1/2 editorial & 2 speeches

It is difficult to editorialize on something as vacuous as Democratic Party foreign policy. Last week, the Democratic “opposition” made the following contributions to the War on Terror:

First, Sen. Minority Leader Harry Reid trashed Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice for “photo-op diplomacy” in Rome as she endorsed and defended Israel’s military assault against Hizbollah — the organization that killed 240 U.S. Marines. 

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Next, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) boycotted a Congressional visit (see below) by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose government is the sole Moslem power in the Middle East that aggressively pursues and kills jihadist terrorists.

Finally, Democratic Party National Chairman Howard Dean denounced al-Maliki as an “anti-Semite” after he defied Arab anti-Semites by coming to Washington D.C. and standing shoulder-to-shoulder with President Bush and the United States Congress, despite American support for Israel.

But beyond such buffoonery, two memorable speeches on Iraq deserved more coverage than they got – one delivered in Baghdad by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, the other in Washington D.C. by the Iraqi Prime Minister.

Speech #1: Iraq’s Economy

“I think it is important to note,” said U.S. Sec. of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez, “That Iraq is not a poor country.  It was made poor by tyranny.”

Speaking before the American Chamber of Commerce in Baghdad, Iraq, July 25, Sec. Gutierrez described the resources of the Land of the Two Rivers, including:  the world’s largest oil reserves and seventh largest natural gas reserves; Iraq’s phosphates and sulfur; its agricultural potential.

Gutierrez itemized promising improvements in Iraq’s business climate post-Saddam:

  • a stable exchange rate;
  • robust reserves of foreign currency;
  • an independent stock exchange listing 96 companies;
  • a drastically reduced tariff structure to encourage foreign trade;
  • 34,000 new businesses;
  • a boom in both foreign and domestic banking institutions; and
  • the creation of a 7-million subscriber cellular telecommunications network from scratch.

Said Gutierrez, “The private sector is a strategic component of a new, peaceful and prosperous Iraq that so many have fought and sacrificed for.”

Speech #2: Al-Maliki in Congress

While Charles Schumer, Howard Dean and other Democratic Party liberals hurled mindless epithets at Nouri al-Maliki – epithets aimed to consolidate a Jewish base they no longer deserve – the first democratically elected Prime Minister of the new Iraq delivered a moving tribute to freedom, to the Iraqis and Americans who have died for it, and to the God whose gift it is. 

The Daily Dispatch recommends the full text of PM Nouri al-Maliki’s address to Congress (July 26, 2006), at:

Solidarity with America

Let me begin by thanking the American people on behalf of all Iraqis, for supporting our people and ousting dictatorship. Iraq will not forget those who stood with her and who continue to stand with her in times of need. 

I know that some of you here question whether Iraq is part of the war on terror. Let me be very clear: This is a battle between true Islam, for which a person’s liberty and rights constitute essential cornerstones, and terrorism, which wraps itself in a fake Islamic cloak; in reality, waging a war on Muslims and Islamic values.

Terrorists spread hatred between the branches of humanity, contrary to our Koran, which says, “We have created you of male and female and made you tribes and families that you may know each other.” Surely equality in the sight of God is the best concept.

The truth is that terrorism has no religion. Our faith says that whosoever kills an innocent, it is as if he had killed all mankind.

Thousands of lives were tragically lost on September 11th when these impostors of Islam reared their ugly heads. Thousands more continue to die in Iraq today at the hands of the same terrorists who show complete disregard for human life.

Your loss on that day was the loss of all mankind, and our loss today is a loss for all free peoples.

The Basis of Human Rights

God says in the Koran, “And surely we have honored all the children of Adam.”

I believe these human rights are not an artifact construct reserved for the few. They are the divine entitlement for all.

It is on this unwavering belief that we are determined to build our nation, a land whose people are free, whose air is liberty, and where the rule of law is supreme.

This is the new Iraq, which is emerging from the ashes of dictatorship and despite the carnage of extremists, a country which respects international conventions and practices noninterference in the internal affairs of others; one which relies on dialogue to resolve differences, and strives to develop positive relations with every nation that espouses freedom and peace.

Progress of Civil Society

The ongoing transformation in Iraq can sometimes be obscured by the daily, futile violence.

Since liberation, we have witnessed great accomplishments in politics, the economy and civil society. We have gone from a one-party state, ruled by a small elite, to a multi-party system where politics is the domain of every citizen, and parties compete at all levels.

What used to be a state-controlled media is now completely free and uncensored, something Iraq had never witnessed since its establishment as a modern state, and something which remains alien to most of the region.

What was formerly a command economy in Iraq, we are rapidly transforming into a free market system. In the past three years, our GDP per capita has more than doubled. And it is expected that our economy will continue to grow. Standards of living have improved for most Iraqis, as the markets generate unprecedented prosperity. Many individuals are buying products and appliances which in times past they could never have afforded.

And, in keeping with our vision of creating a free market economy, we will be presenting to parliament legislation to lift current restrictions on foreign companies and investors who wish to do business in Iraq.

While we are making great economic strides, the greatest transformation has occurred in Iraqi civil society.  We’ve gone from mass graves and torture chambers and chemical weapons to the rule of law.

The human rights and freedoms embodied in the new Iraq, and consolidated in our constitution have provided a fertile environment for the institutions of civil society, which are increasing in scope and complexity.  These civic institutions provide a healthy reflection of what is developing beneath the violence.

A Pledge Against Terrorists

The greatest threat Iraq’s people face is terror: terror inflicted by extremists who de-value life, and who thrive on the fear their wanton murder and destruction creates.

They have poured acid into Iraq’s dictatorial wounds and created many of their own. Iraq is free, and the terrorists cannot stand this.

They hope to undermine our democratically elected government through the random killing of civilians. They want to destroy Iraq’s future by assassinating our leading scientific, political and community leaders. Above all, they wish to spread fear.

Do not think that this is an Iraqi problem. This terrorist front is a threat to every free country in the world, and to their citizens. What is at stake is nothing less than our freedom and liberty.

I will not allow Iraq to become a launch pad for Al Qaida and other terrorist organizations. I will not allow terror to rob Iraqis of their hopes and dreams. I will not allow terrorists to dictate to us our future.

For decades, we struggled alone for our freedom. In 1991, when Iraqis tried to capitalize on the regime’s momentary weakness, we were alone again.
The people of Iraq will not forget your continued support as we establish a secure, liberal democracy. Let 1991 never be repeated, for history will be most unforgiving.

The coming days will be difficult, for the challenges are considerable. Iraq and America both need each other to defeat the terror engulfing the free world. In partnership, we will be triumphant.  We will never be slaves to terror, for God has made us free.

Trust that Iraq will be a grave for terrorism and terrorists. Trust that Iraq will be the graveyard for terrorism and terrorists for the good of all humanity. 

Thank you.

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