RUSH: Yesterday we had a caller on this program who was all upset that Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister of Iraq, had thrown George W. Bush under the bus by seemingly endorsing Obama’s idiotic plan of troop withdrawal in 16 months. This, as the Washington Post points out today, is not what happened. Well, al-Maliki did, but the point is that al-Maliki has been all over the board on this. Max Boot of the Council on Foreign Relations has a piece in the Washington Post today. In fact, The Washington Post twice today, in their lead editorial and the Max Boot piece — Max used to be with the Wall Street Journal, by the way — savaged a bunch of premises that prop up Obama. Now, before I share with you some of the detail from Max Boot’s piece, I want to take you back in time, year ago, two years ago, three years ago. Remember, nobody disrespected Nouri al-Maliki more than our left wing and the Drive-By Media. They hated al-Maliki. They thought he was a puppet of Bush. Remember this? They thought he was a tool. In fact, they thought a lot of things. Some people thought he was a stealth Iranian agent. Some people thought he was out to sabotage us. Some people thought he was incompetent. Al-Maliki was not respected by anybody on the left including the Drive-By Media and now all of a sudden they adore him? Come on, al-Maliki’s running for reelection in Iraq. He’s betting on foreign aid in the Middle East. He’s watching the Obama craze in the United States. He’s trying to get some help here.
Now, there’s an Iraqi equivalent of General Shinseki. His name is Brigadier General Bilal al-Dayni, commander of Iraqi troops in Basra. He is saying, ‘We hope the Americans will stay until 2020.’ He’s the commander on the ground. And, by the way, as Max Boot points out today, Nouri al-Maliki lives in a green zone with Americans. He doesn’t travel around the country, doesn’t get in his car and drive home to Baghdad at night. He lives in a green zone. He works in a green zone. The commanders on the ground, the Iraqi commanders on the ground, again Brigadier General Bilal al-Dayni, commander of troops in Basra, say, ‘We hope the Americans will stay until 2020.’ The defense minister, Abdul Qadir, says his forces ‘cannot assume full responsibility for internal security until 2012 and for external security,’ meaning an invasion from Iran, ‘until 2018.’ And yet the Drive By Media is sitting there and they are all excited about this 2010 business because al-Maliki tended to agree with Obama.
Let’s consult Max Boot. He says: ‘This is part of a pattern for Maliki, who, though he won office and has stayed alive (literally and politically) with American support, has hardly been an unwavering friend of the United States — at least in public. Although he was an opponent of the Saddam Hussein regime, he was not a proponent of the US-led invasion. Having spent long years of exile in Syria and Iran, he has had to overcome deeply ingrained suspicions of the United States.’ And then Max Boot makes the point that he lives in a green zone, he doesn’t get out of there. ‘In May 2006, shortly after becoming prime minister, he claimed, ‘Our forces are capable of taking over the security in all Iraqi provinces within a year and a half.’ In October 2006, when violence was spinning out of control, Maliki declared that it would be ‘only a matter of months’ before his security forces could ‘take over the security portfolio entirely and keep some multinational forces only in a supporting role.’
‘President Bush wisely ignored Maliki. Instead of withdrawing US troops, he sent more. The prime minister wasn’t happy. On Dec. 15, 2006, the Wall Street Journal reported, ‘Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has flatly told Gen. George Casey, the top American military commander in Iraq, that he doesn’t want more US personnel deployed to the country, according to US military officials.’ When the surge went ahead anyway, Maliki gave it an endorsement described in news accounts as ‘lukewarm.’ In January 2007, with the surge just starting, Maliki predicted ‘that within three to six months our need for the American troops will dramatically go down.’ In April 2007, when most of Baghdad was still out of control, the prime minister said that Iraqi forces would assume control of security in every province by the end of the year. Even now, when the success of the surge is undeniable, Maliki,’ as is the case with Obama, ‘won’t give US troops their due,’ and he cites the Der Spiegel interview in which he mentioned his own political achievement.
The point of all this, ladies and gentlemen, is that al-Maliki has been saying since 2006, ‘Yeah, we’re going to be able to take over here in months. Get the Americans out of here, we’re going to handle our own security.’ So it was nothing out of the ordinary for al-Maliki to say, ‘Yeah, 2010, I like what Obama’s saying,’ because he had been saying it over and over again and he has been just as wrong as Obama is wrong. Then the story does mention the news from Brigadier General al-Dayni, who says he wants the Americans to stay until 2020, the Defense Minister Abdul Qadir says we need them here until 2012 and maybe 2018. This is what the Washington Post editorial is writing about today. There is no agreement. There is no universal agreement on the Obama strategery of getting us out by 2010 or in 16 months. So it’s a fascinating series of events.
Now, folks, one of the things that you may be asking about here, ‘Rush, you — even you — have said the American people don’t care about Iraq. They care about gasoline prices, energy and so forth, the local economy, the national economy.’ I still stand by that. I know that’s true. The reason we’re talking about this is because the Drive By Media in pure slavish sycophantic mode, more interested in helping make history than report it, is ignoring totally the substance of what Barack Obama is saying. They are in these countries where this news is being made and they are not reporting it. They think they are doing a bang up job reporting what’s going on over there, but they’re not. It takes a column by Max Boot to give us the perspective of Nouri al-Maliki. They are not reporting it. Somebody has to. The presidential elections matter. What presidents say and what they do and what they say they’re going to do is important. And this is important. This is national security and Barack Obama is demonstrating a total lack of qualification, a total lack of understanding. He is demonstrating he is not who he is. He is demonstrating he is not who they tell us he is. They have done a great job of papering over who he really is. Twenty years a member of Jeremiah Wright’s church, running around with pals like Bill Ayers who tried to blow up the Pentagon. Working as a community organizer for this ACORN group which is the most fraudulent voter registration group in the country. That’s who he was working for and with as a community organizer. This is important stuff and we’re being conned by a con man and his supporting cast that is this fawning bunch of disciples known as the Drive By Media. So it’s important.