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 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.