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VINDICATED (NEW YORK POST OP-ED) JOHN PODHORETZ 01/31/05)Source: http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/39145.htm NEW YORK POST NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
January 31, 2005 -- WHEN you heard about the stunning success of the Iraqi elections, were you thrilled? Did you see it as a triumph for democracy and for the armed forces of the United States that have sacrificed and suffered and fought so valiantly over the past 18 months to get Iraq to this moment?

Or did you momentarily feel an onrush of disappointment because you knew, you just knew, that this was going to redound to the credit of George W. Bush? This means you, Michael Moore. I´m talking to you, Teddy Kennedy.

And not just to the two of you, but to all those who follow in your train.

There are literally millions of Americans who are unhappy today because millions of Iraqis went to the polls yesterday. And why? Because this isn´t just a success for Bush. It´s a huge win. It´s a colossal vindication.

It´s a big fat gigantic winning vindication of the guy that the Moores and Kennedys and millions of others still can´t believe anybody voted for.

And they know it.

And it´s killing them.

Case in point: the junior Eeyore from Massachusetts, John Forbes Kerry, who had the distinct misfortune of being booked onto "Meet the Press" yesterday only 90 minutes after the polls closed in Iraq — and couldn´t think of a thing to say that didn´t sound negative.

"No one in the United States should try to overhype this election," said the man who actually came within 3 million votes of becoming the leader of the Free World back in November.

No? How about "underhyping"? How about belittling it? How about acting as though it doesn´t matter all that much? That´s what Kerry did, and in so doing, revealed yet again that he has the emotional intelligence of a pet rock and the political judgment of a . . . well, of a John Kerry.

At the worst possible time to express pessimistic skepticism, Kerry did just that. The election only had a "kind of legitimacy," he said. He said he "was for the election taking place" (how big of him!), but then said that "it´s gone as expected."

Hey, wait a second. If it went as Kerry "expected," how could he have been "for the election taking place" — since the election only had, in his view, a "kind of legitimacy"?

I mean, who would want an election with only a "kind of legitimacy"?

Is Kerry perhaps saying he was for the election before he was against it?

Kerry views the results in Iraq as being less legitimate than, say, the opinions about U.S. conduct in Iraq as expressed to him by "Arab leaders." In a truly jaw-dropping moment, he told Tim Russert approvingly of his conversations with those self-same Arab leaders — Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan among them — who expressed concerns about the Bush administration´s approach in Iraq.

Kerry seems to believe that the autocrats and oligarchs in the region are actually rooting for the creation of a democracy in their midst — and want to help the United States make it happen.

Okay, what politician wants to join Kerry in pooh-poohing an election in which at least 8 million Iraqis braved death to cast a ballot? What politician wants to cite Mubarak and Abdullah in support of that position?

Hillary? Hillary, are you there?

Wow, suddenly it´s so quiet in here you can hear crickets chirping.

Yesterday´s amazing human drama in the land between the Tigris and the Euphrates changes the nature of the political bet on Iraq, and that´s why you don´t hear Hillary Clinton throwing her lot in with the skeptics.

She better steer clear of Newsweek magazine this week as well. In another jaw-dropping display, Fareed Zakaria soberly informs us in this week´s issue that Iraq´s democratic evolution is probably doomed because — get this — it isn´t proceeding according to a plan he outlined in a book he published two years ago.

No, I´m not kidding.

"No matter how the voting turns out," Zakaria wrote, "the prospects for genuine democracy in Iraq are increasingly grim . . . In April 2003, around the time Baghdad fell, I published a book that described the path to liberal democracy . . . In Newsweek that month, I outlined the three conditions Iraq had to fulfill to avoid this fate. It is currently doing badly at all three."

Whoa, better stop the vote counting, Omar! You Iraqis aren´t following the Zakaria Plan! Tell you what — I´ll go to my dentist´s office and send you an old copy of Newsweek from his coffee table so that you can get yourself right with Zakaria.

Yesterday was a day for Democrats and opponents of George W. Bush to swallow their bile and retract their claws and join just for a moment in celebration of an amazing and thrilling human drama in a land that has seen more than its share of thrilling human drama over the past 5,000 years.

But you just couldn´t do it, could you?

Losers. (Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc. 01/31/05)


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