The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government:
On January 30th, Iraqis will vote for two-hundred-seventy-five members of a national assembly that will chose a new government and draft a constitution. The stakes are high. White House spokesman Scott McClellan says, "The elections coming up in January are a step toward a democratic and peaceful Iraq:
"It's a step that will help us defeat the ambitions of those who want to return to the brutality and oppression of the past."
Mr. McClellan says that the U.S., its friends, and allies are doing everything they can "to support the Iraqi people":
"The international community has been helping in different ways, as well. The Secretary General of the United Nations...talked about how they're on track with their plan to help with those elections."
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan says that the U-N has supported Iraq's electoral commission to train six-thousand Iraqis to conduct the election:
"Apart from the support we are giving to the Iraqi Independent Electoral Commission, we are also looking ahead down the line beyond the work we are doing to ensure that the elections in January are successful. We are looking ahead [to] next year. If the government [of Iraq] wishes [the U-N] to work...with them on the referendum of the constitution and, of course, the next national elections, and so we have a whole agenda ahead of us, and we are determined to work and help the Iraqi people succeed in this effort."
The Iraqi people want freedom. They want to choose their own leaders. They want to vote. And they will do so on January 30th.