SOTU: What Bush Doesn’t Mention About Iraq’s Elections

Bush said: “In less than three years, that nation has gone from dictatorship, to liberation, to sovereignty, to a constitution, to national elections.”

FACT — WHITE HOUSE WAS AGAINST IRAQI ELECTIONS BEFORE IT WAS FOR THEM: Before deciding to support Iraq elections, the Bush administration wanted to turn control over to the now-discredited Ahmad Chalabi. The Washington Post remembers, the White House “resisted the idea of holding elections”¦and only succumbed under pressure from Iraq’s most powerful cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.” Iraq expert Juan Cole noted, “It was Sistani who demanded one-person, one-vote elections. So to the extent it’s a victory, it’s a victory for Iraqis. The Americans were maneuvered into having to go along with it.” [Washington Post, 1/30/05]