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The Left: Doing the Jihadists´ Dirty Work (FrontPageMagazine.com) By Ben Johnson 02/01/05)Source: http://www.frontpagemagazine.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=16857 Front Page Magazine.com Front Page Magazine.com Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
The free world was touched by images of Iraqis braving credible death threats to cast their first meaningful vote over the weekend. For a moment, billowing clouds of ink-stained fingers and impromptu conga lines replaced images of strewn bodies and car bomb victims in Iraq’s intersections. Yet almost immediately, members of the punditocracy, the Democratic Party, and the far-Left began undermining the credibility of this national celebration of freedom.

Ignorance is (Leftist) Bliss

Most have done so by labeling the Iraqi people too ignorant to credibly participate. Writing in the New York Times yesterday, Bob Herbert declared, “A real democracy requires an informed electorate.” Iraq does not qualify. The Nation, too, played the ignorance angle in an editorial yesterday, emphasizing in its first paragraph that many candidates were afraid to meet with voters. Moreover, the parties refused to release candidates’ names; hence, the election was not “credible.”

The Nation’s own website gave the lie to the first claim. In a story posted to that editorial’s immediate right, blogger Ari Berman insisted Iraq’s political parties clearly communicated that they stood against American “occupation”; hence, the large turnout represented overflowing anti-American sentiment. “In the run-up to elections, most major Iraqi candidates…emphasized U.S. withdrawal in their campaign platforms,” Berman wrote. “The campaign literature of the Shiite-backed United Iraqi Alliance – supported by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani – listed ‘setting a timetable for the withdrawal of multinational forces from Iraq’ as its No. 2 promise.” Either Iraqis were blindly depressing levers on Sunday or they supported the various parties’ platforms; it cannot be both.

The Nation’s objection that political parties had to withhold their candidates’ names (for their own safety) overlooks the fact that Iraqis, like most democracies other than America, voted on a parliamentary system. That is, they did not vote for individuals but for political parties and coalitions, based on the views embodied in their respective platforms – which, as Berman pointed out, were widely circulated. Iraqi TV even broadcast a televised debate. So much for ignorance.

Democrats Against Democracy

The intelligentsia has not been alone in undermining Iraq’s emerging democracy. Major spokesmen of the Democratic Party have also been active, including both U.S. senators from Massachusetts.

Speaking on Meet the Press Sunday, Senator John Kerry gave what can only be described as a Kerryesque answer about whether the Iraqi election was legitimate. He said the process had “a kind of legitimacy – I mean, it´s hard to say that something is legitimate when a whole portion of the country can’t vote and doesn’t vote.” It gives little comfort to remember Kerry recently made similar statements about his own defeat in last year’s presidential elections. The fact that some – though by no means all – Sunnis willfully opted not to vote says nothing about the election’s legitimacy; no one excluded them from the process. Secondly, even the far-Left International Occupation Watch, had to highlight the larger- than-expected Sunni turnout, including residents of Fallujah.

(Kerry also told Russert, “I believe the world is less safe today than it was two-and-a-half years ago.” When asked minutes later if Iraq was safer today without Saddam, he replied, “Sure.” Thanks for clearing that up….)

He scolded, “No one in the United States should try to overhype this election.” Yes, 60 percent of Iraq’s populace defied Islamist terrorists in the first genuine election in 50 years and endorsed the concept of representative government; please, don’t make a fuss.

Kerry’s prime campaign spokesman and colleague, Sen. Ted Kennedy, has been more forthright in his criticism: American troops are the problem, and retreat is the answer. “[W]hile the elections are a step forward, they are not a cure for the growing violence and resentment of the perception of an American occupation,” Kennedy said in a statement released after Sunday’s elections.

This was a follow-up to his speech last Thursday at Johns’ Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies last Thursday, in which he equated the “quagmire” of Iraq with Vietnam. “As in Vietnam, truth was the first casualty of this war,” he thundered (an odd way to remember his brother’s war). The balance of his comments closely echoed Osama bin Laden and America’s fringe Left. “We must recognize what a large and growing number of Iraqis now believe. The war in Iraq has become a war against the American occupation…The U.S. military presence has become part of the problem, not part of the solution.” He protested that Americans did not allow Iraqi “insurgents” a place in the new government. He bewailed our “willful disregard of the Geneva Conventions” and the fact that “[w]e supported former CIA operative Iyad Allawi to lead the interim government.”

Alleged “moderate” Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, followed Teddy’s lead, demanding the Bush administration make public its exit strategy immediately following Sunday’s elections and taunting the president to “come clean” with the American people.

