an estimated $4 billion for arms and infrastructure projects, according to French government estimates. U.S. officials thought this massive debt was one reason France opposed a military operation to oust Saddam. The fact that illegal deals continued even as war loomed indicated France viewed Saddam's regime as a future source of income. Telltale chemical Just days before U.S. and coalition forces launched their military campaign against Iraq, more evidence of French treachery emerged. In mid-March 2003, U.S. intelligence and defense officials confirmed that exporters in France had conspired with China to provide Iraq with chemicals used in making solid fuel for long-range missiles. The sanctions-busting operation occurred in August 2002, the U.S. National Security Agency discovered through electronic intercepts. The chemical transferred to Iraq was a transparent liquid rubber called hydroxy terminated polybutadiene, or HTPB, according to intelligence reports. U.S. intelligence traced the sale to China's Qilu Chemicals, "the largest manufacturer of HTPB in China," one official says. A French company, CIS Paris, helped broker the sale of 20 tons of HTPB, a controlled export that was shipped from China to the Syrian port of Tartus. The chemical solution was sent by truck from Syria into Iraq, to a missile-manufacturing plant. The Iraqi company that purchased the shipment was in charge of making solid fuel for long-range missiles. HTPB technically is a dual-use chemical, because it also can be used for commercial purposes such as space launches. However, Iraq often disguised military purchases as commercial ones, as documents found later in Iraq would confirm. In a report to Congress, the CIA said Iraq had constructed two "mixing" buildings for solid-propellant fuels at a plant known as al-Mamoun. The facility originally was built to produce the Badr- 2000, a solid-propellant missile also known as the Condor. The new buildings "appear especially suited to house large, U.N.-prohibited mixers of the type acquired for the Badr-2000 program," the CIA report stated. French denials Despite controversy over prewar intelligence on Iraq, the CIA said its estimates of Iraqi missiles were on target. Representatives of the French and Chinese governments went on the attack when The Washington Times asked about the chemical sale. Chinese Embassy spokesman Xie Feng did not address the specifics, but said "irresponsible accusations" about China's exports had been made in the past. "These accusations are devoid of all foundation," French Foreign Ministry spokesman Francois Rivasseau declared. "In line with the rules currently in force, France has neither delivered, nor authorized, the delivery of such materials, either directly or indirectly." By that point, many in the U.S. government were fed up with French denials. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz called in the French ambassador to the United States, Jean-David Levitte, to complain about France's covert and overt support for Saddam's regime. "Twelve years of waiting was too costly in terms of the growing threat from Baghdad," Wolfowitz told the ambassador, according to a U.S. official who was present. Made in France The war in Iraq, which began March 19, 2003, provided disturbing evidence that France's treacherous dealings come at a steep cost to the United States. On April 8 came the downing of Air Force Maj. Jim Ewald's A-10 Thunderbolt fighter over Baghdad and the discovery that it was a French-made Roland missile that brought down the American pilot and destroyed a $13 million aircraft. Ewald, one of the first U.S. pilots shot down in the war, was rescued by members of the Army's 54th Engineer Battalion who saw him parachute to earth not far from the wreckage. Army intelligence concluded that the French had sold the missile to the Iraqis within the past year, despite French denials. A week after Ewald's A-10 was downed, an Army team searching Iraqi weapons depots at the Baghdad airport discovered caches of French-made missiles. One anti-aircraft missile, among a cache of 51 Roland-2s from a French-German manufacturing partnership, bore a label indicating that the batch was produced just months earlier. In May, Army intelligence found a stack of blank French passports in an Iraqi ministry, confirming what U.S. intelligence already had determined: The French had helped Iraqi war criminals escape from coalition forces — and therefore justice. Then, there were French-made trucks and radios and the deadly grenade launchers, known as RPGs, with French-made night sights. Saddam loyalists used them to kill American soldiers long after the toppling of the dictator's regime. The intelligence team sent to find Iraqi weapons also discovered documents outlining covert Iraqi weapons procurement leading up to the war. The CIA, however, refused to make public the documents on assistance provided by France or by other so-called allies of the United States. The clandestine arms-procurement network, disclosed late last year by the Los Angeles Times, put a Syrian trading company in a pivotal role. Documents showed the company, SES International Corp., was the conduit for millions of dollars' worth of weapons purchased internationally, including from France. Al Bashair Trading Co. in Baghdad was the major front used by Saddam to buy arms abroad. A Defense Department-sponsored report produced in February identified France as one of the top three suppliers of Iraq's conventional arms, after Russia