Rumsfeld Pushed Hard for Regime Change in Iran
Barbara Slavin at Al-Monitor reviews the new book by David Crist, The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict With Iran. Crist is a US Defense Department historian and a lieutenant colonel in the US Marine Corps Reserve whose father was one of the early leaders of US Central Command – all of which gets him exclusive access to testimony and documents not previously made public. One of the book’s revelations:
The George W. Bush administration considered cooperating with Iran over removing the regime of Saddam Hussein in 2003, but opposition from Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and his top civilian aides, as well as Vice President Dick Cheney, torpedoed a draft proposal by then national security adviser Condoleezza Rice. Instead, Rumsfeld’s office advocated getting rid of the Iranian government, too, in part by supporting an “Iranian National Congress” of exiles on the model of Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. At loggerheads internally, the Bush administration failed to approve any policy toward Iran in its first term. Iraq became a quagmire and Iran-backed militias killed hundreds of Americans.
This sounds a lot like the kind of chatter relayed by General Wesley Clark in 2007, who was told by someone in the Pentagon that the Bush administration was thinking early on about regime change in seven countries in five years (Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Iran).
See Crist speak about his book to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: