MR. McCLELLAN: Well, Helen, we can have a debate, or you can let me respond to your questions. I think this is an important subject for the American people to talk about. By advancing freedom and democracy in the Middle East we're helping to protect our own security. It's a dangerous region --Or the Independent ?
Iraq is disintegrating. The first results from the parliamentary election last week show the country is dividing between Shia, Sunni and Kurdish regions.Well, absent an expertise in the politics and cultures of Iraq, let us just note that Mr. McClellan speaks in vague and glittering generalities, and Mr. Patrick Cockburn speaks in specifics and details.
Religious fundamentalists now have the upper hand. The secular and nationalist candidate backed by the US and Britain was humiliatingly defeated.
The Shia religious coalition has won a total victory in Baghdad and the south of Iraq. The Sunni Arab parties who openly or covertly support armed resistance to the US are likely to win large majorities in Sunni provinces. The Kurds have already achieved quasi-independence and their voting reflected that.
The election marks the final shipwreck of American and British hopes of establishing a pro-Western secular democracy in a united Iraq.
Which makes the evaluation a bit easier.