and China. The report revealed that France supplied 12 types of armaments and a total of 115,005 pieces. A major reason Iraqi militants posed a threat to U.S. forces for so many months was that they had access to weapons that Saddam stockpiled in violation of U.N. resolutions. A close call One of the most frightening examples of how the militants put French weapons to use against the Americans came Oct. 26, 2003. That morning, at about 6 o'clock, they bombarded the Rashid Hotel in Baghdad with French missiles. The French rockets nearly killed Wolfowitz, whom Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has called "the brains" of the Pentagon. The deputy defense secretary had just gotten dressed in his room that Sunday morning when a car stopped several hundred yards from the hotel. It dropped off what appeared to be one of the blue electrical generators that were common in the power-starved Iraqi capital. The driver stayed just long enough to open a panel on the end of the metal box that was pointing upward toward the hotel. The car sped off. Minutes later, a pod of 40 artillery rockets set off by remote control began firing at the hotel, their trails leaving sparks as they flew. The rockets hit one floor below where Wolfowitz and about a dozen aides and reporters were staying. One rocket slammed into the room of Army Lt. Col. Charles H. Buehring, a public-affairs officer. The explosion hit Buehring, 40, in the head. A reporter discovered him and tried to help, but the Fayetteville, N.C., resident died a short time later. In all, between eight and 10 missiles hit the hotel. The casualties might have been higher, and included Wolfowitz, if the improvised rocket launcher had fired all the missiles. Because of a malfunction, 11 failed to go off. Playing defense Half the missiles fired at Wolfowitz's hotel were French-made Matra SNEB 68-millimeter rockets, with a range of two to three miles. The others were Russian in origin. The French missiles were "pristine," Navy SEAL commandos reported. "They were either new or kept in very good condition," said one SEAL who inspected the rocket tubes. The rockets were thought to have been taken from Iraq's French- made Alouette or Gazelle attack helicopters. The fact that new French missiles were showing up in the hands of Saddam loyalists months after the fall of Baghdad made Wolfowitz and his close aides livid. Still, others in the U.S. government worked to defend the French. The CIA, to avoid upsetting ties with French intelligence, played down the French role in helping Saddam. The agency had a weak human intelligence?gathering capability, and France, because of its history of ties to Iraq, was much better at penetrating Saddam's regime. The State Department's response was not surprising. Asked about French support for Iraq while on a fence-mending mission to Paris in May 2003, Secretary of State Colin L. Powell had said: "We're not going to paper over it and pretend it didn't occur. It did occur. But we're going to work through that." Powell, the retired four-star general and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was too inexperienced in the ways of diplomacy. As a result, he largely had turned over control of State Department policy-making to the Foreign Service. The problem with the Foreign Service is its culture. It trains diplomats to "get along" with the foreign governments they are sent to work with. Not insignificantly, Paris is among the most coveted postings in the world. Backing down Pentagon hard-liners on France, led by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz, carried the day early in the war, but accommodationists within the upper councils of the Bush administration took control as the conflict went on. Among those who took a softer position on France was National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, the former Stanford provost who surrounded herself with State Department officials and Foreign Service officers. Rumsfeld drew a great deal of attention on Jan. 22, 2003 — and created a backlash within the State Department — when he let fly a verbal salvo against France and Germany for not siding with the United States, describing them as "old Europe" during a meeting with foreign reporters. Rumsfeld also criticized French and German political leaders for making policy based not on "their honest conviction as to what their country ought to do" but on opinion polls that reflected ever- shifting public sentiments. As the accommodationists in the Bush administration gained the upper hand, Rumsfeld and others were ordered to tone down the anti- Europe rhetoric. By late last year, the defense secretary's critics within the Foreign Service were crowing that Rumsfeld had been "tamed." Just a day after the Iraqi attack on Wolfowitz's hotel in Baghdad, in an interview with The Washington Times, Rumsfeld took an even softer approach toward the French. "People tend to look at what's taking place today and opine that it is something distinctive," Rumsfeld said of the turbulence in Franco-American relations. "I don't find it distinctive. I find it an old record that gets replayed about every five or seven years." The public soft-policy line was, in many ways, a great victory for France. Even as new evidence poured in that the French had betrayed the United States and cost the lives of American troops, the government backed down from a confrontation with its erstwhile ally.
-- French connection armed Saddam (Việt_Nhân@Filsons.com), October 19, 2004.