Weapons inspectors are not forcing Iraq to disarm, according to American Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Mr Rumsfeld told the BBC that Iraq was perfectly capable of producing new weapons of mass destruction while the UN inspectors were still in the country.
However, he added that he hoped war could be avoided - either by Saddam Hussein co-operating with the UN, the Iraqi leader going into exile, or if there was a coup against him.
What is your reaction to the interview?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
How many versions of Dimbleby's interview with Rumsfeld were there aired? I didn't see it/them but from reading the comments it looks as if there were a few. People see what they want to see I suppose.
Bucky Montano, USA
Mr Dimbleby's interview of Mr Rumsfeld felt more like an argumentative ambush than an interview. I haven't yet decided if a war with Iraq is justified but for the first time I was disappointed with the BBC.
Marcia Vlaun, USA
Mr. Rumsfeld was clearly in control of the interview, even when Mr. Dimbleby tried uselessly to knock him off his block. Rumsfeld did not pretend to know all the answers and admitted when he didn't. Dimbleby fumbled in asking Rumsfeld to give his personal view on what exactly should be done... this is not relevant. This is a fact- disarming Iraq at this rate would take decades. It has already been twelve years and we are nowhere near completion. All the while the work underground continues and Saddam remains in power. Rumsfeld is a confident and intelligent man, that does not mean arrogant - look it up.
Mr. Rumsfeld was clearly in control of the interview
I watched the interview and thought Rumsfeld handled it well, although he was ruffled by at least a couple of questions no doubt about that. Anyone who believes that national governments are whiter than white even here in the West is being naive to say the least. However, when push comes to shove either now or in the future I know who I'd prefer the UK to be allied with: USA no question!
Andrew Holloway, UK
Secretary Rumsfeld's comments make clear that the US's war aims have nothing to do with Weapons of Mass Destruction and everything to do with regime change.
Those countries rushing to jump onto the Bush-Rumsfeld bandwagon would do well to consider that Saddam was a valued ally of the US during the Iran-Iraq war, and so were the Afghan mujahideen during the Soviet war there.
From the time it took office the present US administration was deliberately tearing down the foundations of international law that were built up after the Second World War.
May God forgive them.
Ngiam Shih Tung,
Rumsfeld's comments about the Israel Palestine problem were stunning - according to his answer Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories is a matter for negotiation, when in fact the notion that the Israelis should withdraw to pre 1967 boundaries has been the international consensus for over 30 years. This simple fact seems to be being 'forgotten' and obscured systematically - i.e. that Israel is in the wrong.
Rumsfeld's comments about the Israel Palestine problem were stunning
Gareth Nathanson-Parry, UK
Gareth Nathanson-Parry, UK
The Defence Secretary's defence on many issues raised was wobbly. Rumsfeld scored many own goals. America's push for regime change in the name of freedom, is a contradiction in that it is forcing its will upon a sovereign people that did not invite them to do so.
Excellent interview. Rumsfeld's position, and, indeed, it would seem, that of the current US Administration was clearly summed up in Dimbleby's repetition of the "so-called Occupied Territories" quote. Rumsfeld's reply that if this comment was offensive, simply not to use it strikes at the heart of policy. "I ain't listening to anything I don't want to hear"
Henri Jaume, Spain
Congratulations BBC. Mr. Dimbleby formulated all questions which also we are struggling with. After hearing this interview we ask ourselves once more : Does the American population really support leadership of this quality?
Does the American population really support leadership of this quality?
As an American, I was delighted to have such a lengthy interview in which Rumsfeld had to answer such probing questions. I am not in support of this war without UN support and have been ashamed of Rumsfeld in the past, but thought he kept his cool and did give honest answers. However, I was shocked at the interviewers unabashed anti-Americanism. I got the distinct impression that the interviewer wanted to get on his "soap box" and present the question, but really wasn't interested in listening to Rumsfeld's answers.
I thought this was a good interview in spite of Dimbleby's anti-Americanism. I thought the US position was put across clearly by Rumsfeld. The only weakness in his response was on the question of Iraq's status as a terrorist state 20 years ago. One question: does Jesse Jackson have copies of the receipts of US weapons sales to Iraq ? Proof would be more eloquent than empty rhetoric. It is time the people of Iraq were rid of the Saddam regime.
