Bolten Says Iraqi Speaker, Who Called U.S. ‘Butchers,’ Appreciates ‘the Sacrifice Americans Have Made’

Yesterday, the speaker of the Iraqi Parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, said “We know there was a corrupt regime in Saddam, but a regime should be removed by surgery, not by butchering. The U.S. occupation is butcher’s work under the slogan of democracy and human rights and justice.”

Today on Meet the Press, White House Chief of Staff Joshua Bolten said he has been in meetings with al-Mashhadani and the speaker has an “appreciation for the sacrifice so many Americans have made.” Watch it:

Bolten on Meet the Press


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.