WASHINGTON (AP) -- Leading Democratic lawmakers on Monday urged President Bush to consider changing the civilian leadership at the Pentagon, one week after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld warned against fascism and appeasement as he defended U.S. policies in Iraq.
Rumsfeld drew heavy criticism from Democrats after telling an American Legion convention in Salt Lake City that "it is apparent that many have still not learned history's lessons." In alluding to criticism aimed at Bush administration war policies, he used terms associated with the failure to stop Nazism in the 1930s.
The political parties renewed debate over Iraq and Rumsfeld's tenure at the Defense Department as the traditional fall campaign season began on Labor Day.
In a letter released Monday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada and 10 other congressional party leaders told the president that considering making such a change would show he recognizes the problems his policies "have created in Iraq and elsewhere."
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