5/08/2007

The Prime Minister of Iraq must speak English if Bush has any hope of turning the tide of public opinion...


I think it has been clear for some time that the White House has lost touch with the American people when it comes to justifying its decisions in Iraq and in the fight against global terrorism more generally. I think this is because it has a difficult time verbalizing the merits and achievements of its Iraq policies, and instead people are having their opinions shaped by the sensationalism of body counts and video tapes from al-Qaeda, as well as the flat out disingenuous rhetoric of the Democratic Party.

In my opinion there are a couple different reasons the White House is so incapable of maintaining public support behind a war that is clearly, in every respect, the most efficiently managed war in American history. First, George Bush is the worst public speaker in his administration, so when people watch him speak that might be inclined to support him on principle, they often end up cringing upon hearing him stumble when posed a question more than two seconds long. Second, there is nobody in Iraq that the White House can trot up to the microphone and have them clearly articulate why it is so important for us to persevere and not leave the country to descend into total anarchy.

I have given up hope that Bush will someday find his voice. However, those of us who truly believe in the mission in Iraq shouldn't settle for Bush as our number one spokesman, we should be insisting that he find us an Iraqi that can come on cable news programs sounding like Tony Blair and effectively charm the drive-by media into actually giving a damn about something other than their ratings.

Iyad Allawi (pictured) had the potential to be this person, but unfortunately he is too rational and secular to have any chance of being elected in a country that has been blinded by sectarian interests. I have not encountered an Iraqi religious leader that has impressed me at all, and it certainly doesn't seem as if there are any major Iraqi Muslim leaders that speak English. If anyone has any suggestions about who would make an effective international spokesman for the Iraqi cause I would appreciate hearing them. I understand that we can't force upon the Iraqis a leader who is not of their choosing, but we sure as hell can exert our influence over the religious leaders who are responsible for anointing candidates and are largely responsible for influencing the eventual policies of elected leaders. If we can make the clerics understand the political moods of the United States electorate, it could go a long way toward helping the Iraqis help themselves.

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