'Election won't change US resolve on Iraq'

Ambassador: Bush "understands what is at stake in Iraq"; others hope Democratic House victories will improve living conditions.

us iraq great 298.88 (photo credit: AP)
us iraq great 298.88
(photo credit: AP)
The United States ambassador sought on Wednesday to reassure Iraqis that US policy would not dramatically alter after Democrats seized control of the US House of Representatives in midterm elections. In a videotape distributed by the embassy Wednesday morning, the Afghan-born envoy said US President George W. Bush "sees success (in Iraq) as imperative for American's national interests." But some Iraqis voiced hope that the Democrats would be able to change US foreign policy. "I hope this will change the Bush policy in the Islamic world and especially in Iraq," said 48-year-old engineer Suheil Jabar, a Shi'ite Muslim. "We hope American foreign policy will change and that living conditions in Iraq will improve." Khalilzad, a member of the neo-conservative wing of the Republican Party that pushed for the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, declared "Americans are prepared to continue to support Iraq as Iraqis take the needed steps." The US envoy was speaking at an election reception for Iraqi journalists. He took no questions during the videotaped remarks. "The president is the architect of US foreign policy," the ambassador said by way of reassuring Iraqis. "He is the commander in chief of our armed forces. He understands what is at stake in Iraq. "He sees success as imperative for America's national interest. He is committed to working with both houses of the American Congress to get the support needed for the mission in Iraq to succeed." Reda Jawad Taqi, a lawmaker and political spokesman for Iraq's largest Shi'ite political organization, said Republicans lost control of the House because the Bush administration was following a flawed policy in Iraq "that was exploited by the Democrats." He said the major US failure had been its inability to bring security to Iraq, which crippled reconstruction efforts. "We hope that these flawed policies will not continue," said Taqi, the spokesman for the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq.