Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld recently had positive words for Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based 24/7 cable television channel now widely recognized for the immediacy of its in-depth reporting on this past year's Arab spring uprisings. But back in the aftermath of the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq, Al Jazeera's critical reporting on the war and Iraq's subsequent descent into bloody insurgency was a major source of ire for the Rumsfeld Pentagon.
Al Jazeera's coverage of Iraq was "vicious, inaccurate and inexcusable," Rumsfeld charged in 2004.
Rumsfeld, who left the Pentagon chief job in 2006 and is now promoting a memoir, Known and Unknown, showed few signs that he's mellowed over time, in this bristly and combative interview with Al Jazeera Washington bureau chief Abderahhim Foukara Tuesday:
Rumsfeld's patience quickly frayed as Foukara asked him whether he did not adequately prepare for the Iraq post-war. In particular, Foukara asked if the ensuing civil war would have claimed as many Iraqi lives if Rumsfeld had listened to Pentagon officials who said that the United States would need a much larger military force to stabilize post-Saddam Hussein Iraq.Read More »from Rumsfeld vs. Al Jazeera, the post-post Iraq war edition