Transcendental Bloviation

Politics, Space, Japan

Monday, August 14, 2006

"Tea with the Queen ...."

Bush, on Iraqi speaker of the Parliament, Mahmoud al-Mashhadani:

I was impressed by him. He's a fellow that had been put in prison by Saddam and, interestingly enough, put in prison by us. And he made a decision to participate in the government. And he was an articulate person. He talked about running the parliament. It was interesting to see a person that could have been really bitter talk about the skills he's going to need to bring people together to run the parliament. And I found him to be a hopeful person.

They tell me that he wouldn't have taken my phone call a year ago—I think I might have shared this with you at one point in time—and there I was, sitting next to the guy. And I think he enjoyed it as much as I did. It was a refreshing moment.

Peter Galbraith asks, reasonably, who is this guy?

The incurious White House press corps never asked the obvious question: Why had the United States jailed al-Mashhadani? According to Sunnis and Shiites at the top levels of government in Iraq, al-Mashhadani was a member of, or closely associated with, two al-Qaeda-linked terrorists groups, Ansar Islam and Ansar al-Sunna. The first operated until 2003 in a no man's land high in the mountains between Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran while the second has been responsible for some of the worse terrorist attacks on Iraq's Shiites and Kurds. The Iraqis say they gave the Americans specific intelligence on al-Mashhadani's affiliations with those groups and his actions in support of terrorists.

According to Wikipedia
Ansar al-Islam is alleged to be connected to the al-Qaeda, and provided an entry point for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and other Afghan veterans to enter Iraq. According to the United States, they had established facilities for the production of poisons, including ricin. The US also claimed that Ansar al-Islam had links with Saddam Hussein, thus claiming a link between Hussein and al-Qaeda. Mullah Krekar denied this claim, and declared his hostility to Saddam.

Wow, WMD and the supposed Al Qaeda link, and this guy who was affiliated with them now sits in Parliament.

Ansar al-Sunna? It doesn't get better. Again, according to Wikipedia:
Jaish Ansar al-Sunna has taken credit for several suicide bombings in Iraq, including the devastating attacks on the offices of two Kurdish political parties in Irbil on February 1, 2004, that killed at least 109 people .... It also has a strong presence in Mosul and northern Iraq. It claimed responsibility for a major suicide bombing at the dining hall of a US base near Mosul on December 21, 2004 that killed 14 US soldiers, 4 US citizen Halliburton employees and 4 Iraqi soldiers.

We don't negotiate with terrorists. We kill them.

Yes, but ... someone once said that a failed revolutionary is a terrorist, and a successful one gets to have tea with the queen. And someday, someone will say that a successful one gets to go mountainbiking with the President.


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