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Retired generals attack Rumsfeld over Iraq -

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(generated from captions) Matt Brown, we will leave you there.

That's Matt Brown from the scene

the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. That's Matt Brown from the scene of Secretary Donald Rumsfeld Supporters of the US Defence retired generals have hit back at a group of who are demanding his resignation, be meddling in politics. saying they shouldn't undermining the civilian leadership. The generals are accused of are adamant But Mr Rumsfeld's critics that's gone wrong in Iraq that he's responsible for everything to step down are continuing. and their public calls for him Stephen McDonell reports. As the Iraq war drags on, pressure on the US Defense Secretary to resign is intense. Six former generals have called for Donald Rumsfeld to step down - that includes the only three retired generals to have served in Iraq. Today, the counterattack.

Now they're being accused of interfering in politics. I think it's wrong, by the way, for the military to criticise our bosses. That's not the role of the military of the United States. And it's absolutely inappropriate. Donald Rumsfeld has been criticised for underestimating Iraqi resistance and not putting enough troops on the ground, but he's dismissed the recently retired generals, saying the current military leadership has advised him on troop strength. It's an art, not a science. No-one knows for sure what the right numbers should be. Everyone can have their opinion and express their opinion. Personally, I'll go with General Abizaid

and General Casey's judgement. And retired Marine general Michael DeLong, former number two at US Central Command, wrote in the 'New York Times' that:

But Major General John Batiste, a former combat commander in Iraq, has strongly attacked the Defense Secretary's personal style, saying he ignores Military advice. The best solution is for the secretary to step down and we get fresh blood in the Pentagon - new civilian leadership who understands teamwork and doesn't lead with intimidation and arrogance. And, in the Islamic world,

Donald Rumsfeld still hasn't been forgiven for the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuses. Sir, you took full responsibility for the atrocities that took place in Abu Ghraib. You offered your resignation more than once, Sir. You're a man of honour, would you like to take this opportunity

to apologise to the Iraqi people for what took place in Abu Ghraib? Oh, we've done that. While Mr Rumsfeld has been seen on American television

giving out Purple Hearts and talking to troops in Iraq... The country's making progress and you guys ought to be darn proud of it. Most Americans don't seem to believe Iraq is making progress and US television reports like this one today are the reason why. 47 US troops have died in Iraq so far in April - a significant increase over last month. More Iraqis were killed today too, in violence that once again had a religious taint. Over the weekend, 42 people were killed in Iraq, including four US Marines and five insurgents. The Bush Administration blames Iraq's political paralysis for fuelling the bloodshed. The situation in Iraq will no doubt be discussed by the besieged US Defense Secretary tomorrow when he meets retired generals and military analysts as part of a campaign seen by some as a move to save his political career. Stephen McDonell, Lateline.