Allawi rebuts Kerry......

The Iraqi leader rebuts the pessimists on elections.

Friday, September 24, 2004 12:01 a.m. EDT

Pessimism about Iraq seems to be in fashion, with leaders such as
John Kerry and Kofi Annan implying that the world would be better off
if Saddam Hussein had never been toppled. So it’s been more than a
little refreshing to hear the message of hope, resolve and gratitude
delivered by Ayad Allawi during his U.S. visit this week.

Yesterday it was Congress’s turn to hear from the interim Iraqi Prime
Minister, and he began by thanking them for their “brave vote” in
2002 to authorize American men and women to liberate Iraq: "Your
decision to go to war in Iraq was not an easy one but it was the
right one."

Mr. Allawi then offered a convincing list of reasons that there is
every chance his country will make a successful transition to
democracy early next year. True, violence has been rising ahead of
the U.S. election this November and the Iraqi poll scheduled for
January, and there will be hard fighting ahead. But the Prime
Minister pointed out that at this very moment 15 of Iraq’s 18
provinces would be calm enough to organize a vote. He noted the
recent success of Iraqi forces in re-establishing control of the
troublesome Sunni town of Samarra, as well as the Shiite holy city of
Najaf. He added a well-deserved jab at our friends in the media, who
reported the fighting there but have since "lost interest and left."

As for the political process, Mr. Allawi pointed out that Iraqis have
already defied the skeptics several times. They’ve met their January
deadline for writing an interim constitution, the scheduled June
sovereignty handover, and the August date for a National
Conference: "And I pledge to you today, we’ll prove them wrong again
over the elections."
That promise was the most important thing we heard the Prime Minister
say, since frankly we’ve been having our own doubts. It’s not that
we’ve worried about progress on the Iraqi end. As Mr. Allawi
stressed, “Iraqis want elections on time.” Rather, it’s that the
vaunted “international community” has been hinting it may not live up
to its promise to organize the vote. Just last week Secretary General
Annan–who pulled out of Iraq entirely after the 2003 bombing on U.N.
headquarters in Baghdad–suggested that security conditions may not
be sufficient to send enough employees to do the job.

At an editorial board meeting with us on Wednesday, Mr. Allawi
politely suggested that the Secretary General “probably is
misinformed” about the real situation on the ground. He added that he
hoped the U.N. would respect its own Resolution 1546 and “do whatever
it takes to ensure the elections” are held on time. Mr. Allawi also
welcomed NATO’s recent decision to step up its training of Iraqi
security forces. “The resolve and will of the coalition in supporting
a free Iraq is vital to our success,” he said. "But these doubters
risk underestimating our country and they risk fueling the hopes of
the terrorists."

Mr. Kerry, for one, must not have been listening too carefully to
those remarks, given his ungracious reaction to Mr. Allawi’s speech.
The Senator accused the Prime Minister of “contradicting his own
statement[s]” and of putting the “best face” on the situation.

While Mr. Kerry has every right to criticize U.S. conduct of the war,
one would think he’d be wiser than to attack Mr. Allawi for saying it
will be possible to hold the same elections that Mr. Kerry said just
this Monday were his own exit strategy from Iraq. Or to accuse Iraq’s
Prime Minister of painting an unrealistic picture about a country the
Senator has never visited. Having described the U.S. allies who
liberated Iraq as a “coalition of the bribed,” Mr. Kerry now insults
the Iraqis he’d be working with if he becomes President.

Our one big disagreement with what Mr. Allawi had to say concerns the
trials of Saddam and his henchmen. The Prime Minister told us that
the trials would start soon, which is good. But he also hinted that
they would be rapid and said flat out that they wouldn’t be
televised. We think this would be a grave mistake. Iraqis and Arabs
generally need to see justice done, and a historical record of
Saddam’s crimes should be produced like that of the Nazis at the
Nuremberg trials. If, as we suspect, the quick and quiet approach is
part of an Allawi-CIA political strategy not to further upset the
Baathists who remain on the loose, it is very shortsighted.
But overall the Prime Minister had the right message, and his
reception by Congress suggests that President Bush would have done
better by heeding those of his advisers who urged the naming of an
interim Iraqi government in the immediate aftermath of the 2003
liberation. We’d add from firsthand experience that Mr. Allawi’s
positive attitude is shared by the vast majority of Iraqis
themselves. With American resolve and a little luck–inshallah, as
Iraqis would say–there is every reason to believe the country will
have a democratically legitimate government come January.


Let's say you tried to have an election and you could have it in three quarters or four fifths of the country but some places you couldn't because the violence was too great.

Well, so be it, nothing is perfect in life, so you have an election that's not quite perfect. Is it better than not having an election? You bet.

- Donald Rumsfeld, 2004

It's optimism like this that's hard to find these days
:laugh:
Pessimism about Iraq seems to be in fashion, with leaders such as
John Kerry and Kofi Annan implying that the world would be better off
if Saddam Hussein had never been toppled.
In all honesty, I don't think either one of those guys as implied that.
Quote (phoo @ Sep. 24 2004,17:57)
Pessimism about Iraq seems to be in fashion, with leaders such as
John Kerry and Kofi Annan implying that the world would be better off
if Saddam Hussein had never been toppled.

In all honesty, I don't think either one of those guys as implied that.
Of course he does, his IQ seems to hover around his shoe size divided by two.

< slap >
Quote (IDOIT_SLAPPER @ Sep. 24 2004,18:08)
Quote (phoo @ Sep. 24 2004,17:57)
Pessimism about Iraq seems to be in fashion, with leaders such as
John Kerry and Kofi Annan implying that the world would be better off
if Saddam Hussein had never been toppled.

In all honesty, I don't think either one of those guys as implied that.

Of course he does, his IQ seems to hover around his shoe size divided by two.

< slap >
I hope your not talking about Kerry. He's a very intelligent man. You just can't say that about W. He's as bright as a burnt out lightbulb. "No honey, its NUCULAR" - Homer J. Simpson

Owwww… good quote gone bad, I meant to refer to Burning-SG’s IQ.
Step back while I slap myself (albeit lightly, very lightly)

< slap >

Ah, sorry. puts fist back in pocket :p

Quote (silvermachina @ Sep. 24 2004,19:43)
Quote (IDOIT_SLAPPER @ Sep. 24 2004,18:08)
Quote (phoo @ Sep. 24 2004,17:57)
Pessimism about Iraq seems to be in fashion, with leaders such as
John Kerry and Kofi Annan implying that the world would be better off
if Saddam Hussein had never been toppled.

In all honesty, I don't think either one of those guys as implied that.

Of course he does, his IQ seems to hover around his shoe size divided by two.

< slap >

I hope your not talking about Kerry. He's a very intelligent man. You just can't say that about W. He's as bright as a burnt out lightbulb. "No honey, its NUCULAR" - Homer J. Simpson
Smart enough to make his 4 months in Viet Nam the centerpiece of the democratic convention and to hire the Clinton team to run his campaign, with all with all the links to the forged
document CBS is gettiing hammered about.

Hillary can not run in '08 if a democrat is the incumbent. Do the math.

Jeff