Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hey Nouri ... I am in town

Bush in Baghdad

President Bush arrived today in Baghdad in a surprise visit to Iraq.

No one knew about the visit but a handful of people including some reporters, media sources said. Though not one Iraqi knew about it.

But wait a minute.

Isn’t Iraq supposed to be a sovereign country, moreover, a democratic country with a brand spanking new prime minister, and that international diplomacy and protocol requires visiting heads of states to inform their guests of their visit.

I understand that security arrangement is so tight for the president, but its not like Iraq’s Kurdish President and Shia Prime minister would tell on him to any of the twenty or so religious Sunni, Shia, Kurdish, and government-affiliated terrorist groups operating in Iraq now. I am not counting the non-religious groups.

Prime minister of Iraq, Nouri Al-Maliki found out about the visit only five minutes before Bush met with him. apparently no one at Bush's White House have enough trust in him to tell him about this visit. and perhaps they don’t respect him as a real prime minister who was supposed to be elected democratically.

Nouri Al-Maliki appeared sweetly surprised; smiling from ear to ear, like an overjoyed girlfriend happily shocked by her boyfriend’s gesture of asking her hand in marriage.

Obviously Al-Maliki did not even get a call from the president, something like “ Hey… Nouri, I am in town, I just dropped in to see how is everything going buddy”


This visit underscores the administration thinking that no Iraqi official, including the president and prime minister, merit any trust of advance knowledge of a visiting US president. And that Iraq, in reality, is no more than a US-owned territory.

Any American official can go to Iraq, land at Baghdad international airport, stay in the Green Zone, drive around in a hummer, with no questions asked, like he was going to Miami of Detroit

Imagine if the much-celebrated Iraqi prime minister sneaks into the presidential compounds at Camp David, or even at the Iraqi embassy in Washington.

This would be unthinkable in the United States, but in Iraq, anything goes.

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