Under the guise of a political visit Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has successfully fled his country and reached the shores of America. Yesterday he went through the political motions by attending a press conference with President Bush. Today he addresses congress. The Iraqi leader has made the typical, perfunctory requests for more troops and more equipment to defend his country stepped in civil war.
Violence, especially in the capital of Baghdad, has been increasing in Iraq ever since the U.S. invasion in 2003. It has risen since the President’s “Mission Accomplished” declaration, it has risen since the Vice President’s “last throws” statement, it has risen since the elections, and recently it has infringed upon even the “Green Zone.”
Some say Maliki is here to shore up support the US effort to bring peace to his country. Others say he is here for more mundane reasons. While violence has gripped Iraq for the last three years, unemployment and corruption are also on the rise. There is also the inability to train adequate Iraqi security forces.
“Listen, we don’t want to embarrass the guy or have the American people lose faith,” said one anonymous official. “Truth is, he’s going to just hang here for a while, do some conferences, dedicate some statutes. Things are a mess over there right now. Mr. Maliki is happy to be here.”
After addressing congress Maliki will break for lunch with President Bush and military families. His next move is anyone’s guess.
“He is here to shore up support for his country,” one of Maliki’s handlers said. “And while he is here he plans on studying your wonderful system of democracy, perhaps even visiting one of your renowned institutions of higher learning, eating at your elegant restaurants, and visiting your beautiful beaches. He is eager to learn all about America.”