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May 28, 2004

The Iraqi Horizon

On Monday, President George Bush outlined five steps in assisting free Iraqis to realize their aspirations for a liberty-based government. He noted that despite the difficulties, U.S.-led coalition troops and coalition reconstruction efforts are making steady headway toward building a free Iraq. He pointed out that the success and mercy of our initial military strike to Baghdad last year allowed elements of deposed Iraqi despot Saddam Hussein’s regime to melt into the population; that these elements have now joined with Jihadis already there and others who’ve crossed the borders of Syria and Iran; and that their attacks will likely grow worse as a free Iraq looms nearer.

The President repeated, “Our enemies in Iraq are good at filling hospitals, but they do not build any. They can incite men to murder and suicide, but they cannot inspire men to live, and hope, and add to the progress of their country. The terrorists’ only influence is violence, and their only agenda is death. Our agenda, in contrast, is freedom and independence, security and prosperity for the Iraqi people. And by removing a source of terrorist violence and instability in the Middle East, we also make our own country more secure.”

Clearly, the first step will be the June 30th transfer of sovereignty. Just who will be serving in the proposed interim “caretaker” government is, unfortunately enough, largely in the hands of the UN’s envoy, Lakhdar Brahimi. Predictably, Brahimi is finding few takers. (Might this be because of the recent assassination of the Iraqi Governing Council’s president? Or might it be that prominent Iraqis, aware of how the UN aided massively in despoiling their land through the “Oil for Food” scam, are wary of becoming little more than UN stooges?)

Step two will be for Iraqis to assume responsibility for their security and the UN is already meddling in that matter of transfer as well. Interestingly, the UN members who were most opposed to liberating Iraq and rooting out its terrorists – France, Germany, Russia and Communist China – were all implicated in the “Oil for Food” graft and are now urging that coalition forces (mostly U.S. troops) be placed under UN control of one sort or another. (Given that our forces on Wednesday had a major success in capturing Riyadh al-Nouri, brother-in-law and lieutenant of insurgent cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, the probability of the UN mucking things up is becoming more evident.)

Step three will be to continue the ongoing rebuilding of Iraq’s civil infrastructure. Here again, the UN’s “Oil for Food” scam worked to the detriment of the Iraqi people, this time by contributing to the decay of Iraq’s infrastructure.

Step four will be to “enlist additional international support for Iraq’s transition.” Certainly a good idea – except that the appeal begins with (where else?) the UN, in a proposed Security Council resolution already subject to the usual squabbling.

The process should end with a fifth step – free national elections in Iraq by next January. (By competently observing these elections, the UN may actually prove more help than hindrance.) In summing up the state of affairs, the President reaffirmed our nation’s purposes in Iraq: “I sent American troops to Iraq to defend our security, not to stay as an occupying power. I sent American troops to Iraq to make its people free, not to make them American. Iraqis will write their own history and find their own way. As they do, Iraqis can be certain, a free Iraq will always have a friend in the United States of America.”

Now then, given the proposed degree of UN involvement in the steps outlined above, why on earth do Demos here in the U.S. continue to caterwaul? Weren’t they all about enlisting more “multilateral” support – support mostly involving the UN? And isn’t that precisely what President Bush is now doing? (While it’s unwise, in our view, to rely too heavily on the UN, we can’t help but wonder: What, precisely, is the Demos’ complaint?)

Whatever it is, former Vice Prevaricator Albert Arnold Gore delivered an attempted explanation on Wednesday with a Deaniacal diatribe against President Bush, his team of advisers and the U.S. military in general. Gore began with the dubious contention, only thinly masked, that the sado-masochistic maltreatment of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib jail stemmed from the U.S. stance of “unilateralism” and “preemption.” Really! “Dominance is as dominance does,” Gore intoned, sounding a bit like Je$e Ja¢k$on on a bad day.

Gore’s scattered litany of allegations included “abuse of the truth” and “abuse of the trust” derived from 9/11 unity. “We are less safe because of his policies,” Gore said of President Bush’s choice to make war rather than serve subpoenas. Albert then took exception with the characterization of Iraq as “the central front in the war on terror,” claiming instead that “it has unfortunately become the central recruiting office for terrorists.” But Gore wasn’t finished maligning our military: “As many as 37 prisoners may have been murdered while in captivity,” Gore wildly charged. “Murdered”! Gore referred to the prisons holding suspected Jihadi terrorists as “Bush’s Gulag,” and he made the outrageous comment that “we need not reassure ourselves and should not congratulate ourselves that our society is less cruel than some others, although it is worth noting that there are many that are less cruel than ours.”

Shame on you, Albert Gore … shame on you.

Much Leftmedia attention also focused on Gore’s calls for resignations from National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, CIA Director George Tenet, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and other Pentagon leaders. Heck, Al, why stop there? Why not demand the resignations of VP Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush, too?

Republican National Committee Communications Director Jim Dyke delivered an appropriately astringent reply: “Albert Gore served as Vice President of this country for eight years. During that time, Osama Bin Laden declared war on the United States five times and terrorists killed U.S. citizens on at least four different occasions including the first bombing of the World Trade Center, the attacks on Khobar Towers, our embassies in East Africa, and the USS Cole. Al Gore’s attacks on the President today demonstrate that he either does not understand the threat of global terror, or he has amnesia.” Or perhaps a mental defect we can only describe as chronic dysfunctional hanging chaditis.

Quote of the week…

“The return of tyranny to Iraq would be an unprecedented terrorist victory and a cause for killers to rejoice. It would also embolden the terrorists, leading to more bombings, more beheadings, and more murders of the innocent around the world. The rise of a free and self-governing Iraq will deny terrorists a base of operation, discredit their narrow ideology, and give momentum to reformers across the region. This will be a decisive blow to terrorism at the heart of its power and a victory for the security of America and the civilized world.” –President George W. Bush

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