Many Iraqis have expressed indignation and disappointment at U.S. President George W. Bush's prediction that violence this year is to further intensify. They were even angrier when the President openly supported the government's decision to boost fuel prices nearly fivefold. Some even accused the President of negligence and inaction. His predictions show that he is aware of the calamities that are to come while he does nothing about them.
This is a President that Iraqis have come to know in many respects even better than the American citizens he rules. Many of them believe that this President holds their destinies in his hands, and that he has had a lead role in almost everything that has happened to Iraq since his 2003 invasion.
Two months ago, he raised the expectations of Iraqis when he presented American lawmakers with a new strategy that he described as "victory" in the war against violence plaguing the country. He also promised to speed up reconstruction.
Then he said during his New Year's remarksRealVideo that violence was to continue and even intensify. The president, many now say, has ruined our hopes for "victory." Iraqis say that they barely had time to relish the good news of his strategy for "victory."
[Editor's Note: President Bush's New Year message contains no mention of 'escalating violence.']
Nearly three years after the president dispatched his troops to deliver the country from dictatorship, many Iraqis now receive his remarks with sarcasm.
Here are a number of things Iraqis say they will do if the president fails to deliver on his promise of "victory" in the war:
* We will launch another September 11 attack.
* We will establish a new government that will forbid our own president from visiting America and meeting with the U.S. President.
* We will prevent our own President from addressing the U.S. Congress using a script prepared for him by the State Department.
* We will persuade our forthcoming Parliament to regain control of our oil output and exports, scrap the latest fuel increases, and raise prices on international markets that will lead to a fivefold increase in fuel prices in the United States.
* We will withdraw our support to the U.S. in its War on Terror.
* We will torpedo the Middle East peace process
There are of course many other ideas that I cannot mention here, for fear of accountability.
But I would like to end my article by giving President Bush credit for at least being frank and candid with the Iraqi people.
Unlike our politicians whose statements are far from reality and work behind concrete walls and closed doors, at least the president of the United States now talks the truth about his expectations for the course of events in Iraq.