Video: Donald Rumsfeld confronted for “illegal wars” at Texas college speech

Former US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, key planner and executor of the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan, Iraq, the “War on Terror” and torture and human rights abuses at Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and other suspected secret prisons around the world, was disrupted and confronted by protestors as he spoke at Collin County Community College near Dallas, Texas on 18 November.

As he is interviewed on stage, three protestors stand up in turn, calling on Rumselfd to “turn himself in” and stand trial in The Hague for “illegal wars” in which thousands of Americans and Iraqis were killed and “trillions of dollars” squandered.

The video of the protest, which was sponsored by Dallas Peace Center, CodePINK Women for Peace, and Veterans for Peace, notes that the Rumsfeld event was hosted by local radio station KRLD and “presented by Allegiance Capital Corporation, an international investment banking firm based in Dallas.”

Citizens Arrest

Roqayah Chamseddine, author of the blog The Cynical Arab, who took part in the protest, wrote that “Our aim was to call for a citizen’s arrest and for Mr.Rumsfeld to be held accountable for his role in a laundry-list of war-crimes against the people of Iraq.”

Chamseddine tweeted that she was the “second disrupter” visible in the video.

Officials face protests on book tours

The protest against Rumsfeld came days after his Bush Administration colleague, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, canceled an appearance at the University of Chicago a day before she was due to speak. Both Rumsfeld and Rice are touring the United States marketing books.

While the University of Chicago said the Rice event was “postponed” due to a “scheduling conflict,” it had previously issued a campus-wide warning that anyone protesting inside the planned event would be punished.

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While Rummy certainly was a principal architect of the actual Iraq invasion, the policy itself goes back to the early 90's when the collapse of the USSR prompted GOP and Pentagon brass to delegate Paul Wolfowitz and Colin Powell with the task of finding a new worldview to foist upon the US taxpayer that would serve to justify a continuation of cold war levels of defense spending, thereby saving their own butts from being kicked down the road now that Soviet ICBMs were no longer capable of producing the fear and paranoia they had long depended on for their own careers.

Do a search on "Defense Planning Guidance, Wolfowitz, 1992" and look for the DPG that was leaked to the New York Times back then by (likely) a Pentagon staffer or someone else with the moral acuity to recognize that the amount of money taxpayers would have to come up with for the Pax Americana Wolfowitz was already proposing in the very first DPG issued following the Soviet collapse, should be a direction for America that voters should have some say about -- not hear about it sometime after the fact the way the Pentagon was then proposing.

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Brilliant activism, I loved it.

Ali Abunimah

Ali Abunimah's picture

Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books.

Also wrote One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse. Opinions are mine alone.