President George W. Bush met with Kurdistan Regional Government President Massoud Barzani, whom he called "a man of courage" as someone who stood against Saddam Hussein and is now standing for democracy in Iraq:
"The president [Mr. Barzani] was very helpful on the current constitution. I assured him that America will stand with the people who desire a free and democratic Iraq. The president has got a clear vision for the future of Iraq."
Mr. Barzani said Iraqis and Americans must stand together against terrorism:
"There is no doubt that if we step back from this [fight] and not be determined. . . .rest assured that the terrorists will come to the gates of you and us and they will fight us. Therefore, we have to think about nothing else but victory."
Mr. Barzani said those Iraqis who are anti-democratic are very few, while those "supportive of the democratic process. . . .are many, and they highly appreciate the sacrifices that have been made by the American people and the American army." Over nine million Iraqis voted on a new constitution, with more than seventy-eight percent voting in favor of the draft document. U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack says the success of the referendum was a defeat for Iraqi insurgents:
"Everybody agrees that an important component of defeating an insurgency is not only the military element but the political element as well. The passage of the referendum is an important step forward."
State Department spokesman McCormack says the United States looks forward to parliamentary elections that are scheduled for December 15th in Iraq.
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.