In his press conference yesterday at the Pentagon, US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld declared that the USA has no plans to divide Iraq into different areas and reiterated his former claims that the new government of Iraq will not have weapons of mass destruction, insinuating that the Ba’ath administration had - a claim yet to be substantiated.
"The principal fundamental positions that we have are that the country will stay whole, be a single country, not broken up into 3 pieces or 4 or 8 or 12 - that it will be a country without weapons of mass destruction," stated Donald Rumsfeld, adding that Tarek Aziz had not been forthcoming in his statements to the American forces interrogating him.
However, when a man in Rumsfeld's position can make such claims, only to make in the next breath a statement such as:
"General Garner is doing a terrific job, he's a very talented person and a friend and the country is fortunate that people of that caliber will pick and go off and help to serve our country and the coalition and the people of Iraq. There has been no announcement by the White House on anyone else"
"Pick and go off?" Donald Rumsfeld sounds increasingly like a person with the first tell-tale signs of senile dementia and the suspicion is planted as to whether he, like his former patron Ronald Reagan, is not suffering from some chronic debilitating disease of the brain, such as Alzheimer's. His utterances are increasingly incoherent, he has the distant, pained expression of someone who is fighting to keep in touch with reality and the question arises as to his competence to be occupying such a position of responsibility.
Another example, shortly afterwards in the same press conference, came in response to a question about the prisoners being detained in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:
"I talked to Colin Powell about it this morning because there were apparently some articles while I was away on the subject. What we have is this situation. We have the Department of Defense has been asked to be the custodian of these detainees, so we are doing that in Guantanamo Bay. They for the most part
come from other countries, so they have a country of passport or origin or national origin."
Yet there was better to come and to quote, "Anyone who goes into Iraq and looks at it and then go across the border into Kuwait or into the United Arab Emirates or any of the neighbouring countries there just can't help but feel sad and heartbroken at what a Stalinist vicious dictatorship, a Stalinist type regime has done to the Iraqi people."
What has the "Stalinist regime" done? In Donald Rumsfeld's words, "Here are intelligent, well educated Iraqi people are living at a standard, a level, standard of living level that is so far below their neighbours and the only reason for that, it's a wealthy country."
This is the man who runs the Pentagon?