Saturday, August 05, 2006


Last week, the Iraqi prime Minister, Nuri al-Mliki, visited London & Washington. He had the chance to address the Congress. The man has been to these cities looking for help to his country. There are some points drew my attention in his tour. First is the focus of Mr. Maliki on showing gratitude to the US people, something which Iraqis reluctantly refer to. Mr. Maliki said, addressing Military Personnel and Families at Fort Belvoir, Virginia:
"I appreciate your colleagues who offered their lives on the land of Iraq, and I tell you that Iraqis will never forget these sacrifices because they have really participated in ridding Iraq of dictatorship… But once again, we give you all the salute -- we salute you and we thank you very much for all that you've offered to Iraq. "
One of my previous posts was about
not being grateful to the Americans.

Second is the fear that the US would abandon the Iraqis. Mr. Maliki said in his speech:
"Let 1991 never be repeated, for history will be most unforgiving,"
Iraqis of different political intentions are preoccupied with this idea. Insurgents are looking enthusiastically to a day on which the US declares her failure. On the other hand the ordinary Iraqi citizen fears to be handled to another dictator.
I posted something contains the
same idea:

"… in the year 1991 operation Desert Storm kicked Saddam out of Kuwait. A popular uprising, against Saddam, spread all over Iraq the very day on which president Bush, the father, declared the end of the military operations. The Iraqi people thought that the Americans would not stop at that point and they should help the uprising of March 1991. Leaving the Iraqis alone to be torn apart by Saddam still resides in their hearts."

Third is the conflict between Israel & Hezbollah. A good deal of pressure was put on Mr. Maliki to denounce Hezbollah. Now, in the midst of peoples of the Middle East and the Islamic world which view the conflict like this:
It is so uneasy for Mr. Maliki to denounce Hezbollah.I picture the matter as asking a man to get on his soapbox praising black people amidst a Ku Klux Klan group. Congressmen who insisted on Mr. Maliki to do so are asking him to fire at his political future.

In a country like Iraq, words like the
following to be said by an Iraqi official are considered an amazing step:

"Who could possibly watch the pictures of innocent civilians being killed, or incidentally innocent civilians killed in Israel too, without wanting this to stop now?"
(Innocent civilians Killed in Israel!!) That's what I might call a real change in the political speech in Iraq; a country which its leaders used to call Israel the (Zionist Régime). Change, sometimes, needs time. An Iraqi politician attended a conference in Israel (I think in 2004) and he was very frank in declaring it. The visit caused him lot of condemnation and he was kicked out of the Iraqi Congress Party of Ahmed Chalabi. Personally, I thought the man had politically finished. The surprise was that Mithal Alusi, the politician speaking about, managed to be a member of the Iraqi Parliament, while Ahmed Chalabi couldn't. It means that 1/275 of the Iraqis do not oppose normal relations with Israel (the Iraqi Parliament consists of 275 members).

White House spokesman Tony Snow made a good point, concerning the speech of Mr. Maliki, by saying:
"Let me try to explain democracy to people on Capitol Hill. It involves such rights as free speech and freedom of opinion."
Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean called Maliki:
"…an "anti-Semite" for failing to denounce Hezbollah for its attacks against Israel."
I do not understand what is meant by 'anti-Semite'. Is it used as a term refers to those who are against Israel? According to my knowledge, Arabs are Semite, so how come a Semite hates his race. I need some explanation in this point.

Howard Kurtz, Washington Post Staff Writer,

"I'm far from thrilled with Nouri al-Maliki's comments, but I think we have to keep two things in mind:
One, the Iraqis picked him as the head of their elected government, and he's not going to agree with the U.S. on everything.
Two, al-Maliki has his own domestic pressures to deal with as he tries to hold that government together, and chastising Israel may be the Baghdad version of playing to the base."
"If al-Maliki suddenly took a pro-Israel stance, wouldn't much of his country view his as an American puppet?"

James Taranto

"Well, what exactly did al-Maliki say? Here are some quotes:
"We call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression."
"[Israel's] excessive use of force is to be condemned."
"What is happening is an operation of mass destruction and mass punishment and an operation using great force that Israel has--and Lebanon does not."
"While Israel has stated its military objective is to hit Hezbollah's infrastructure and physical strength, it has, in the words of the Lebanese prime minister, torn the country to shreds."

In fairness to al-Maliki, we should note that he didn't say all these things. Only the first and third quotes are from him; the second and fourth are from U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan.
We'll agree with Reid, Schumer and Durbin, then, that al-Maliki is as bad as Annan, and we look forward to their condemnation of Annan."

Another thoughtful perspective comes from Marshall Wittmann:

"The Moose harbors no illusions about a dramatic transformation of Muslim attitudes toward the Jewish state. But, it is a dramatic improvement when words cannot kill."


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