Informal Morning Report. Since I'm away from home and sneaking a little dial-up time from my hotel room before re-convening with my fellow Marine vets, I'm just going to drop a few lines on current events.
Bush, Allawi speak out. Caught GWB and Iyad Allawi on TV yesterday morning, with their impressive news conference, shortly after Allawi's address to the US Congress. Allawi thanked the American people and Congress for liberating his country, and stated, "more troops we don't need" - rather, he said, Iraqis need to be empowered to take charge of their own affairs through continued training and support. Allawi and Bush both stressed that while tough challenges lie ahead, Iraq is moving in the right direction.
Senator Kerry wasted no time in declaring that the Prime Minister of Iraq didn't know what he was talking about, and today's issue of the Jayson Blair Journal began its editorial with the words "Iraq's appointed leader, Iyad Allawi, put on an impressive performance yesterday in Washington." Iraq's self-appointed leaders in New York explained that 'Until Iraq holds free elections, Mr. Allawi cannot claim to speak for more than the narrow coalition of exile parties that maneuvered his appointment as interim prime minister.' The JBJ editorial went on to link Allawi with a small cabal of CIA-backed exile groups, and concluded by accusing Iraq's Prime Minister of 'expressing doubts about the value of a free press and refusing to accept the importance of an honest and realistic discussion of what's happening in his country.'
Funny, just last night I was up talking with two young guys who just got back from a second tour in Iraq; they happened to be staying in the room next door. Nobody forced these Marines to re-up, they did so voluntarily. They recalled that in fifteen of Iraq's eighteen provinces, security and reconstruction are proceeding at an astonishing pace. Wonder what's wrong with them. Maybe they don't read the Jayson Blair Journal enough?