Sunday, July 23, 2006

Disobedient Lapdogs

Yesterday, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, the speaker of Iraq's Parliament, called the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq "butcher's work."

The speaker, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, a Sunni Islamist who quickly developed a reputation for provocative public comments after his election in late April, also said the American government wanted Iraq "to stay under the American boot."

"We know there was a corrupt regime in Saddam, but a regime should be removed by surgery, not by butchering," he said during a speech at a United Nations-sponsored conference on transitional justice. "The U.S. occupation is butcher's work under the slogan of democracy and human rights and justice."

"Leave us to solve our problems," he continued. "We don't need an agenda from outside." [...]

Today, on "Meet the Press," Tim Russert asked the White House's Chief of Staff, Joshua Bolten, about al-Mashhadani's comments. Judd at Think Progress has the video and the transcript:

RUSSERT: But it must be hard for people all across this country who have given almost 2600 American men and women their lives on the ground in Iraq and for the leader of the parliament to call us butchers.

BOLTEN: Yeah, I think that is hard. That's not the rhetoric I think you will hear from Prime Minister Malaki when he comes to visit the President in a couple of days. I was with the President when he went to Baghdad last month and the meetings he had especially in private with Prime Minister Malaki were very encouraging. There was a strong sense throughout all of the people we met with, including, candidly, the Speaker, of appreciation for the sacrifice that so many Americans have made. And I think you will find Prime Minister Malaki expressing that sentiment very strongly when he is here in the United States.

...If he knows what's good for him.

Bolten should keep in mind that al-Maliki (not Malaki) has shown flashes of very un-lapdog-like behavior -- like when he criticized Israel's airstrikes against Lebanon, which the U.S., of course, is supporting:

"The Israeli attacks and airstrikes are completely destroying Lebanon's infrastructure," Mr. Maliki said at an afternoon news conference inside the fortified Green Zone, which houses the American Embassy and the seat of the Iraqi government. "I condemn these aggressions and call on the Arab League foreign ministers' meeting in Cairo to take quick action to stop these aggressions. We call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression."

You can see where al-Maliki is coming from. He knows a little something about foreign powers bombing a country's infrastructure into ruins.

No comments: