Secretary Rumsfeld Responses to Critics of the Iraq War

March 19, 2006 - Posted at 1:21 p.m. CST

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Blunt words from Defense Secretary Rumsfeld on

the third anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

Rumsfeld says if Americans were to turn away from Iraq, it would

be ``the modern equivalent of handing postwar Germany back to the

Nazis.'' He also writes that ``it would be as great a disgrace as

if we had asked the liberated nations of Eastern Europe to return

to Soviet domination because it was too hard or too tough.''

Rumsfeld cites rising voter participation in Iraqi elections,

support for security forces shown by Sunni religious leaders and

rising competence of Iraqi troops as evidence of progress.

Says Rumsfeld: ``The terrorists seem to recognize that they are

losing in Iraq.''

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)