Rumsfeld: No U.S.-style democracy in Iraq

April 17, 2006 at 11:55 AM
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WASHINGTON, April 17 (UPI) -- U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said Monday that he did not believe Iraq would ever have American style democracy, but would have to find its own brand.

"I don't think there will ever be a U.S.-style democracy in Iraq," Rumsfeld said in an interview with the Dubai-based al-Arabiya satellite TV channel. "I think there will be an Iraqi democracy as there should."

Regarding the departure of U.S. troops from the country, Rumsfeld said he looks forward to the day when that will happen, but that the Iraqis must be ready to assume control of their own security.

"We now have trained and equipped something like over 250,000 Iraqi security forces and almost every week we are turning over bases to the Iraqis," Rumsfeld told al-Arabiya.

Asked if he felt the moment had come to say 'thank you so much and we're going home,' the secretary replied: "Well, we'd like it to be as soon as possible, needless to say."

Rumsfeld denied that what was happening in Iraq today was a civil war.

Asked about the prisoners' abuse by American soldiers, Rumsfeld replied that it was something "we regret deeply."

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