July 21, 2004 | The New York Post

Unfair Allegations

I was shocked and chagrined to see The Post's front page story on Friday (“Ingrate: Iraq diplo axed for dissing GIs,” July 16) about Iraq's representative, Rend al Rahim.

I have known and collaborated with al Rahim since long before the liberation of Iraq.

She is not at all as characterized in that story.

On the contrary, I know her to be someone who is ardently pro-American and grateful to Americans for liberating her homeland.

As for the allegation that she was reluctant to visit wounded American veterans of the war in Iraq, I know that to be absolutely incorrect.

My office has been working with the ambassador to set up just such a visit – at her specific suggestion. Any delays have been due to scheduling conflicts.

The unnamed sources for these terrible allegations against her are either woefully misinformed – or have ulterior motives.

Clifford D. May, a former New York Times foreign correspondent, is president of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on terrorism.