Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Iraqis commment on the US election
Dr. Nimrod Raphaeli at MEMRI translates Iraqi editorials on the re-election of Bush. A sample:
Admiration for American Democracy
Under the heading: "The Pleasure of Peace and Freedom," Al-Taakhi, an organ of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), wrote about a widely publicized picture of an American female voter who was walking her dog with the American flag wrapped around the dog's neck as an expression of solidarity with the nation:
"… This is the difference between the values and habits in America and our values and thinking in the East. The common domestic animals in most of the villages in the [Middle] East are donkeys, mules, camels, sheep, and cows. What would people say in a [Middle] Eastern country if someone were to decorate the head or neck of a docile donkey, a dutiful mule a beautiful camel, a cow, a goat, or a sheep? The entire instruments of security, intelligence and the army will fly into a rage, and a state of emergency will be declared in search of the poor beast to be destroyed, to be followed by inflicting the most severe punishment on its owner! I say this for the sake of comparison, not for the sake of [advocating] the wrapping of animals with the national flag." 
In an editorial titled, "The White and the Black," Al-Mada suggested that the "armed Arabs" in Fallujah and Ramadi were hoping through their recent operations to embarrass Bush and cause his defeat. The editorial adds:
"If we look carefully, we will see that this assessment represents narrow mindedness apart from forgetting the sequencing of events. Since the 9/11 operation carried out by Al-Qa'ida in America, Bush has appeared stronger than before. While he made it to the White House the first time with the help of the courts, today he has won with a landslide. How do we explain that?
"Politics is measured by its practical results. By this measure, terrorism has strengthened the Bush administration and its unique theory of fighting it… By their fanaticism and the absence of a political horizon, [the terrorists] cannot distinguish between their political intentions and the practical consequences of their activities. For they have either been afflicted with political blindness, or have willy-nilly become an instrument of the Bush administration... How can these people not distinguish between the white and the black, if their intentions weren't dark?
"We call on our Iraqi brothers in political positions to expel them [the armed insurgents] from their ranks and choose the organized political work for unifying our people, removing the occupation, and building a democratic and just system that represents our interests." 
The Iraqi National Congress
The Iraqi National Congress (INC), under the leadership of Dr. Ahmad Chalabi, published two editorials in the party organ Al-Mu ' tamar - one positive and one critical. The first editorial was titled, "You have Returned, Mr. President, and the Return is Commended." The writer, Widad Fakher, condemned terrorism and the complicity of many Arab countries in supporting it. He went on to ask the U.S. for action:
"In order for America to fulfill its promise to liberate Iraq and to repulse future dangers from the countries of the region … it is incumbent on the American administration to look seriously into the complete elimination of the sources of terrorism. This requires a new resolution by the Security Council under Article 7, which requires countries supporting terrorism to refrain from doing so or face international sanctions or painful disciplinary strikes. [Such a resolution] should call by name the countries which participate and support terrorism, in particular the Syrian regime and the terrorist theocratic state of Iran and those who follow them."