Allawi’s Speech: Thank You, America

Iraqi interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi addressed a Joint Session of Congress today and gave a phenomenal speech (although it’s worth noting that Senator Flip-Flop and his running mate the Fluffy Puppy didn’t even bother to show up).

Of course, I’m sure not everyone enjoyed what the Prime Minister had to say, as I did. I mean think about it — it’s bad enough that Allawi had positive things to say about the war and about Iraq’s future, but if people like Michael Moore, Ted Rall, Nancy Pelosi, Ted Kennedy, Al Franken, Janeane Garofalo, Al Gore, and yes, as we now know John Kerry had gotten their way, Allawi wouldn’t be here.

Instead, America-hating Saddam would still be sitting in Baghdad, collaborating with terrorists, and waiting for that happy day when he could start making WMD’s again. So the very fact that Allawi is here is an affront to the left because it’s a reminder that 27 million are going to become free only because the left lost the argument about the war in Iraq.

In any case, here are some of the high spots from Allawi’s speech that I thought were worth bringing to your attention…

Tough Struggle
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“It’s a tough struggle with setbacks, but we are succeeding.

I have seen some of the images that are being shown here on television. They are disturbing. They focus on the tragedies, such as the brutal and barbaric murder of two American hostages this week.

My thoughts and prayers go out to their families and to all those who lost loved ones.

“Ladies and gentlemen, the costs now have been high. As we have lost our loved ones in this struggle, so have you. As we have mourned, so have you.

This is a bitter price of combating tyranny and terror.

Our hearts go to the families, every American who has given his or her life and every American who has been wounded to help us in our struggle.

Now we are determined to honor your confidence and sacrifice by putting into practice in Iraq the values of liberty and democracy, which are so dear to you and which have triumphed over tyranny across our world.”

Elections Will Occur
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“As we move forward, the next major milestone will be holding of the free and fair national and local elections in January next.

(APPLAUSE)

I know that some have speculated, even doubted, whether this date can be met. So let me be absolutely clear: Elections will occur in Iraq on time in January because Iraqis want elections on time.”

“Our independent electoral commission is working with the United Nations, the multinational force and our own Iraqi security forces to make these elections a reality. In 15 out of our 18 Iraqi provinces we could hold elections tomorrow. Although this is not what we see in your media, it is a fact.”

“They said we would miss January deadline to pass the interim constitution.

We proved them wrong.

They warned that there could be no successful handover of sovereignty by the end of June. We proved them wrong. A sovereign Iraqi government took over control two days early.

They doubted whether a national conference could be staged this August. We proved them wrong.

Despite intimidation and violence, over 1,400 citizens, a quarter of them women, from all regions and from every ethnic, religious and political grouping in Iraq, elected a national council.

And I pledge to you today, we’ll prove them wrong again over the elections.”

“The Iraqi elections may not be perfect, may not be the best elections that Iraq will ever hold. They will no doubt be an excuse for violence from those that despise liberty, as were the first elections in Sierra Leone, South Africa or Indonesia.

But they will take place, and they will be free and fair. And though they won’t be the end of the journey toward democracy, they will be a giant step forward in Iraq’s political evolution.”

Iraqi Forces Rising To The Challenge
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“The Iraqi government now commands almost 50,000 armed and combat- ready Iraqis. By January it will be some 145,000. And by the end of next year, some 250,000 Iraqis.”

“These new Iraqi forces are rising to the challenge. They are fighting on behalf of sovereign Iraqi governmre is a daily progress, too. Oil pipelines are being repaired. Basic services are being improved. The homes are being rebuilt. Schools and hospitals are being rebuilt. The clinics are open and reopened. There are now over 6 million children at school, many of them attending one of the 2,500 schools that have been renovated since liberation.

(APPLAUSE)

Last week, we completed a national polio vaccination campaign, reaching over 90 percent of all Iraqi children.

We’re starting work on 150 new health centers across the country. Millions of dollars in economic aid and humanitarian assistance from this country and others around the world are flowing into Iraq. For this, again, I want to thank you.”

Thank You, America
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“We are fighting for freedom and democracy, ours and yours. Every day, we strengthen the institutions that will protect our new democracy, and every day, we grow in strength and determination to defeat the terrorists and their barbarism.

The second message is quite simple and one that I would like to deliver directly from my people to yours: Thank you, America.

(APPLAUSE)

We Iraqis know that Americans have made and continue to make enormous sacrifices to liberate Iraq, to assure Iraq’s freedom. I have come here to thank you and to promise you that your sacrifices are not in vain.

The overwhelming majority of Iraqis are grateful. They are grateful to be rid of Saddam Hussein and the torture and brutality he forced upon us, grateful for the chance to build a better future for our families, our country and our region.

We Iraqis are grateful to you, America, for your leadership and your sacrifice for our liberation and our opportunity to start anew.”

“There are no words that can express the debt of gratitude that future generations of Iraqis will owe to Americans. It would have been easy to have turned your back on our plight, but this is not the tradition of this great country, nor for the first time in history you stood up with your allies for freedom and democracy.”

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