WASHINGTON, Nov. 8, 2004 -- The Defense Department's top civilian
today predicted victory for U.S., coalition and Iraqi forces as
they launched large- scale attacks on insurgent positions in the
Iraqi city of Fallujah.
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld noted at a Pentagon news
conference that he couldn't imagine that the Fallujah operation
would be terminated before achieving victory over the insurgents.
Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi gave the green light
for the assault, and U.S. Marines, U.S. Army soldiers and Iraqi
forces have advanced into the city while pounding insurgent positions
with air and ground fire.
Insurgents and extremists have been using Fallujah as a base and
haven for their anti-government operations.
The Fallujah insurgents "have chosen the path of violence" instead
of participating in a negotiated, peaceful outcome, Rumsfeld
This is "an important time" in the history of the new
Iraq, Rumsfeld observed, noting, "No government can allow
terrorists and foreign fighters to use its soil to attack its
Success in Fallujah "will deal a blow to the terrorists" in
Iraq, Rumsfeld predicted, and "should move Iraq further
away from a future of violence to one of freedom and opportunity
the Iraqi people."
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Air Force Gen. Richard B.
Myers, who accompanied Rumsfeld at the press briefing, extended
his condolences for the families of U.S. servicemembers who had
fallen so far in the Fallujah operation, as well as to those who
had died in earlier campaigns.
America's military members "are making a big difference in
this world" as the war against global terrorism continues,
Over time, Myers said, "people will reflect
on the sacrifices made by our brave American servicemembers and
remark about how
they changed the course of history -- and changed it for the