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"The infrastructure of that country was not terribly damaged by the war at all." ----------------- http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2001724039_iraqnotes11.html Rumsfeld: Rebuilding up to Iraqis Thursday 11 September 2003 "The infrastructure of that country was not terribly damaged by the war at all." WASHINGTON - Iraqis rather than Americans will have to repair most of the damage done to their country by Saddam Hussein's socialist Baath party, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared yesterday. "I don't believe it's our job to reconstruct that country after 30 years of centralized, Stalinist-like economic controls in that country," Rumsfeld told a National Press Club audience. "The Iraqi people are going to have to reconstruct that country over a period of time." He added, "The infrastructure of that country was not terribly damaged by the war at all." The U.S. "exit strategy" is to turn over to Iraqis both political control and responsibility for keeping order as soon as possible, said Rumsfeld, who at one point was jeered by two hecklers opposed to U.S. policy in Iraq. "Hey, Rumsfeld, what do you say, how many soldiers did you kill today?" they chanted before they were removed from the club. Police said no arrests were made. Rumsfeld, who returned Monday from a trip to Iraq and Afghanistan, acknowledged that administration officials underestimated how much reconstruction would be necessary. Rumsfeld backed a new United Nations resolution on Iraq as an important means for encouraging greater international participation in the country's reconstruction but said he doubted it would produce a large number of additional international peacekeeping forces. In a speech and question-and-answer session, Rumsfeld said he still expected to find weapons of mass destruction inside Iraq. But he clarified a remark he made during the war about where those weapons were. "We know where they are," Rumsfeld said March 30, as U.S. forces approached Baghdad. "They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." "I should have said, 'I believe they're in that area; our intelligence tells us they're in that area,' " Rumsfeld said yesterday. "That was our best judgment." The number of American troops deployed in Iraq is nearly 116,000, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition said yesterday. That is at least 10,000 less than previously believed. Three nations want to speed up transfer of power to Iraqis. UNITED NATIONS - In amendments to a U.S. draft resolution, France, Germany and Russia are urging a speedy transfer of power from the U.S.-led coalition to an interim Iraqi administration. The amendments demand more power for Iraqis and the United Nations in running the country. The amendments were given to the United States ahead of a meeting called by Secretary-General Kofi Annan to try to get the five veto-wielding permanent Security Council members to unite behind a plan to stabilize Iraq. Foreign ministers of the five - the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France - are expected to attend the meeting Saturday in Geneva. The U.S. draft resolution invites the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council to cooperate with the United Nations and U.S. officials in Baghdad to produce "a timetable and program for the drafting of a new constitution for Iraq and for the holding of democratic elections." But it contains no time frame of when this should happen, and it leaves the key decision in the hands of the Governing Council, which has taken months just to form a Cabinet. The United States believes the Iraqis must remain in charge of this process - but France, Germany and Russia want a much faster timetable. The French-German amendments call for an interim Iraqi administration to take control of "all civilian areas, including control over natural resources and use of international assistance." A key aim of the U.S. draft is to get countries such as Turkey, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh the U.N. authorization they say they need before committing any troops to Iraq. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email email@example.com All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk