I saw this story the other day:
By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer
Wed Aug 22, 8:58 AM ET
DAMASCUS, Syria – Iraq’s prime minister lashed out Wednesday at U.S. criticism, saying no one has the right to impose timetables on his elected government and that his country “can find friends elsewhere.”
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blamed the U.S. presidential campaign for the recent tough words about his government, from President Bush and from other U.S. politicians.
Bush on Tuesday said he was frustrated with Iraqi leaders’ inability to bridge political divisions. But he added that only the Iraqi people can decide whether to sideline al-Maliki.
“Clearly, the Iraqi government’s got to do more,” Bush said. “I think there’s a certain level of frustration with the leadership in general, inability to work — come together to get, for example, an oil revenue law passed or provincial elections.”
Full article: AP: Iraqi PM lashes out at U.S. critics
Then the next day I saw this story:
CRAWFORD, Texas (CNN) — A powerhouse Republican lobbying firm with close ties to the White House has begun a public campaign to undermine the government of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, CNN has confirmed.
This comes as President Bush is publicly taking great pains to reiterate his support for the embattled Iraqi leader.
Al-Maliki’s government has come under sharp criticism and scrutiny from Washington lawmakers and officials, as reflected in Thursday’s National Intelligence Estimate.
A senior Bush administration official told CNN the White House is aware of the lobbying campaign by Barbour Griffith & Rogers because the firm is “blasting e-mails all over town” criticizing al-Maliki and promoting the firm’s client, former interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, as an alternative to al-Maliki.
But the senior administration official insisted that White House officials have “absolutely no involvement” in the campaign to remove al-Maliki, nor have they given it their blessing.
“There’s just no connection whatsoever,” the official said. “There’s absolutely no involvement.”
When asked whether the White House will ask the prominent Republican lobbying firm to stop lashing out at al-Maliki, the official said, “I don’t rule it out.”
Pressed on why allies of the White House would be contradicting the president publicly, the senior administration official said of the lobbyists, “They’re making a lot of money.”
Full article: CNN: Powerhouse GOP firm working to undermine Iraqi PM
So basically, al-Maliki got a little rebellious under all the withering criticism, and also he won’t hand over the oil.
The next day, a major GOP firm is handed a fat contract to agitate against al-Maliki.
Coincidence? I think not.
And where would exiled former PM Allawi get that kind of money?
*cough* CIA *cough*
The lobbyists have even parked the domain name AllawiForIraq.com.
Hillary Clinton also said we should throw al-Maliki under the bus. As usual, she is on the same page with the neo-cons.
I would HATE to be al-Maliki. Worst job EVAR.
He’s surrounded by a zillion impossible catch 22s and is simply stalling.
I hope he flees before a bullet makes the decision for him.