Rumsfeld: 'Unrealistic' for Bush to try to build democracy in Iraq

Rumsfeld: 'Unrealistic' for Bush to try to build democracy in Iraq
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President George W. Bush made an “unrealistic” decision to try to build a democracy in Iraq, one of his top Cabinet members told a British newspaper.

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“I’m not one who thinks that our particular template of democracy is appropriate for other countries at every moment of their histories,” former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told The Times.

“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 added that President Obama’s strategy to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has not been helpful, according to Bloomberg.

“If leaders aren’t willing to [confront ISIS], why the hell should a guy with a wife and kids in the community put himself at risk?” he said.

Rumsfeld served as Bush’s first Defense secretary, heading the Pentagon during the beginning of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One of his main responsibilities was developing the wars' plans and publicly touting the strategies.

“This was the man stoking the fires for going into Iraq on the day of 9/11,” veteran journalist Bob Woodward said Tuesday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

“He was the chief spokesman and agitator that we don’t just do Afghanistan, where bin Laden was, but we are going to do Iraq. He was pushing it and kind of sandpapered the whole war plan down.”

When asked about the timing of these comments, more than a decade after the war, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele told “Morning Joe” that Rumsfeld might have been trying to give GOP candidates that have been dogged by questions about the war “wiggle room.”