Tuesday, April 12, 2005

President Talabani's Words of Wisdom

Pres. Jalal Talabani Of Iraq had an excellent
Op Ed in the Wall Street Journal (subscription only), so here's
a few excerpts from it, thanks to the kind
folks at Free Republic

In Iraqis We Trust

Through their democratically elected representatives, the people of Iraq have entrusted me with the office of the presidency. After 50 years of political struggle against discrimination and dictatorship, this is a grand honor and a humbling moment. As we look ahead to a new Iraq based on tolerance and equality, federalism and unity, democracy and freedom, we remember those whose sacrifice made this possible -- Iraqis, Americans, Britons, Poles, Italians, Czechs and so many others from around the world.

The choice of peace or war lies not with the Iraqis who ignored terrorism and intimidation to vote in their millions, the Iraqis to whom I am accountable. No, that decision lies with the terrorist minority that despises freedom and spurns every offered opportunity to enter the political process. The attacks on election officials, the suicide bombings of voters, and the cowardly attacks on brave Iraqis waiting in line to join our fledgling security forces are not the tactics of "resistance" or "freedom fighters" but of murderers and criminals. Nor are the terrorists by any stretch of the imagination the repressed or the disadvantaged. They chose violence despite consistent exhortations to contribute to the new Iraq. They are, for the most part, representatives of the old regime, Baathists who gorged themselves on their compatriots' riches. They are not the dispossessed of the earth but those who have been deprived of their palaces.

A greater international role is important to lift some of the burden from the shoulders of the United States. Our gratitude to the American people is immense and we should never be embarrassed to express it. Time and again the U.S. has given the world its most precious resource in the cause of freedom, the lives of its most talented and courageous young men and women.

We seek foreign assistance to help us develop our security forces and to partner with us as we try to further sustainable economic growth in our shattered country. We hope that the United Nations will live up to its ideals. The assistance provided by the U.N. during the recent elections was invaluable and an important step toward the return of this organization to Iraq. A continued and consistent U.N. engagement, which bolsters the new Iraq, will convince Iraqis to put aside their qualms about an organization that many of them identify with the previous Baathist regime.



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