Murtha on the Iraq Elections
Representative John Murtha (D-PA) (video, transcript):
Well, when you say the administration is delighted, you know, Chalabi has surfaced again. They had him at the White House, they had him with the vice president, they had him with the secretary of State, and he got less than five-tenths of one percent -- he got less than half a percent of the vote. And Allawi, who was their shining star, he turns up getting 8 percent of the vote. Forty-four percent of the vote -- now, these are early returns, but 44 percent went to the clerics. We're going to have a cleric government.
I cannot believe that these folks at the White House didn't understand, if they support somebody, the Iraqis aren't going to support them. The Iraqis don't like us, they're proud people, they don't want to be dictated by the United States, and yet our folks don't understand that.
Remember, I told you a year ago that two years ago I went to Iraq and I asked Ambassador Bremer, "Who's Sistani?" -- actually, one of my guys asked him that, and he turned to his aide and they said it's a minor cleric. Two weeks later the guy had 100,000 people on the street. They don't understand what is going on over there. It's frustrating to realize how bad our intelligence are, or how they're mishandling this situation.