Reuters Lines Up Iraqis Who Hate Bush, Pine for President Hillary

The Reuters wire service has scoured the countryside of Iraq for opinions about who should be elected to the U.S. presidency. Apparently, either Iraq or the Reuters template offered only two options: (a) "change" from the hasty and stubborn Bush team, or (b) and apathy over how America will never change from its ruinous policy. But isn’t there anyone in Iraq who is grateful for the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, or grateful for the American commitment to stay and help build a civil society? Reuters interviewers couldn’t seem to find a one. Reporter Aseel Kami began by underlining the need for change:

Iraqis are avidly watching the 2008 U.S. election race, searching for signs of policy change under a new president and prospects for U.S. troop withdrawals from their country.

"I do not care if the president is a man or a woman, what really matters is the change of American policy towards Iraq," said Muhenad Sahib, a university professor from the southern oil hub of Basra, Iraq's second largest city.

The story reads like a lineup of Iraqis voting rhetorically for Democrats:

Athil al-Nujaifi, a member of a secular, multi-ethnic political bloc in the volatile northern city of Mosul, said a Democrat victory would offer the United States "a new future".

"The current situation in Iraq is tied to President Bush and his inability to admit his mistake in occupying Iraq and his inability to avoid the mistakes the neo-conservatives committed," Nujaifi said.

Mohammed Shaker, a member of Iraq's biggest Sunni Arab party, the Iraqi Islamic Party, in Mosul, thought the Democrats would win but disagreed with Nujaifi, saying he did not expect U.S. policy to change regardless of the outcome of the election.

Kami suggested some found a woman president would be a very refreshing option after all the Bush machismo:

Many of those across Iraq interviewed by Reuters over the past week felt U.S. voters could do worse than elect Clinton as the first female president of the United States.

"It would be fantastic because a woman has more sense ... she cares more about her life, her family and her people," said Qassim Tuaima, the owner of a Baghdad curtain shop.

Abdul-Latif al-Dulaimi, a 38-year-old architect, agreed, describing Bush as "hasty and stubborn".

"Bush led his country to be hated and created violence in many parts of the world," said Dulaimi, who is from the former insurgent stronghold of Falluja just west of Baghdad.

I'm betting the voting preferences of Reuters reporters and editors is about as diverse as the voices in this story. They either hate the Bush team, or think the Democrats aren't going to be any better.

Iraq Reuters
Tim Graham's picture