Mr Rumsfeld met for the first time an interviewer he couldn't bully. You could sense his discomfort and annoyance at some of the questions. For once he didn't resort to insults and name-calling, his trademark for anyone who disagrees with their policies.
You could sense his discomfort
Maybe Iraq can and maybe they can't develop WMD - even with inspectors in Iraq. Fact is, nobody knows for sure. Now, we can either find out by implementing inspections that are designed to work, or do what the UN has done; implement inspections designed to fail, mostly because they simply don't believe there is a danger. If that's their viewpoint, fine. But to base policy on an assumption is negligent. It's not as though the world will believe America afterwards. The United States will simply get accused of planting the evidence.
Congratulations to David Dimbleby for this great interview. It's simply one of the best pieces of information on the matter I have come upon recently.
Andreas Caranti, Italy
Shocking that a senior member of the Bush administration lacks any true understanding world affairs and global public opinion. He is one of the individuals who helped terrorists obtain weapons of mass destruction. His lack of recall is incredulous and offensive. This is an insensitive man with blood on his hands.
His lack of recall is incredulous and offensive.
Overall I was unimpressed by Mr Rumsfeld's performance in the Dimbleby interview. On several occasions he exposed himself to contradiction, which interviewers such as Jeremy Paxman would have pursued with vengeance.
However, those that criticise David Dimbleby miss the point; the opportunity was for the Bush Administration to articulate in clear, structured and reasoned fashioned why they believe military action necessary now. I think Mr Rumsfeld failed in this capacity and instead looked like a "red neck on a mission"
I love this guy. When people ask a question he instantly sees through their words and finds the heart of what they actually asked, along with all of the assumptions the question implies, and then proceeds to tear the questioner apart. Its nice to see some people in politics with some guts who aren't afraid to say what needs to be said.
Gordon Silliker, USA
It amazes me how people can listen to either Rumsfeld or Bush and not realizing these are two very shallow men with nothing of proof to back up what they say. Yet they plan to attack another country and kill people and are followed blindly because "they must know something". Bush has even threatened to use nuclear weapons against Iraq....and still the majority of Americans support him. Wake up before that first shot is fired and we're into dubya dubya III.
Rumsfeld's comments were excellent. Some of the people don't trust Rumsfeld's words. They'd like to spend time picking apart every word. Regardless, his goal is to protect America. This much he's been clear about. Is Saddam is a major threat to stability? Is Saddam a murderous despot intent on dominating his region by oppression and human rights abuse? I think most of you at least agree he his all that and more. Rumsfeld has made it clear enough to me why a war is being sought to end his regime. All the dirt comes out in the laundry eventually. Rumsfeld's critics will be quieted when the terrible truth of Saddam's cruelty, human rights abuses, and cunning ruthlessness are out in the open.
Rumsfeld has made it clear enough to me why a war is being sought
It is no surprise that those who have come to hate the US also see Rumsfeld in negative terms. What IS surprising is that the rest of world still thinks that the US will somehow waver from what it believes to be a deadly serious goal because of "world opinion." Like it or not, Americans have NEVER really held world opinion in much regard. What others see as flaws --our stubbornness and bull-headed determination that "to do what we have to do" -- is at the heart of America's sense of self. Rumsfeld is so popular in the States because he embodies those qualities.
Michael, Boston, USA
It is high time for this administration to tell the real reasons behind this war and stop brain washing people with lies and deception.
Tim Madane, USA
President Bush and Rumsfeld are men with vision of a better world. It is up to the US to save the world again like it did in WWI and WWII. Mr. Rumsfeld was cool and collective during the interview. He answered the questions, while looking like a peaceful man. My hats off to him. Thank god we got men like him running the Best government in the world.
President Bush and Rumsfeld are men with vision of a better world
WIlliam Hughes, USA
Excellent expose. If the BBC were CNN then Dimblebly's next interview would be with a ground hog. The interview clearly showed that Bush and his almost ultra rightwing self-righteous republican bullies do have double standards; one for the USA and one for every other country that disagrees. I found it interesting that Rumsfeld, when put on the hot seat without a cheering section, coughed up the fact that he thought the war WOULD be long and costly. And what's this enormous coalition of the willing? .....All I see is a small collation of the "bribables"..
