Addressing the U. S. Senate Thursday, Iraq’s Prime Minister Ayad Allawi bolstered President George W. Bush’s campaign promise that Iraq is improving and elections are to be taking place as scheduled. Sadly, simply saying so does not make this a reality.
During his speech, the U.S.-appointed Iraqi official said Iraq was making progress and the “next major milestone will be holding of the free and fair national and local elections in January.” To silence any doubters, he stated categorically, “Let me be absolutely clear: Elections will occur in Iraq on time in January because Iraqis want elections on time.”
To issue such a timeline while large parts of the country are under the control of terrorists and other factions only to make the incumbent president look good for the upcoming election, is more than unethical.
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld later said certain “violence-torn” regions might be excluded from the election.
Such actions would turn the “beacon of democracy” that Iraq was intended to be into a farce.
In order for a sovereign and democratic state to be successful it would have to be ensured that all regions could safely partake in the election process.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on NBC’s Meet The Press, “The U.N. itself has said it would take about eight months to get those elections ready.” Since there are clearly not eight months left between now and January, this does not seem to be an attainable timeframe.
A leaked CIA intelligence report also claimed that the overall security situation could either stay about the same, which would not allow elections, worsen or even deteriorate so far as to send the country into an all-out civil war. When Bush was asked why he seemingly ignored this bleak prospect, he distorted the original intelligence report by stating, “It said that life could be lousy, life could be OK, life could be better.” He also said the CIA was “just guessing.”
It is understandable that the Bush administration wants to portray progress in Iraq in the best light. But to simply ignore facts on the ground and intelligence reports by Bush’s own Central Intelligence Agency just to fit into his campaign schedule cannot be an option. It endangers not only U.S. troops in Iraq, it also endangers the very success Bush is trying to portray.