Iraq, The Vote: 'I Underestimated the Iraqi People'

J$P Instant Transcript! Steve Harrigan has second thoughts.

From The Big Story with John Gibson, January 30 2005:

JOHN GIBSON [FOX NEWS]: So everybody says it went real well. What did you see?

STEVE HARRIGAN [FOX NEWS]: It took me by surprise. It went incredibly well, I think. I was expecting a lot of death, a lot of terrorist attacks. It simply didn't happen. I think this has been a bad news story for most of the last year, and for the first time we're seeing ordinary Iraqis, not terrorists, not killers, not people dancing around burned out Humvees, but men and women with their families going out to vote. This is a new picture of the Iraqi people I think we're seeing.

GIBSON: But you've seen it. You knew those people were there. Did you think they were going to come out and brave the terrorists?

HARRIGAN: No, no. I thought they'd be intimidated. I thought they'd be scared. I underestimated the Iraqi people, and I think a lot of people did.

GIBSON: You said we were asking a lot of them a day or so ago, we're asking a lot of the Iraqi people to expect that they would go out in the face of these threats. So what makes you, why do you think they did?

HARRIGAN: You know, there must be just something about humanity that this can teach us, about what's inside those people. That given the chance, if we can clear out the cars, clear out the car bombing, they're going to do it. I've heard from smart people about the Middle East, oh Arabs can't have a democracy, they're never going to go out and vote. I think this teaches us something about the Iraqis and about people in general. This is a great one-day story.

GIBSON: What is it that you think it teaches fellow Arabs? You're about to go into Saudi Arabia, for instance. Do you think there's a collective "uh-oh" going on in the Arab world?

HARRIGAN: There might be a little "uh-oh" going on there, but let's not pop the champagne too early. The dominos aren't all going to fall by next week.

GIBSON: I don't mean anything in particular, because there's Saudi Arabia, there's Jordan, there's Egypt, those are our friends. And then there's Syria and others that aren't so friendly to us. So what does it mean when they look around and see all those Iraqis going out to vote?

HARRIGAN: This could really be the start of something, and I think it's great for the Iraqis, it's great for us to see the Iraqis. It's great for the US military too. It is a hard slog out there for those guys. Every step they take, even delivering food, they could get blown up. And they've got to have some real satisfaction today at seeing what their hard work is getting.

GIBSON: You have also done some traveling with this Iraqi security force we're trying to, the phrase is, stand up. It seemed to perform very well to me.

HARRIGAN: Well they had a lot of help today. I think they've got a long way to go. But one thing is for sure, is that just like the voters today, they keep coming. The Iraqi policemen have been slaughtered over the last few months, but there's no shortage of applicants. They're getting killed, but they keep coming.

GIBSON: Steve Harrigan, you going to go back to Iraq soon?

HARRIGAN: You know, I really didn't want to be there for this. I thought it was going to be a bad story. It turned out to be a great story.

GIBSON: All right, Steve Harrigan. Off, next week Venezuela story's on the air, and the week after to that he heads off to Saudi Arabia and then back to Iraq. Steve, it's always good to talk to you.

HARRIGAN: Thanks, John.

posted: Sun - January 30, 2005 at 06:31 PM       j$p  send 

Johnny: Great minds must think alike!
That video clip of the tail end of the last episode of "Boston Legal" has bothered me all week!
Just as he did on "The Practice," Executive Producer David E. Kelly must subtlely show his far-left bias and he usually does it with a similar one-line zinger.
Too bad the politics get in the way because "Boston Legal" could be a great show.
January 30, 2005, 9:32:42 PM EST – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
We choose to interpret the clip as an endorsement of Fox News by Capt James Tiberius Kirk.
January 30, 2005, 9:36:42 PM EST – Like – Reply