Bless the BBC for giving Rumsfeld the hard time he'd never get here at home. Blind patriotism runs so deeply over here that no one even bothers to question our government's war motives post-9/11, and the press doesn't seem to be immune, either.
What an extraordinary set of comments. Apparently everyone agrees with Rumsfeld and disagrees with him, has respect for him and finds him obnoxious and arrogant. As with world opinion over Iraq in general, opinion is clearly split and the interview has only served to reinforce peoples opinion whether for or against war with Iraq
Jonathan Cook, Trinidad and Tobago
To some it may look like spin, but his answers were very clear and he's served the US well. Anytime when presented with hearsay from Dimbleby, Rumsfeld made sure there was no misunderstanding, nothing more. He's sensible and does not let his emotions run his mouth, like many people who spread the hearsay. We don't ever want any death and horror but I believe he's more truthful than many of these anti-war zombies. He commands my respect not including his heroic actions rescue some of his employees at the pentagon on 9/11.
To some it may look like spin, but his answers were very clear
Paul L. Venne, Virginia, USA
Paul L. Venne, Virginia, USA
The though questions were asked but the fulfilling answers never came. A pity that there weren't much questions on America's involvement in re-building Iraq, with all its fractioned groups, after a supposed war, and hurray for the questions on the Palestinian issue [Maybe Rumsfeld's blush when the questions were asked could change America's biased view on the issue]
Mohamed el Massoudi, Maroc living in Netherlands
I have been in England for a while now and have been forced to hear such ridiculous arguments as "America is just in this for the oil", and "Bush is just like Hitler". I would like to see one of the backbench Labour MP's answer tough questions about Iraq like Rumsfeld did. He clearly showed understanding of the situation and he is acting within an administration that is trying to the best they can with a bad situation.
He clearly showed understanding of the situation
He managed to say absolutely nothing during the interview - proof that he's a great politician!!
Didn't anyone notice how contradictory he is? The U.S administration thinks people are fools and cannot understand their hidden agenda, which is to govern the second largest reserves of oil in the world. Coming from an administration in which president and vice president come from oil-industry background they must know that it is profitable to attack Iraq.
Too often in the US have I seen entirely superficial discourse passing as political debate. It pales in comparison to a meaningful interview such as this. My only wish would be for the interview to be longer. Questioning Israel being actively supported by the US while blatantly ignoring UN resolutions would have been highly pertinent to understanding opinion outside the US (especially the Middle East).
Seeing this event unfold through the eyes of the US media has been a culture shock for me. I am not used to 'factual inaccuracies' in mainstream media sources. To be told bin Laden's statement proves the link to Hussein, only to read every word of the transcript and find that it states the complete opposite was surprising to say the least. Once again the BBC has proven its quality of the highest order in producing and providing this insight.
Rumsfeld is a man of integrity and conviction. His job is to protect US citizens and their interests. Therefore, his goals and objectives are opposed to those of America's enemies. Should any rational person expect it to be otherwise?
Brit in the US
Mike Cronk, Thailand
Both Dimbleby and Rumsfeld should be congratulated. The interview was probing with no punches pulled. Rumsfeld fielded the questions intelligently and kept his cool, but unfortunately much of the US policy and actions in the past have come back to bite the US. In this regard Rumsfeld was backed into a corner. Otherwise he did well. It is a pity that his remarks in public in the past, which Dimbleby hit on, were not more diplomatic. The fact is, the evil done by Saddam, and others like him, has been ignored, tolerated, or even supported by both members of the "coalition of the willing" and its opponents. At last something is being done, or about to be done, about it. May democracy spread.
The interview was probing with no punches pulled
Rumsfeld's comments are those of an honest man. In this day and age it is a strange thought that many ignorant people see an opinionated person as arrogant and stubborn. Such people once led their countries to success, now we are governed by the media. The world is no longer a safe place but it is possible, it is necessary to correct this and there are only a few nations with this power. Why give up now? We owe it as fellow humans to end this strife and liberate the beautiful country of Iraq torn apart by fear and terror.
