Knowing it’s throwing chum into a packed shark tank, I thought I’d post this anyway. President of Iraq writes a thank you letter.
As I am visiting the United States for the second time representing free and democratic Iraq, I felt it my duty to give you an update on what has been achieved in Iraq over the past year and on the challenges that lie ahead.
The first thing I would like to convey is the gratitude of all Iraqis, who are fighting for a democratic government and a civil society, to the Americans. Without your commitment, our struggle against despotism could not have made the progress that we have achieved. No expression of thanks could be enough for those who lost loved ones in Iraq. We feel your pain, we honor your sacrifice and we will never forget you.
To those of you who have family and friends in Iraq today, we say: Your sons and daughters are helping us through a historic transition. We will always remember the enormous sacrifice that America is making for Iraq.
Thanks to the United States, we are transforming Iraq from a country that was ruled by fear, repression and dictatorship into a country that is ruled by democracy and has the values of equality, tolerance, human rights and the rule of law at its heart.
April 9, 2003, the day of liberation, heralded a new era in the history of Iraq and the region. That day triggered a sequence of events that laid the foundation of a modern Iraq that is at peace with itself and the world.
All segments of Iraqi society have benefited from liberation
So did I, but everything in that letter is so completely opposite of what’s going on today that it’s hard not to laugh. And come on, “All segments of Iraqi society have benefitted from liberation”? I bet if you asked the “segments” who contributed to the 100k deaths or so since 2003, they might disagree. Sorry, but I really don’t think this guy has any right to speak for anyone but himself.
Oh, and “Peace with itself and the world” should only take 200-300 years.
I think you missed my point. Let me put it a different way: if he says something that is pretty much opposite of what the rest of the country might say, I don’t believe he should be speaking for them. I didn’t mean that he didn’t have the political right to speak for them, because clearly he does in a democratic system, but I don’t believe he has the ethical right. That letter was fluff, and the Iraqis deserve better.
I assume that any Vichy officials who publically criticized Nazi Germany wouldn’t have lasted very long, and that you’re implying that the President of Iraq said the things he did because he fears arousing the ire of his masters.
This seems unlikely to me. I’ve seen several comments critical of the United States by elected Iraqi officials, and I’ve heard no report of reprisals from jackbooted coalition occupiers. It seems more likely to me that the letter says the things it does because such is the language of international politics. Diplomacy is, after all, the art of saying, “Nice doggie” until you can find a stick. The United States is a useful ally, and so is worth sucking up to until a country can find a better one.
Voter turnout was purportedly about 60% in the last Iraqi election, somewhat better than it was in the last American election. I believe that the vast majority of the people of Iraq just want to be left alone to live their lives. Unfortunately, it only takes a few percent who choose savagery to make the civilized social compact unsustainable.
And on that, I agree 100%. Unfortunately most of politics is fluff.
The comparison looks broader than I intended it to. My meaning was that the country is occupied, and the occupation government is going to tailor its behavior to the presence of thousands of armed foreigners within shouting distance of the halls of power. Whether this amounts of the fear of midnight-raiding kidnap squads or “saying ‘nice doggie’ until you can find a stick” is immaterial – and why can’t it be a bit of both? Either way, the letter is empty bullshit.
Sorry, were we supposed to bow down before the revelation that the invasion of Iraq was a wonderful thing after all? Y’all act like we never seen propaganda before. Not everyone who disagrees with your worldview will be gullible enough to take anything you put in front of them at face value.
Jalal Talabani is a Kurdish leader and Kurdistan is one of the safer, and friendlier, regions to the U.S. He has a history of seeking international intervention in Iraq on behalf of the Kurds (not surprising seeing as how badly the Hussein regime treated them) which was one of the factors that led to him leading the split with the main Kurdish political party - a party which sometimes cooperated with Hussein against the Talabani’s group.
The people causing us real heartburn right now are the Shi’ites and the Sunni.