Last weekend, the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, described the U.S. occupation of Iraq as “butcher’s work.” Confronted with those remarks on Sunday, White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten said he had met with al-Mashhadani privately and believes he has an “appreciation for the sacrifice so many Americans have made.”
If al-Mashhandi appreciates the sacrifices of Americans, he has a funny way of showing it. At a news conference, he said “I personally think whoever kills an American soldier in defense of his country would have a statue built for him in that country.” Also this:
Saying that the U.S. seeks to control oil fields in southern Iraq, Mashadani added, “America didn’t come to the country for our sake. America came with a pure Zionist agenda.”
Remember, the neoconservatives in the Bush administration promised us that invading Iraq and creating a democratic government would stabilize the Middle East. From Newsweek:
Last year’s invasion of Iraq and toppling of Saddam Hussein were supposed to bring prosperity and stability to the Middle East. “The road to Jerusalem,” the mantra went, led through Baghdad. Neoconservatives and other hawks within the Bush administration expected that the United States would win respect in the Arab world through a massive show of force, and that Israel would be more comfortable making peace with the Palestinians once Saddam was gone.
President Bush today will meet with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and present an image of the Iraqi government as a strong ally of the United States. In reality, there are powerful forces in the Iraqi government who are completely at odds with U.S. interests.
It’s a reality that the White House and Josh Bolten prefer to ignore.