It became clear during the interview that the American objective is to disarm a small foe completely before you invade him. Then he cannot shoot back. This war will be recorded in history as a disgusting abuse of superpower capability. Why does the UN not demand that the US and the UK must declare that in a post war Iraq, they will withdraw completely so that there can be no doubt that a war was not initiated to satisfy dwindling North Sea and American oil reserves?
Donald is a mouthpiece of American arrogance. We are ashamed to have him as our secretary of defence. The US faces its worst leadership crisis right now. Americans have isolated themselves and are sick and tired of the current leadership. The empty and shallow talk of the leaders and lack of sense of direction have betrayed the American people. Donald's interview was of no exception. It was a total disaster and utter disappointment.
It was a total disaster and utter disappointment.
Thomas G. Provost, USA
Mr Dimbleby's anti-Americanism is obvious and annoying. Find a more objective interviewer next time, please.
Brenda McDowell, UK
Some of your viewers have complained of Mr. Dimbleby's supposed anti-Americanism. But what could be more American than a journalist attempting to ask the toughest, most critical questions possible of a spokesman for the government? Is this not one of the core ideals of freedom of the press upon which America was founded and wishes to project to the rest of the world? It is sad when Americanism is associated with a feeble press unwilling to critically engage with the rulers of the nation. I applaud Mr Dimbleby's attempt to uphold his role as a journalist in what I can only hope is still considered a quintessentially American way.
Donald Rumsfeld is taking the right stand. He is just being proactive. As an American defence secretary, nobody expects him to underestimate the situation.
Kudos to Rumsfeld!!
Let the European leaders learn from him
His answers demonstrate a tremendous understanding and knowledge about global dynamics and the interdependencies. Let the European leaders learn from him and the French leaders get a bit of backbone from his leadership.
Rudy Hernandez, USA
Having lived in the Middle East for a number of years, it's clear that Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice know exactly what they're talking about. How things work given an Arab mindset are very different than how things are viewed and done in the West. The world will be a safer place once murderous dictators like Saddam Hussain are removed from power.
jerry foster, Netherlands
It's quite stunning to see how differently people react to the Rumsfeld interview. Charm? No, in my opinion he was evasive, patronising, obnoxious, arrogant and clearly outright lying in many cases. He and his cronies are highly dangerous men and they should be watched very closely by the international community.
Mr Rumsfeld said inspectors are no investigators. He has more faith in reconnaissance spy planes and not-yet-disclosed secret agents, who feed the US information about Iraq's secretive schemes. This is a little weird. If he doesn't believe inspectors, equipped with all high-tech investigative equipments, for inspection jobs, what makes the pictures taken from thousands feet more reliable?
Arun K Lal, Baton Rouge, USA
Rumsfeld always comes across as brilliant, no-nonsense and truthful. When so many people in the world are against the only process that will remove Saddam, the majority of Americans believe the US administration because of people like Rumsfeld. If more world leaders had people like Rumsfeld working for them Saddam would have took the exile offer months ago.
The majority of Americans believe the US administration because of people like Rumsfeld
Donald Rumsfeld is an elitist, arrogant example of what's wrong in America. I grew up living in his Congressional district. He didn't represent my interests because I'm African American. He represented the interest of the wealthy, white North Shore. This war is simply about white men pushing their geo-political agenda which seems to only enrich them. George Bush talks tough now, but last I remember his daddy found a way to hide him in the Reserve during Vietnam. Cheney was doing business in Iraq during his tenure at Halliburton. Now tell me how this war is about our security. Please!
John Posey, United States
I am pleased to learn that many Americans have followed this BBC interview. Dimbleby's questions were excellent. Mr Rumsfeld obviously is not used to being exposed to such a critical attitude in public. He is a clever man - but outside of his own country in which an atmosphere of unreflected patriotism seems to reign cheap rhetoric simply doesn't work.
Who was interviewing whom, I wonder? Frequently Rumsfeld had to object to words being put into his mouth. Now the BBC is repeating in every newscast what he did not say. What he does say makes a lot of sense. As Dutchmen, we remember two centuries of dire poverty at the hands of our neighbours Britain, France and Germany (in that order). At least the US, as a world power, builds nations up and grants them a say in their own affairs. More power to them. And may your reporter interview Saddam Hussein very shortly, and equally irreverently.
