Allawi Thanks America

Transcript of Prime Minister Allawi's speech to a Joint Session of Congress

This was a really good speech, more proof that good things are happening in Iraq.

10 reasons (in his words) why things in Iraq are better than you think:
  1. "we are succeeding in Iraq. It's a tough struggle with setbacks, but we are succeeding."
  2. "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."
  3. "My friends, today we are better off, you are better off and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein."
  4. "In Samarra, the Iraqi government has tackled the insurgents who once controlled the city... A new provincial council and governor have been selected, and a new chief of police has been appointed. Hundreds of insurgents have been pushed out of the city by local citizens, eager to get with their lives"
  5. "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."
  6. "The government has accelerated the development of Iraqi special forces, and the establishment of a counter-terrorist strike force to tackle specific problems caused by insurgencies."
  7. "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."
  8. "Last week, we completed a national polio vaccination campaign, reaching over 90 percent of all Iraqi children."
  9. "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."
  10. "For the skeptics who do not understand the Iraqi people, they do not realize how decades of torture and repression feed our desire for freedom. At every step of the political process to date the courage and resilience of the Iraqi people has proved the doubters wrong.

    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."

I think I'll take the man on the ground's word over those of John Kerry.

UPDATE: The Bush campaign's response to Kerry's criticisim of Alawi's speech has been released on the campaign blog. Very good response if I do say so myself.

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