How (not) to win friends and influence people

From Dana Milbank in today's Washington Post:

Just before [French President Jacques] Chirac addressed the assembly, Bush and his top aides — Secretary of State Colin L. Powell, national security adviser Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations John D. Negroponte — left the hall. Chirac sat with the French delegation during Bush's speech and politely applauded.

Classy. They could have at least left Negroponte behind — it's his job to be there, after all.

Milbank also notes that Ahmed Chalabi, on hand representing the Iraqi Governing Council, essentially supported the French call for a more rapid transfer of power to the Iraqi people. (The notoriously power-hungry Chalabi seemed to have in mind the Council and, more specifically, himself.)

The Bush administration has hailed the Council as a "representative" group and frequently cites its existence and activity as evidence that the occupying coalition is working to nurture democracy in Iraq. But yesterday, when that Council strayed from the coalition party line, an unnamed "administration official" characterized the group very differently:

The Bush administration official said the occupation authorities "are not prepared to transfer sovereignty to 25 unelected people."

  • mondo dentro

    The Bush administration official said the occupation authorities “are not prepared to transfer sovereignty to 25 unelected people.
    Well, at least not without the help of the US Supreme Court.

  • matttb

    up is down, black is white,
    etcetcetc.
    at least the bushies are consistent in their overwhelming contempt for multilateralism
    (and the frogs too, of course).
    remind me never to use the neo-con method of begging for cash when attempting to borrow money.

  • N in Seattle

    The Bush administration official said the occupation authorities “are not prepared to transfer sovereignty to 25 unelected people.”
    Those 25 people were, as I recall, unelected by the Bush administration.
    So many houses of cards, collapsing into the Mesopotamian dust.

  • Yehudit

    “The Bush administration has hailed the Council as a “representative” group and frequently cites its existence and activity as evidence that the occupying coalition is working to nurture democracy in Iraq. ”
    The Bush administration official said the occupation authorities “are not prepared to transfer sovereignty to 25 unelected people.”
    These statements are not contradictory. The Council’s role is to draft a constitution and create democratic institutions which can support and safeguard honest elections. They are unelected. No, it is not yet time to transfer sovereignty to the Iraqi people because those instituitons aren’t developed yet. All polls show that the Iraqis understand and agree with this, whether they take issue with some of the details.
    We knew it would take a year or two at least to develop these institutions – when the war began, much concern on the left was whether Bush would win the war and leave the Iraqis hanging, as they accuse us of doing in Afganistan (which we aren’t BTW). Well, we are staying and making sure the transfer is done right. So what’s the complaint?

  • Yonmei

    Yehudit, what polls are you referring to?


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