Repeating the Far-Left’s Talking Points

Kennedy’s speech seems to have been culled from the fevered rants of the Hate America Left, expressed on dozens of websites such as Indymedia, Common Dreams, and International ANSWER. (Ironically, the only leftist organ that did not scorn the elections out-of-hand was the Communist People’s Weekly World. A pre-election editorial offered tepid praise for the democratic process, presumably because the Iraqi Communist Party fielded a large number of candidates.)

The International Action Center (IAC) claimed, “This was a meaningless election” and called it “political theater.” IAC echoed Kennedy that on Sunday morning, “the people of Iraq woke up with 150,000 American troops occupying their country, CIA asset Iyad Allawi the appointed head of state, and Pentagon’s plans to build 14 permanent military bases still proceeding.” These similarities become more unsettling when one remembers Saddam Hussein’s lawyer, Ramsey Clark, founded the ultra-leftist organization as a front for the pro- Stalinist Workers World Party.

Even after this vote, the transitional government the Iraqi people elect “will not have the power to alter U.S. plans to colonize Iraq.” IAC claims ever since the late Fifties, “the U.S. and Britain have been trying to return Iraq to the same semi-colonial status. This election is part of their plan.”

Last week, the World Socialist Website (WSWS) concurred: “To claim a ‘free’ election can take place in Iraq is no different to asserting that the French, Yugoslav or Greek people could have elected a representative government in 1942 while living under the jackboot of Nazi rule.” Both WSWS and IAC denied the “myth of high voter turnout.” IAC assured readers, “Turnout was low because the people oppose occupation and recognized that the election was a public relations effort by the occupier of their country.”

Like Kennedy, WSWS claimed, “Legitimate resistance to the country’s takeover is the main factor behind the guerilla war that has been fought against U.S. forces for close to two years.”

IAC added America’s fighting men and women “are not there to bring democracy – they have instead brought death, destruction, and torture,” just as they did during “the U.S. war against the people of Vietnam.” WSWS specified these alleged crimes: “The U.S. military has killed an estimated 100,000 Iraqis since Bush ordered the invasion in March 2003, a total which dwarfs the casualties caused by terrorist attacks on civilians.” That site concluded by passing the equivalent of a death sentence on Iraq’s elected leaders, “The transitional government that takes office in Baghdad in the aftermath of the ballot should be rejected as illegitimate both in Iraq and throughout the world.” And that “illegitimate” government should no doubt be met by “legitimate resistance.”

“The World is Indebted” to the Terrorists?

The IAC went beyond mere insinuation, declaring the world owes a debt of gratitude to the men who behead innocent civilians on television. In a statement released just before Sunday’s election, the IAC affirmed the “right of people to resist occupation by arms is a basic right recognized under international law.” Not only does the group theoretically endorse violence, in a letter to the World Social Forum, IAC declared, “we assert that: (1) the occupation is illegal and illegitimate, (2) the Iraqis have the right to resist occupation by whatever means necessary and (3) the world is indebted to the Iraqi resistance for derailing the U.S. war machine.” (Emphasis added.) Why is the world indebted? “The Iraqi resistance has tied down the U.S. military…More aggressions could deepen their crisis.” The IAC agrees with Ted Kennedy that more Americans should leave Iraq; the IAC would merely rather see them leave in bodybags. All three make the election illegitimate, and its outcome “fair game” to the murderous opposition. These are but different means to the same, hellish end: an Iraq ruled by Al Zarqawi and kept in line, once again, by perpetual fear and repression.

A Shining Beacon of Freedom

The Iraqi elections were, we pray, the first beams of freedom’s sunlight shining on an Iraq liberated from torture chambers and rape rooms. U.S. Affirmative Action policies assured that one-third of the Transitional National Assembly would be composed of women. As the IAC continues to hype its upcoming protest on March 19, the mayor of Baghdad wants to erect a statue of George W. Bush, and “[r]esidents of the Abu Ghraib area” report walking 20 kilometers to vote.

The Iraqi people understand the election of Transitional National Assembly members is but the first step to liberty, not the fait accompli. On Sunday, they simply got to choose their forefathers, a greater privilege than Americans enjoyed in 1776. These officials must write a constitution, which the voters must ratify province-by- province (giving each ethnic group a de facto veto). Terrorism can still suppress the raging tides of freedom that carried average Iraqis to euphoric highs this weekend.

The Iraqi people understand this. The terrorists understand this. And, it would appear, the American Left understands it, too. (©2005 FrontPageMagazine.com 02/01/05)

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