Was Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki’s address to Congress written for him?

If you thought the speech Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki gave to Congress the other day sounded awfully familiar, you’re not the only one. The speech hit upon all of the Bush Administration’s favorite talking points about Iraq like how it’s the front line in the War!On!Terror!, how the Iraqi people were now free, along with plenty of attempts to tie it all into 9/11 and—the Republicans’ all time favorite bogeyman—al-Qaida. It made for a lot of deja vu moments listening to it and Fred Kaplan of Slate appears to have had a similar reaction:

He expressed gratitude to Congress for standing with the Iraqi people—a line that drew the loudest and longest of several standing ovations (self-righteousness being the favorite sentiment on Capitol Hill). He described Iraq as a country where people “rely on dialogue to resolve their differences,” where “women are equal to men” (in the constitution anyway), and where he plans very soon to establish a free-market economy and to loosen restrictions on foreign investment. These fairy tales, too, triggered what the transcripts of speeches before the Soviet Union’s Central Committee used to call “stormy applause.”

Maliki gave not a hint that most of the violence gripping Iraq these days has nothing to do with al-Qaida-type terrorism—and everything to do with sectarian conflicts, if not outright civil war, between and among the native Sunni and Shiite Arabs.

Did Bush aides write the speech? White House spokesman Tony Snow said at his daily press conference that there had been “conversations about the speech” ahead of time—from which one could reasonably infer that they engaged, at least, in heavy editing.

It’s not like the move would be unprecedented as Kaplan points out that White House handlers did the honors for al-Maliki’s predecessor, Iyad Allawi, two years earlier. It’s just a further example of how this Administration tries desperately to control the information it gives out to, not only the public, but Congress in hopes of keeping people from realizing what a bunch of fuck ups they are.

Which is why it’s ironic that the Administration then turned around and announced that they were going to be sending more troops into Iraq because Baghdad has become one of the inner-most rings of Hell in terms of the violence and bloodshed taking place. It was particularly telling listening to Bush make the announcement as he struggled (and failed) to find a way to break the news without it sounding like an admission that things weren’t going swimmingly in Iraq.

6 thoughts on “Was Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki’s address to Congress written for him?

  1. The Daily Show had a great take on this with a fake translation of his speech.

    Also, this will probably cause some thread drift, and I’m sorry if it does, but has anyone seen this trailer: FreedomtoFascism ?  It’s a very disturbing trailer, and I look forward to seeing it.

    Again, sorry about thread drift.

  2. Hmmm, seems to be conspiracy theory, but will be interesting to see the info none the less

    Yea I can’t wait to see Jon Stewart slam the Maliki speech.

  3. Sorry bout the double dip, but I saw the interview from the website Buzz linked.  And the guy has some really good points, but he likes to jump to conlcusions a lot.  He never explained his immigration issue and how it has nothing to do with terrorism, but that it is because the federal bank wants to control us.  Um if I explain something that is not already known as fact, I tend to give sources.  I understand it’s an interview, but he never fully explained the issue.  And that was just one point.  Anyways, his topic looks interesting, but has conspiracy theory written all over it due to the holes.

  4. Dirk: PRESIDENT BUSH: One of the things that’s important is for—and one of the reasons why you trust the commanders on the ground is because there needs to be flexibility. And I explained to the Prime Minister that I’ll be making my decisions based upon the recommendations of General Casey. And, obviously, the violence in Baghdad is still terrible, and, therefore, there needs to be more troops. In other words, the commanders said, what more can we do; how best to address the conditions on the ground. And they have recommended, as a result of working with the Prime Minister, based upon his recommendation, that we increase the number of U.S. troops in Baghdad, alongside of Iraqi troops. And we’re going to do that.

    This may make it easier to find for anyone who doesn’t want to waste time going through the entire BushBabble. smile
    I certainly hope another 9 years of war doesn’t become one more similarity.  downer

  5. One of the things that’s important is for—and one of the reasons why you trust the commanders on the ground…

    Why didn’t he trust them before they were on the ground? Oh, wait, he doesn’t listen to focus groups.

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