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Both regimes need change

Dear Editor:Messrs. Bush and Allawi sing from the same hymn book, though neither has a grip on reality. Both believe that Iraq is making great strides, democracy has rooted and everything is “on track,” with freedom, liberty and the pursuit of happiness just around the corner.It may be true that Mr. Allawi is courageous to step into the breach to try and lead Iraq. But it is surely true that he is an exile Iraqi who once did Saddam’s work, and his speech may have done more harm to his credibility and damage to the intended elections than if he stayed home and not become part of Bush’s re-election campaign.It is widely known that he is not in touch with the Iraqi people nor the realities of what is going on. He never wanders from the safety of the Green Zone, remains insulated and doesn’t mingle with people except for his American cohorts and other Iraqi insiders. Part of the distrust Iraqis feel about him clearly stems from his detachment and that he took no part in the suffering under Saddam. In the eyes of a great number of Iraqis, he is not entitled to the legitimacy that otherwise accrues to true heroes who fought for independence. Allawi is perceived as an outsider to most Iraqis, installed by Bush to carry out an American plan – one that has produced immense death, pain and suffering.Allawi’s words of gratitude, hope, progress and justification of the war, fusing the invasion of Iraq with the war against terrorism, are his alone. These are not the facts of life being reported by every credible newspaper in the world. Moreover, it is not the picture coming from letters home by our troops.Bush and Allawi’s hymn book is pure political propaganda, and an increasing number of Iraqis discredit him as a puppet that cannot carry out the legitimate interests of the Iraqi people. Also, it cannot be ignored that Ayatollah Sistani said that the elections will not be legitimate, echoing Kofi Annan’s and King Hussein’s concerns of insufficient representation, fraud and violence.The majority of the people in Iraq want to eat regular meals, drink clean water, have a roof over their heads, avoid disease and return to a life that is absent of killing, kidnapping, nightly invasions of their homes, pillaging and threats. This administration has no record of success in most every aspect of the war on Iraq. Yet they claim cheerful progress.It should be obvious to Mr. Bush that the mess he created will not be solved by ignoring reality and insisting that “we’re on track” – democracy, freedom and liberty have firmly taken traction in Iraq. If this administration is not a rerun of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” then what is it? Where are we going with all this madness?”Regime change” must begin in America if we are to see a better future.Barry PetersSnowmass Village


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