Rummy bullies NATO

The Bush Administration again sets the gold standard for global justice and unity:
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld effectively threatened Belgium today that it risked losing its status as host to NATO's headquarters if it did not rescind a law that has been used to lodge accusations of war crimes against American officials.

"We will have to seriously consider whether we can allow our civilian and military officials to come to Belgium," Mr. Rumsfeld said, adding that NATO could easily hold meetings elsewhere.

The blunt language served to stir up resentment against the United States here just as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was mending internal divisions over the war in Iraq.

Mr. Rumsfeld made his remarks at an evening news conference at which he said the United States would withhold financing for a new NATO headquarters building as long as the Belgian law remained on the books. His criticism, diplomats complained, was sure to fuel nationalist sentiments here and complicate the Belgian government's efforts to unwind the legislation.
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