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Rumsfeld Makes Chicago-Iraq Comparison

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Former secretary of defense Donald Rumsfeld slipped in a reference to Chicago while commenting on Iraq this week in Michigan. (Published Wednesday, Sep 4, 2013)

    Weeks after a documentary about Chicago violence labeled the city's South Side "Chiraq," a moniker heavily spread online last year, the United States' former secretary of defense made a seemingly similar comparison.

    Donald Rumsfeld was asked Tuesday about Iraq while speaking at the Ford Museum in Grand Rapids, Mich. He told reporters then-President George W. Bush made the right decision in 2003, noting "Iraq is a better place today without Saddam Hussein than it was with him."

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    After a violent Labor Day weekend in Chicago, police Supt. Garry McCarthy notes murders, shootings and overall crime are down year-over-year. (Published Tuesday, Sep 3, 2013)

    Talking about the current state of Iraq, Rumsfeld slipped in the following comment about Chicago.

    "Today the people have schools, they have a free press, they have a stock market. Is it tidy and neat? No. Are people killed? Yes. Are people killed in Chicago? Yes," he said. "It is a tough part of the world. They've got deep sectarian differences."

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    A 6-year-old boy riding in a car with his mom was among 13 shot, two fatally, since Friday afternoon in Chicago. Susan Carlson reports. (Published Saturday, Aug 3, 2013)

    This isn't the first time Chicago's violence has been mentioned on a national level.

    Former New York Gov. George Pataki took a dig at Chicago's police department last month while discussing New York City's stop-and-frisk policy that a judge rebuked as discriminatory.

    “If [Attorney General Eric] Holder and [President Barack] Obama want to investigate a police department, why don’t they look at Chicago, where the civil rights of young African-Americans are being not only taken away, but they’re being murdered in record rates in the South Side of Chicago?” Pataki said.

    After Chicago marked 516 homicides in 2012, former House speaker Newt Gingrich called the city "the murder capital of the United States."

    "Over 500 people were killed there last year," Gingrich said. "Vice President Biden doesn't seem to want to go there. I'm trying to get the House Republicans to hold hearings there. It's illegal to have all the guns that are killing people in Chicago."

    Chicago Police say violence is down in the city. There were 47 fewer shootings last month than in August of 2012 and six fewer murders, Police News Affairs spokesman Adam Collins said. The city also saw a 23 percent dip in murders and a 15 percent decrease in overall crime so far this year.