Teacher's Ramblings

A potpourri of education, politics, family matters, and current events.

Monday, November 08, 2004

Showdown Between UN/Europe and US

I'm certain some would say it is with Bush, but he is the US for the next 4 years:

...For Bush, elected Tuesday for a second, four-year term, Fallujah is a test of wills to assure that elections, scheduled for January, are held as planned, opening to door to the return of 140,000 US troops deployed in Iraq.

"We fully expect (the election) will happen in January," White House spokesman Scott McClellan told reporters, in response to European European Foreign Minister Javier Solana's statement earlier in the day, which put the January date in doubt.

Solana, speaking to reporters in The Hague (
news - web sites), said the situation "from the point of view of security does not give much of a hope that that will be realized."

Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi announced Sunday a state of emergency for 60 days saying it was necessary to ensure the successful conduct of the elections in January.

"Sixty days gets very close to the electoral time: Therefore that is not a good sign to have elections in time," Solana said.

McClellan disagreed.

"If you look at what the United Nations (
news - web sites) election officials said just last week, they talked about the efforts already under way to register people in Iraq, and they talked about the thousands of registration clerks that are in place and the sites that are in place for people to go and register in Iraq.

"And we have continued to work closely with the Iraqi forces to address the ongoing security challenges."

Allawi has "made it very clear that he was reaching out to people who wanted to participate in the political process.

"Unfortunately, there remain some terrorists and insurgents who do not want a political solution; they seek to spread fear and chaos and destruction," McClellan said.

The only solution "is to go on the offensive and bring them to justice. That's what the Iraqi forces are doing and we are there to partner with them in that effort," McClellan added.

On Friday, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan (
news - web sites) said that operation "Phantom Fury," as the US military calls it, could actually undermine the chance of January elections.

Bush and Annan spoke by telephone Saturday, but sources close to the US administration said the conversation was only about Bush's re-election.

A UN spokesman however said the conversation touched on Iraq as well, and that Annan reiterated his point of view.

"We would like to see the United Nations continue to be involved and take a greater role," McClellan said Monday...

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