Bush Plans Primetime Sunday Address To Self-Congratulate Himself About Iraq Before The Votes Are Even Counted
No one can accuse the Bush Administration of good judgement, and latest example of "Three Stooges" logic from this administration is a primetime Sunday address planned by Bush to self-congratulate himself about Iraq.
Normal person logic would expect that at least the votes would be counted in Iraq, and it would be seen what sort of new permanent government is in place, before offering any election "victory speech". Any declaration of victory before the votes are even counted implies that the administration knows the outcome before the votes are even counted. This is a terrible impression, especially when the last Iraqi election had a U.S. plan scuttled by Secretary Of State, Colin Powell's office by some in the State Department and military to "rig" the election by funneling covert funding to proU.S. occupation candidates. And while secular moderate, Ayad Allawi would certainly have been the best bet in the Iraqi elections, his slate of candidates only won a mere 14% of the vote, with candidates supported by Iranian Shiite religious cleric, Ali al-Sistani, garnering around 60% of the vote.
Bush may feel an overwelming compulsion to offer himself a pat on the back and self-congratulations, yet without the Iraqi votes actually counted, who really knows whether the new government will be a road to peace or not? A full vote count may take up to two weeks.
And it has traditionally been important for the U.S. as well as other nations not to take credit for the outcome of an election in a foreign nation. For example, if China or North Korea would take credit for an American election outcome, it would surely raise some suspicions. After the downfall of the former Soviet Union, the U.S. was very careful not to get involved in the transition towards semidemocratic elections in this nation. Yet despite this tradional role of foreign policy to avoid involvement in foreign elections, Mr. Bush feels the compulsion to take credit for a foreign election. Nothing could be more ill-advised.
The last election in Iraq produced a big majority for candidates affilated with Iranian cleric, Ali al-Sistani as well as brought Badr Brigade, Wolf Brigade and Mahdi Army Shiite militia members into power. Badr Brigade members won important positions, including six provincial Governorships as well as legislative victories. And in an armed coup, 120 armed members of the Badr Brigade replaced the elected secular Mayor of Baghdad with a Badr Brigade member. With the increased power of Shiite militias after the last election in Iraq, torture and abuse detainings of Sunni citizens increased. In fact the most popular program on Iraqi TV is a Wolf Brigade militia program that shows these militia members roughly dealing with Sunni citizens who are thought to support antigovernment activity. This program has a similar appeal to the American FOX TV program "Cops", in which shirtless drug morons are roughly treated by police.
While Sunni citizens did vote in large numbers, and hopefully voter fraud, including attempts by Iran to stuff ballot boxes with counterfeit ballots were hopefully thwarted, it is not known whether Sunni citizens will be satisfied with the makeup of the new government or not. The responsible role for Bush is to allow for the chips of the Iraqi election to fall where they will. The U.S. was careful to stay out of the election security. Iraqis went to the polls feeling that the election was their own. It's highly inappropriate for Bush to take any credit in his Sunday address for any U.S. role in the election. If Mr. Bush was wise he would not offer his self-congratulatory address on Sunday. But little this administration has done in regards to Iraq has been wise, so no better judgement can tell this administration when it is wise to stay out of Iraqi matters and allow them to decide their own government and for them to take credit for it as well as to live with the consequences.