Frequently Rumsfeld had to object to words being put into his mouth
JD Schotanus, Netherlands
JD Schotanus, Netherlands
I don't understand why Europeans love to hate Americans officials and our government. Do the Europeans understand that we the people are the government? And why do the Europeans think that the United States is a greater threat to security rather than Iraq and North Korea?
Rumsfeld came across better than his reputation would have predicted (he was quiet, not belligerent). However there were two important questions which he did not answer honestly: Why is this aggression against Iraq considered to be "self-defence" and what was the role of previous American administrations (and Rumsfeld himself) in selling WMD to Hussein when it was convenient for the US to have him on their side? On the first issue he just waffled about WMD, and on the second issue he tried to plead ignorance although he himself was involved in the dirty trade.
W Boucher, UK
It was good to see Rumsfeld talking reasonably and sensibly and clearly truthfully about the facts of this confrontation with Iraq. Such is the coloured view we have after listening to our own media and it's appeasing interviews for so long that simple facts from Rumsfeld seem aggressive only by comparison.
It was good to see Rumsfeld talking reasonably and sensibly
Guy Stacpoole, England
Absolutely outstanding! About time someone pinned down some of these politicians and tried to get to the real issues underlying all this political jargon. Donald was obviously uncomfortable with some of the questions being asked and rightly so, this is the sort of interviewing standards I fully expect from the BBC. Well done.
Tracy Gunn, UK
I find the tone and slant of the supposedly objective BBC regrettably manipulative. Its news, commentaries and analyses are increasingly full of innuendos and half truths. This acts to fan the passions of its readers who are then encouraged to write in. I suppose this is done deliberately to provoke, please and upset different factions so as to increase readership numbers rather than set out the facts. Requesting and printing your readers comments on perfectly straight forward statements by leading Western ministers is just one example of this cynicism
UK living in France
Can Mr Dimbleby now be persuaded to use his persistent and quietly subtle questioning technique on Saddam Hussein himself? That way we may be better able to judge whether Mr Dimbleby is being completely objective and impartial in his coverage of the crisis. This tactic would also allow the public to judge who is the more believable.
It would require considerable bravery for any interviewer to subject Saddam to the same aggressive questioning
However, it would require considerable bravery on the part of any interviewer to subject Saddam Hussein to the same aggressive questioning that we see directed against Tony Blair, President Bush, Colin Powell etc. Have any of them got the courage to go out to Baghdad and do it?
Did anyone realise that Rumsfeld gave contradicting statements about his visits to Baghdad? At one point he claimed he was a business representative (I wonder what kind of business this was?) and at another point he said he was sent on behalf of the government. He was lucky Dimbleby didn't push that subject further.
Through the interview it was clear to see why Donald Rumsfeld commands the respect of both his political allies and foes. He is a man of clear conviction, whether or not one agrees with him. Mr. Rumsfeld makes a strong case why inspections are not sufficient to contain Iraq, and why forceful disarmament may be necessary.
Ade Barkah, Canada
A shifty looking Donald Rumsfeld was so ill-prepared and was trapped and wrong-footed by David Dimbleby so often, that I have come to the conclusion that he can't be trusted at all. He waffled and blustered and when he was pinned down, he couldn't answer the questions. I feel significantly less hopeful that the Bush administration can be persuaded not to go to war. The ability to alter one's course requires reason and vision, and I got the feeling that Rumsfeld for one neither knows nor cares what he's doing.
He waffled and blustered
Rumsfeld's problem, illustrated in this interview, is that he thinks by simply asserting the same thing over and over again it becomes a fact.
Most of his points were irrelevant or fatuous. In fact nearly all countries in the world have the "capability" of making WMD, the technology is not that exotic.
The question is whether they have them. So far, despite all the bluster, there is no proof Iraq does.
But proof is not something that worries Mr Rumsfeld. As the Spanish pro-war prime minister said, we need to hear less of this man.
