Thursday, July 27, 2006

Malaki's Malarky

I've been browsing reviews of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki's speech before Congress on Tuesday, looking for something in his remarks I could sympathize with or support. I haven't found anything like that yet.

From Kate Zernike of the New York Times:
Addressing a joint meeting of Congress on Wednesday, Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq described his country as the “front line” in the fight against terrorism and vowed to make Iraq an “active player” in the security and stability of the Middle East.

Iraq isn't the "front line" in the fight against terrorism. It's the front line in the Iraqi civil war. Iraq as an "active player" in the security and stability of the Middle East? Iraq is the major factor in the chaos of the Gulf region. For Malaki to stand in front of the U.S. Congress and say his country will be a big dog in the process of stabilizing the Middle East was a Cheney-class piece of delusional chutzpah.

“Iraqis are your allies in the war on terror,” Maliki said. Yeah, and Italians were Hitler's allies in World War II. Look how that worked out for Hitler.

Aping his sponsor George W. Bush, Maliki invoked 9/11 and said that Americans and Iraqis are united in a "common struggle." There's a grain of truth to that. Iraqis and Americans are both struggling to find a way to get Americans out of Iraq.

Ten minutes into his speech, Maliki was interrupted by a protester who chanted, “Iraqis want the troops to leave! Bring them home now!” House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois) ordered the Capitol Police to remove the protester. He let Maliki stay and finish his speech. That gives you a clear example of where GOP priorities lie: first amendment rights extend to an Iraqi, but not to an American citizen. I'd guess that the NSA isn't allowed to monitor Maliki's phone calls either.

“Iraq will not forget those who stood with her and continue to stand with her in times of need,” Malaki said.

Baloney. The second Malaki thinks his government is secure, he'll tell us to pack our hats and gear and take a hike.

The most offensive part of Maliki's speech was his admonition for America not to abandon Iraq like it did after the first Iraq War. “Let 1991 never be repeated,” he said, “for history will be most unforgiving.”

Kiss my keyster, Mister Maliki. Everything going on in Iraq now is our fault because the elder Bush didn't thump Hussein out of his palace the first time? How have things worked out since young Mister Bush came back and "finished the job" for you?

Malaki's Mercenaries

Malaki asked for more foreign aid for fledgling Iraqi companies, complaining that much of the financial aid from America and other countries had been diverted to "security companies." "Security companies" is a not-so-subtle euphemism for "mercenaries," who have been hired to do dirty work that Iraqis themselves don't want to do because they don't want to fight other Iraqis.

That reality is, in fact, a major reason that U.S. troops aren't able to "stand down" in Iraq. Iraqi troops don't want to "stand up" and fight for their own country. America's military itself has become a de facto mercenary force that's propping up Malaki's government on the American taxpayers' dime because Malaki can't convince his own people to support the very government they supposedly elected into office.

And this son of a Shiite has the audacity to stand in front of Congress and lay a guilt trip on the American people about not removing Hussein from power after we kicked him out of Kuwait?


Malaki's sense of responsibility is every bit as childish as that of the Bush administration. Everything that goes wrong is somebody else's fault, and somebody else needs to pick up the tab to fix it.

For years, we heard Rovewellian claims of having "turned the corner" in Iraq. Now, creeping into the rhetoric, is the "last chance" gambit. How long will we listen to them play that saw?

The American public needs to tell Messrs Maliki and Bush that we've heard "last chance" for the last time.


Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes from Virginia Beach, Virginia. Read his commentaries at ePluribus Media and Pen and Sword.


  1. Anonymous4:49 PM

    Bravo Zulu.
    Left Coast

  2. He got applause from his half-witted masters as he blathered on. I will speak only for myself: what did I ever do to deserve this government?

  3. Thanks, LC.


    Don't blame yourself. It's not your fault.

  4. So why do we keep trying to do what others have failed at?

  5. Is it possible that Maliki's speech was written, in whole or in part, by Bush staffers? I know they wrote a speech for some other Iraqi dignitary who visited the White House in the past couple of years.

  6. Maliki knows who puts the hummus on his pita bread. The parts I've seen quoted had to have been written by Rove, unless our biotech industry has managed to develop the Stepford Neural Reorganization™ process they've been working so hard to perfect. That "Let 1991 never be repeated" is truly over the edge.

  7. oh, wait, that would be oil paid for in US dollars. Since the m3 is no longer published, we don't know who's buying those these days. I haven't checked lately on the planned Iranian oil bourse, so I dunno what's up with that. I sure wish I'd invested (not that I have anything to invest, but, hey) in Euros about three years ago.

    My question would be why are we letting our rail system (including public transportation light rail systems) deteriorate further?

    Another question I have is whether the unusual profits the oil companies are making will be invested in processing plants to utilize the Naval oil shales?

  8. Mike B.,

    I think that's entirely possible, though the Bushies claim they didn't. I believe the remark was that they'd "read an earlier draft."

  9. Kathleen,

    Yeah, the 1991 line put me over the top, that's for sure.


    Boy, you sure got me on the rail system issue. It hasn't even come up in the energy discussion, has it? I sure haven't heard anything.

  10. Anonymous9:26 AM

    Unless one has lived among the Arabs for some time, one will not necessarily understand subtle differences between Arab culture and American culture.

    Arabic is an extremely poetical language; all most every word derives from a 3 consonant root; by doubling a consonant, adding prefixes or suffixes, or changing the vowels between the consonants, you change the shading of a word.

    Not for no reason do Arabs truly love eloquence and their poetry, in fact, more than a few Muslims claim that the beauty of the language of the Koran is proof of its divine origin.

    This fact, and the fact that the Arab world has never known a democracy, or a truly free society, results in one of the quirks of Arab culture. If one is forced to lie by a force majeure, no shame attaches to doing so, but rather one should take pride in using as flowery and eloquent language as possible. Malaki is merely doing what many Iraqis did during the era of Saddam.

    Why Americans, an obstensibly free people, want to listen to such supplications is a whole different topic...

  11. Unfortunately, few if any of us in America could understand the speech except through translation. But as translated, it sure sounded like the standard menu.

  12. Anonymous11:54 AM

    I really need to make your blog a regular read, Mr. Huber. Over time I've tended to read your analyses and comments with interest. Sure you're kind of wonky, but call a spade a spade, eh? Good stuff. I'll check in more than occasionally, from here on out.

  13. Danny,

    Thanks for the nice words. Yes, the goal around here is to keep a balance of analysis and wonk--I balance them some days better than others.

    I also try to look at the issues of the day from an angle that isn't being covered in the larger media, blog or otherwise.

    My head's still exploding over Malaki's "no more 1991s" remark. And to think some members of Congress actually applauded that one. (You can pretty much figure out which ones.)

  14. Anonymous5:47 PM


    It sure has taken you along time to coming around about ever voting repugnant. I am very glad though that it has happened.


    Buzz Meeks

    The GOP- 'Murica's Fifth Column