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Spain calls on Bush to muzzle Rumsfeld

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    Spain calls on Bush to muzzle Rumsfeld

    I predicted weeks ago that Saddam's old drinking buddy Donald Rumsfeld was the best asset for the anti-war opposition, and now US ally Spain's call has confirmed that.

    News and opinion from The Times & The Sunday Times

    Spain begs President to restrain Rumsfeld

    PRESIDENT BUSH has been told to muzzle Donald Rumsfeld, his provocative Defence Secretary, if he wants to ease European misgivings about war with Iraq. José María Aznar, the Spanish Prime Minister, spoke for many European diplomats and officials, including the British, when he delivered the message while staying at Mr Bush’s Texas ranch last weekend. “I did tell the President that we need a lot of Powell and not much of Rumsfeld,” said Señor Aznar, referring to Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State. “Ministers of Defence should talk less, shouldn’t they? The more Powell speaks and the less Rumsfeld speaks, that wouldn’t be a bad thing altogether.” Señor Aznar is the first leader to voice publicly what many Europeans supportive of confronting Baghdad feel strongly in private: that Mr Rumsfeld has made their diplomatic work much harder.

    The Spanish leader is thought to have been particularly perturbed by Mr Rumsfeld’s recent comparison of Germany’s “do nothing” approach to Saddam Hussein with that of Libya and Cuba, two countries on the US State Department’s list of sponsors of state terrorism. European officials blame Mr Rumsfeld’s acerbic goading and confrontational style for deepening splits between Washington, Paris and Berlin that could have been resolved without either side losing face. At the critical diplomatic juncture over Iraq in recent weeks, Mr Rumsfeld angered France and Germany by dismissing them as “old Europe”.

    “He’s deepened suspicions overseas and made it much harder to get people on side,” one diplomat said. Mr Bush, intensely loyal to everyone on his team, has given no public indication that he intends to rein in Mr Rumsfeld. The veteran politician, 70, who is the youngest and oldest man to serve as US Defence Secretary, is very much his “own man”, and won cult status for his daily televised briefings during the Afghanistan war. The White House is clearly concerned at the divisions that its pursuit of Saddam Hussein has exposed between the US and some of its oldest allies in Europe. When Mr Bush and Señor Aznar met last weekend, Mr Bush asked for ideas about how the US could heal the strained relations. Mr Blair was due to arrive in Madrid last night for a working dinner with Señor Aznar before a joint press conference this morning.

    Re: Spain calls on Bush to muzzle Rumsfeld

    Originally posted by Malik73:
    "I did tell the President that we need a lot of Powell and not much of Rumsfeld. [...] The more Powell speaks and the less Rumsfeld speaks, that wouldn't be a bad thing altogether."
    Rumsfeld is a liability for those who are hungering for war. i am extremely glad to hear Aznar come out and state this. Saddam's old drinking buddy, Rumsfeld, sends out - possibly - one of the worst possible representations of the Bush administration and all the policies they seem to endorse --- IMHO unilateralism and hawkishness at their worst.


      I think Bush needs to be muzzled as well.. this is what the German Media thinks of Bush these days..



        Some of the American news networks keep referrring to Aznar as the "President" of Spain, ignorant of the fact that he is the Prime Minister and Spain is headed by a King. They should really start doing their homework before offending other nations, even allies like Spain.