Simon O'Brien, UK
I never knew that the Spanish premier said, "We need more of Powell and less of Rumsfeld", and that was just the perfect comment to close the interview with. That coming from one of the staunchest allies of US sums up just about everything about this loathsome man who has personified the new American attitude about the rest of the world: "Put up or shut up."
Rumsfeld is just doing his job and I think he does it perfectly. Saddam had good opportunities to pave the way, not to lead the country towards war and destruction, but he never tried to do such. He has behaved like a dictator and imposed his own idea on all Iraqi people. I think sometimes negotiation cannot solve the problems and moving peacefully can create more thousand problems.
Rumsfeld is just doing his job and I think he does it perfectly.
Ajmal Obaid Abidy,
Ajmal Obaid Abidy,
Did some of the contributors listen to a different interview? Rumsfeld was ill at ease, did not like the close questioning, and was very evasive about the precise reasons for invasion of a sovereign State. This is WAR, it is an unprovoked invasion we are talking about here, not some Hollywood movie. We need a proper UN resolution, not one obtained by bullying and bribery, and proper justifications. Should we not re-name this guy as the American Attack Secretary?
John C, Bath, UK
America can lead the world towards a civilised, human and just future of peace. Instead, this administration is pushing the world into a new brutal and bestial imperialism, based on military supremacy and nationalistic arrogance. Rumsfeld is probably not the main brain, but certainly the most clear face of this brutality. The US administration exploits cynically the emotional shock of 9/11, and intentionally keeps the fear of the Americans alive, to justify its delirium of power. I very much hope the American people, our friends, soon realise this bloodthirsty administration is leading them and the entire world toward a catastrophe, and would rapidly get rid of them.
Good interview. Rumsfeld had lost a lot of respect in my eyes lately but he did well last night. However, I did find his arguments contradictory at times and I feel that spin and double speak was very much a part of his (beautifully delivered) performance. The contradictions in their arguments still keep me from accepting the Bush administration's position. I just don't trust those guys, and Rumsfeld didn't change that last night.
I feel that spin and double speak was very much a part of his (beautifully delivered) performance
Kevin, Irish in France
Congratulations on a good interview. There were clearly some questions that caught Mr Rumsfeld off-guard, which is quite a feat. I've actually had the misfortune of meeting our secretary of defence personally. I say misfortune only because I'm a Democrat, and its hard to think of anyone from my party as intelligent, clear-headed, and thorough as Mr Rumsfeld is in his work. I'd probably have to say I'm not entirely in favour of this campaign against Iraq, but feel a lot better about it knowing that Secretary Rumsfeld is playing a role.
An excellent interview. Dimbleby had Rumsfeld on the ropes a couple of times - in particular over his meeting with Saddam, and the infamous Rumsfeld phrase: 'so-called occupied territories' . Good to hear Rumsfeld struggling with the point about double standards in relation to Israel. - trying, as always, to defend the indefensible. Makes you realise that there is no way the US would ever put the same pressure on Israel to comply with UN resolutions that it has flouted. Until this particular nettle is grasped, Arab and Moslem resentment of America will just increase. The tragedy for Britain is that Blair has dragged our country into an unjust war which will make us equally reviled throughout the world.
K Fuller, England
He was very calm and reacted to his questions very well, I think he represented America's argument for war very well, but I think we made little very difference to American views.
He represented America's argument for war very well
Maybe if we did not see how arrogant, ignorant and irresponsible the current administration in the White House is dealing with the whole world, it would be easier to buy what Mr Rumsfeld is trying to sell. No, thank you, I do not believe that Iraqi regime is the most dangerous regime in the world that must be removed by force for the sake of peace as long as I hear the voice of war from President Bush and his administration. Let me remind you that this "peace loving president" chose three war generals to key posts in his cabinet long before September 11.
Congrats Dimbleby. Finally, a journalist willing to ask the questions that really matter and not just pandering to politicians as most American journalists do. Rumsfeld must have had the longest pause I have ever heard a politician have when posed with a difficult question by Dimbleby. I counted 10 seconds!!!
