Al Qaeda crows over Rumsfeld

Polar Bear

They call me Mr Sunshine
Verified Military
Aug 14, 2006
I was not a big fan of Rumsfeld but this does not surprise me

Al Qaeda crows over Rumsfeld
Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:19 AM ET

By Claudia Parsons
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A purported audio recording by the leader of Iraq's al Qaeda wing gloated over the resignation of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld as a top U.S. general said the military was preparing to recommend strategy changes.
Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, also known as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, said in the recording posted on the Internet on Friday that the group has 12,000 armed fighters and 10,000 others waiting to be equipped to fight U.S. troops in Iraq.
"I tell the lame duck (U.S. administration) do not rush to escape as did your defense minister ... stay on the battleground," he said.
Stung by a "thumping" defeat at Tuesday's Congressional elections, President Bush said Rumsfeld had resigned because there was need for "fresh perspective in Iraq."
Bush said he was open to any idea for a new approach and publicly reaffirmed a belief that "victory" was possible.
The Pentagon's top general said on Friday U.S. military leaders were preparing to recommend changes in Iraq strategy but Rumsfeld's departure would not have a direct impact.
"We have to give ourselves a good honest scrub about what is working and what is not working, what are the impediments to progress and what should we change about the way we are doing it to make sure that we get to the objective that we set for ourselves," Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the military Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on the CBS "Early Show."
"The change in leadership itself will not have a direct impact on what we do or don't do in Iraq," Pace said. "We continuously review what's going right, what's going wrong, what needs to change."
Rumsfeld will be replaced by former CIA Director Robert Gates, a member of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group assessing alternative strategies for Iraq.
The big question for most Iraqis is whether the change of guard will mean a swifter withdrawal of U.S. troops. Opinions are sharply divided over whether that would be a good thing for a country riven by sectarian violence.
On Thursday in Baghdad alone, six car bombs and four roadside bombs killed 18 people and wounded dozens more, and police found the bodies of 26 people shot dead, some of them tortured. Mortars killed another three and wounded 30.
Baghdad was under a regular curfew on Friday to avoid violence on the Muslim day of prayer. In Tal Afar in northwest Iraq, a suicide car bomber hit an army checkpoint on Friday, killing a colonel and 4 soldiers and wounding 17, police said.
The U.S. military said two soldiers were killed in Baghdad on Thursday when their vehicle was blasted by a roadside bomb.
A Marine also died of wounds on Thursday following combat in Anbar province, where Sunni rebels are fighting in the west.
Health Minister Ali al-Shemari was quoted on Thursday as saying around 150,000 Iraqis had been killed since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion, and as many as 500,000 wounded.
Casualty figures are controversial, notably since the United Nations put the monthly civilian toll at more than 3,000 this summer and a group of medical statisticians estimated more than 650,000 might have died since the U.S. invasion.
Evidence of civilian casualties is scarce. The Iraqi government has also tightened rules to prevent officials outside the prime minister's office releasing figures. Reuters typically reports several dozen killings a day, but many go unreported.
The Austrian APA agency quoted Shemari as saying 35,000 Iraqis were being killed annually from attacks. He did not explain how he reached a total estimate of 150,000 dead.
Analysts have questioned Health Ministry data on casualties. The ministry is run by the political movement of Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr whose Mehdi Army militia Washington has accused of running death squads, a charge it denies.