Allawi Thanks America

Allawi: Iraq Will Hold Elections in January (AP)

Offering a simple, “Thank you America,” Iraqi interim prime minister Ayad Allawi declared Thursday that his country is moving successfully past the war that ousted Saddam Hussein and vowed that elections will take place next year as scheduled. “Elections will occur in Iraq on time in January because Iraqis want elections on time,” Allawi told a joint meeting of Congress, an appearance that President Bush’s advisers hoped would ease American voters’ doubts about the troubled campaign in Iraq.

Despite struggles and setbacks, “the values of liberty and democracy” are taking hold in his country, Allawi proudly exclaimed. “We could hold elections tomorrow” in 15 of 18 provinces, he said, even though terror operatives hope to disrupt them. “The insurgency in Iraq is destructive but small, and it has not and will never resonate with the Iraqi people,” Allawi said. He cautioned, however, that the election may not come off perfectly. But he assured it will be free and fair, “a giant step” in Iraq’s political evolution. “Today, we are better off, you are better off, the world is better off without Saddam Hussein,” Allawi said. He added: “Your decision to go into Iraq was not an easy one, but it was the right one.”

Let’s hope so.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.