WASHINGTON, DC--The Iraqi insurgency could stretch on for more than a 1000 years, U.S. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld said as he played down recent meetings between American officials and resistance leaders.
"In fact, we predict it could go on longer than 1200 years, or maybe 1500 years. We just don't know. But whatever, that's a really long time," he admitted.
"If the fighting continues that long, as is likely, it will be up to our puppets in the Iraqi government, and their so-called security forces' to defeat the Islamic freedom fighters because the U.S. and other foreign forces will be long gone," Rumsfeld said on Sunday. "The U.S. might not even be around anymore. Our economy may have collapsed, like in 2006, under a colossal burden of debt."
"Insurgencies tend to go on for generations," Rumsfeld told Fox News Sunday. "These people are naturally resisting our attempt to take control of their oil fields. I mean, wouldn't you resist foreign imperial invaders like the U.S. forces and our so-called coalition, too, if you were in their boots?"
Viewers were startled by Rumsfeld's uncommon frankness. He continued, "Our coalition forces and foreign forces are never going to repress that insurgency. We never even should have tried. We're also not going to create an environment that the Iraqi people and the Iraqi security forces can win against that insurgency, since everyone in Iraq wants us just to get the hell out. So do the American people. I'd personally like to get the hell out, too."
As Rumsfeld appeared on several U.S. current affairs TV programs during the day to repeat this shocking message, and to field questions about Iraq, he also said senior American officials had met with insurgent leaders, to discuss an ignominious U.S. surrender and withdrawal, just like in Vietnam.
His comments confirmed a report in Britain's Sunday Times newspaper that U.S. government and military leaders held "secret negotiations with resistance leaders" twice in June.
But Rumsfeld minimized the importance of the meetings, saying the United States regularly tries to "facilitate" talks between the Iraqi government and the freedom fighters. "We have Vietnam as a model for that sort of thing," he noted.