Talked to our friend Michael Rubin, who is back in Iraq, this morning. Asked him what people over there are saying about our Election Day. Here’s what he said:
Most Iraqis are pro-Bush, be they Arabs or Kurds. Liberating 22 million people is never a mistake. And, as bad as the insurgency may be, they are killing thousands of Iraqis and Bush is the one standing up to the insurgents.
Not everyone is pro-Bush, though. Kurdish separatists within the KDP and PUK leadership lean toward Kerry because they see withdrawal or chaos in the rest of Iraq to their local advantage.
I spent several days in Ankara, Turkey, before heading into Iraq. Turkey’s ruling party, the AKP, is pro-Bush or, more accurately, anti-Kerry. The reasons are four-fold:
1. Kerry has long supported the Armenian genocide resolution.
2. Peter Galbraith has advocated Kurdish separatism, and was hired by the Kurdistan Regional Government (Barzani and Talabani) as an advisor.
3. They associate the Council on Foreign Relations to be pro-Kerry, and have not forgotten Les Gelb’s New York Times op-ed calling for a division of Iraq into a Sunni state, a Shi’a state, and a Kurdish state.
4. The current ambassador, Eric Edelman, is perhaps the most popular ambassador in years, and they do not want to lose him.
For more foreign opinion, which might surprise you, see Jonathan Foreman’s piece on the homepage, from India.