Thanks to the Wall Street Journal online for the following quotes:
"Much is positive in Iraq today... Universities are operating, schools are open, people go out onto the streets normally... Where there's a kidnapping or a homicide the news gets out immediately, and this causes fear among the people... Those who commit such violence are resisting against Iraqis who want to build their country."
Elections in January "will be a starting point for a new Iraq, (although) Western newspapers and broadcasters are simply peddling propaganda and misinformation... Iraqis are happy to be having elections and are looking forward to them because they will be useful for national unity... Finally Iraqis will be given the chance to choose. Why is there so much noise and debate coming out from the West when before, under Saddam, there were no free elections, but no one said a thing?
"Europe is absent, it's not out there; the United States is on its own..."
So who's the speaker?
(a) A Bush administration hack pushing the party line to cover-up a disaster.
(b) Top Shi'ite Muslim cleric Al Sistani, who'se champing at the bit to seize political power and begin the wholesale oppression of the Iraqi Sunni and Christian minorities.
(c) Cardinal Renato Martino of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, who, having been hyper-critical of the Iraq war effort, has had a dramatic change of heart.
(d) Archbishop Louis Sako, the Chaldean Catholic leader of Kirkuk, a member of the Iraq minority, who has lived in Iraq most of his life.
If you answered (a) (b) or (c) you would be incorrect. The correct answer is (d).
As the Journal's Arthur Chrenkoff notes: "Archbishop Sako's frustration is increasingly shared by other Iraqis, who can hardly recognize their country from the foreign media coverage. Westerners, too, both military and civilians, upon their return are often finding to their surprise and concern they had lived and worked in a different country to that their loved ones, friends and neighbors back home saw every night on the news."
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