The Corner

Rumsfeld On The Enemy

DALLAS, Aug 2 (Reuters) – The West has been caught up in a fight within Islam that pits religious militants against the large majority of Muslim moderates, U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said on Tuesday.

“This is not a war between the United States and the Muslim faith, or between the West and the Muslim faith. It is a struggle within the Muslim faith, between the extremists and the moderates, with the extremists representing an extremely small minority,” Rumsfeld told a Dallas business group by phone from Abilene, Texas.

Muslim moderates in Iraq and Afghanistan are suffering the heaviest toll from attacks by extremist groups, he said.

“The targets of these terrorists are more often than not other Muslims – such as the Iraqi children they murdered last month while taking candy from American forces,” he said.

Rumsfeld was referring to a July 13 attack in which a suicide bomber killed more than two dozen people in Baghdad, mostly children who had gathered to receive candy from U.S. soldiers.

Rumsfeld said fundamentalist groups have made their intentions clear, and he again cited the statement from a London cleric who said after the July 7 bombings there that he “would like to see the Islamic flag fly, not only over Number 10 Downing Street, but over the whole world.”

Rumsfeld also called it “absolute nonsense,” to claim last month’s attacks in London were retaliation for Britain’s participation in the Iraq war and in Afghanistan.

Pulling U.S. troops out of Afghanistan and Iraq would do nothing to end terrorist attacks, he said.

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