Martin Smith, UK
Rumsfeld may come across as arrogant, conceited, and stubborn. However, you won't find world leaders challenging the facts on which his assertions are based. This is because unlike the US, Saddam doesn't even have the decency to equivocate about his WMD. What he offers is a blanket denial. The man set oil fires AFTER a truce was signed, manipulated sanctions for a decade, and now completely denies owning WMD? How then are we to believe that he isn't continuing to deceive??? I'd rather believe a stubborn equivocator than a lying dictator.
I'd rather believe a stubborn equivocator than a lying dictator
Aaron McGinley, USA
Donald Rumsfeld is doing exactly what the Secretary of Defence is supposed to do: present the military options based upon careful intelligence and assessment of the defence-related challenges at hand. Leave the debating and diplomatic double-speak to the politicians and their handlers. Here in the US, we appreciate his work very much.
Thomas, Akron, USA
Mr Rumsfeld should come out to Iowa for a visit. We would explain to him that a war with Iraq would further erode the farm economy and our public school budgets. We want a non-violent resolution of the conflict with Iraq. We need that money he wants to spend on bombs and bullets to be spent on growing a stronger farm economy and on higher salaries for our overworked teachers.
Lee Tesdell, USA
It's been a long wait for a journalist to pose a few intelligent, pertinent and persistent questions to one of the inner circle of the unelected Bush cabal. Today the public got a clear view of the lies, whining and bluster at the heart of the American Empire.
Today the public got a clear view of the lies, whining and bluster at the heart of the American Empire
Victor Manfredi, USA
Well done Dimbleby for asking the questions most intelligent people are thinking. What a shame you didn't further explore Rumsfeld's earlier involvement with Saddam and Iraq.
All Rumsfeld is saying is the same thing the UN said years ago and failed to deliver upon. No one points a finger at the UN for not doing their job but instead are outwardly angered at those who are fed up with the UN's inability to deliver and making them do what they said and were supposed to do but failed to act upon.
All Rumsfeld is saying is the same thing the UN said years ago
The reaction will be predictable. Those who think Iraq is a threat will believe Rumsfeld, and those who don't think Iraq is a threat will believe he's lying. There is no bridging this gap. Let's get the war over with already. Iraqis have waited long enough.
Fred Barnes, US
Refreshing breath of honesty for a change. People just don't like someone so honest.
John Carpenter, USA
Mr. Rumsfeld, a member of a non-elected administration, has done grievous harm to the worldwide image of America. His incompetence has resulted in alienating America's friends around the world and establishing the US as an aggressor state with raw imperialist designs. His patronising attitude to anyone who disagrees with him proves his unworthiness for such an important and powerful position.
Michael D. Crittenden, USA
Donald Rumsfeld may be stubborn but he is smart. He's not a diplomat or a statesman, he pushes for strong defence - that's his job. He's an effective defence secretary and he commands the respect of his supporters and detractors alike.
Donald Rumsfeld may be stubborn but he is smart
Rumsfeld is the rudest mouth to ever come out of Washington. Most of the problems the US has with our old friends in Europe is his brash, pushy, damn-the-torpedoes attitude. He should just shut up.
I was absolutely delighted to see David Dimbleby floored this evening by Donald Rumsfeld on BBC2. He, Dimbleby, trotted out the tired but supposedly challenging questions, mostly based on anti-American propaganda and lies, all of which, Rumsfeld took totally in his stride and answered with a charm that is sadly lacking this side of the Atlantic. Is it not time that David Dimbleby was retired as incapable and out of his depth?
Tom Lang, UK
Rumsfeld is being duplicitous in saying that he hopes war can be avoided. The whole intent of the Bush administration up to this point has been to remove Hussein from power using force. No amount of cooperation from the Iraqi government will alter this preordained course.
Rumsfeld is being duplicitous
Robert Cropf, USA
As Rumsfeld proved we have more than ample justification for going to war already. The biggest winners will be ordinary Iraqis themselves. The US transformed Germany and Japan from vicious totalitarian aggressor states to models of stability and democracy. They'll do the same with Iraq.
I am very glad to hear you ask what no US reporter has dared, notably, where was Rumsfeld in Baghdad in the 80s? As Jesse Jackson suggested in London, Rumsfeld has receipts for the weapons of mass destruction Iraq supposedly has. It is America that has caused this problem and it is America that will only create more problems with its hegemony.