- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Doing all we can

President Bush, Republicans, Democrats, neo-cons, paleo-cons, netroots and peaceniks all agree that Iraqis must stop killing each other, train more troops and bring order to their government. Mr. Bush is losing his patience, and most of the rest are demanding that American forces come home.

However, the Iraqi ambassador says all this hectoring must stop because his country cannot do more than it is capable of doing.

“The Iraqi government is doing its utmost to confront the difficulties. It is doing all it can. There is no use trying to force a pace of change beyond what reality can allow you to do,” Ambassador Samir Shakir Mahmood Sumaidaie told the Defense Forum Foundation.

Our correspondent Sharon Behn, who covered his speech last week, reported that the ambassador also acknowledged that terrorists have infiltrated Iraqi security forces, but he insisted that a coalition victory is still possible.

“We know that some of our security forces are infiltrated, so you can say that terrorists are using instruments of state,” Mr. Sumaidaie said.

However, the coalition must stop the terrorists from taking over Iraq and using the country as a base for global operations.

“To win is to deny the terrorists a state of their own and to allow the new state being built on democratic principles to have the requirements for survival,” he said.

Mr. Sumaidaie said coalition forces must respond to different tactics adopted by the enemy.

“We have to fight smart,” he said. “We have to be just as determined [as the terrorists], if not more, just as adaptive, if not more. So we must be ready to change our tactics, change our approach, but never to give up the fights.”

Expletive deleted

The former British ambassador to the United States employed a scatological Old English expletive to describe Prime Minister Tony Blair’s motive for joining President Bush in invading Afghanistan to rout al Qaeda terrorists and their Taliban protectors after the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Mr. Blair enlisted in the U.S.-led coalition in 2001 to temper what he feared would be an overreaction by Mr. Bush, said Ambassador Christopher Meyer, who served in Washington from 1997 to 2003.

“Blair’s real concern was that there would be … a knee-jerk reaction by the Americans, [and] they would go thundering off and nuke the [expletive] out of the place without thinking straight,” the ambassador told London’s Daily Mirror newspaper yesterday.

The newspaper was reporting on comments released to promote a British television documentary due to be broadcast on Saturday.

Failure in Africa

A top U.S. diplomat yesterday scolded African leaders for failing to take firm action against President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for crushing dissent and ruining the economy.

Jendayi Frazer, assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said she was discouraged that leaders who attended a recent summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) spent more time criticizing Western sanctions on Mr. Mugabe than on denouncing him for unleashing violence against political opponents and crippling his country with economic policies that produced a staggering inflation rate of 4,000 percent and an unemployment rate of 80 percent.

Mrs. Frazer also said African leaders were ignoring the goals of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), which promotes economic prosperity, democracy and peace.

“We are disappointed that the extraordinary summit of SADC decided on more negotiations [with Mr. Mugabe], which have not succeeded in the past, and on getting rid of sanctions,” she said on a visit to South Africa.

“President Robert Mugabe’s actions are counter to what SADC and Nepad stand for. Why can Africans not say this unequivocally? We know they are not even saying this behind closed doors.”

{bullet} Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.

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