Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld split with his former boss, President George W. Bush, and told the Times of London America never should have tried to press for a democratic Iraq.
Rumsfeld, one of the leading architects of the 2003 U.S.-Iraq conflict, also said the move to turn Tehran and surrounding cities into a democracy always seemed “unrealistic” to him.
“I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories,” he said, to the overseas newspaper. “The idea that we could fashion a democracy in Iraq seemed to me unrealistic. I was concerned about it when I first heard those words.”
Rumsfeld famously said in April 2003, when Iraq was being torn by looters: “Freedom’s untidy and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They’re also free to live their lives and do wonderful things. And that’s what’s going to happen here.”
Rumsfeld also said President Obama has fueled the rise of ISIS by failing to properly address the savagery.
“We can’t police the world, it’s too big. But people want to know what to think about their futures and the risks,” he said, to the London Times. “If leaders aren’t willing to [fight ISIS], why the hell should a guy with a wife and kids in the community put himself at risk?”