(BAGHDAD) In very strong but measured remarks before an audience consisting mostly of Iraqi veterans and their families, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki cautioned that the United States could face civil war if disunity continues among differing factions in the United States Congress.
Speaking gravely to a hushed audience, Maliki stated: “It’s only a matter of time before a civil war breaks out between the red states and the blue states.” He was referring to the recent convention of differentiating between states that have voted predominately Democratic or Republican for the last two Presidential election cycles.
“We get CNN over here,” Maliki said. “And even though it’s a day late, we also get the Arabic edition of The New York Times, so we know what’s going on in the United States.”
“You need to care for your people,” Maliki pleaded to the leaders of Congress. “If you don’t, then you should be ousted from your leadership positions as swiftly as a convicted thief’s left hand is separated from his arm in Saudi Arabia.”
Maliki singled out Senators Harry Reid, Patrick Leahy, Carl Levin, and Charles Schumer as well as Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, calling them “haboobs,” an Arabic slang term which, loosely translated, means “castrated camel rider.”
Maliki suggested that the Democratic Party replace people like Sen. Levin, a Michigan Democrat, with someone less partisan and divisive. “No wonder no progress has been made on Social Security,” he said.
“I believe the tenor of rhetoric in Congress grows so extreme that it will likely lead to a brutal civil war among rival political factions,” Maliki added.
“No effective legislation, no matter how tactically proposed, can succeed without at least some diplomacy,” Mr. Maliki said. “You in the Legislative Branch can’t just keep issuing nonsensical subpoenas to your Executive Branch as if there were no separation of powers, and then blow a gasket in front of your American media in order to manipulate the people.”
“We here in Iraq know a show trial when we see one,” Maliki said, referring specifically to the Senate’s repeated attempts to take down Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez for the purpose of having the Democratically controlled Senate appoint a new attorney general so that impeachment proceedings against President Bush could begin. “Civil wars have started for lesser reasons,” he added.
When asked by a reporter from the International Herald Tribune if Democratic leaders of both the House and Senate should be ousted, Maliki shook his head and put up both hands as if to back down from the remark. “I’m not saying that…,” he said emphatically, but then added, after a long pause, “…at this time.”
“I think that Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi certainly deserve a ‘last chance,’” he stated, making quotation marks in the air with his fingers. “But if the divisive rhetoric doesn’t stop, these leaders should certainly voluntarily step down, and, if not, members of their party, in the interest of unity, should oust them.”
In what Maliki termed a polite and well-meaning push, he has put the US Congress to a timetable, saying that he expects resolution to several important domestic issues before the first Presidential primary in 2008.
Maliki urged Congress to come back immediately from its vacation and solve some of its unresolved issues. When asked what those issues might be, Maliki said, “Permanent tax cuts would be nice.”
Maliki made his remarks before hundreds of veterans and their families at the first national convention of the Veterans of the Iraqi War of Independence held in Baghdad’s newest Holiday Inn. The V.I.W.I. is Iraq’s newest organization of combat veterans.
Maliki apologized in advance for comments that might appear “discourteous,” but added, “It’s about time someone said them.”
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