Allawi gems

Josh Marshall has posted on this “amazing exchange” on Thursday’s PBS Newshour between Jim Lehrer and Iraqi puppet Prime Minister Iyad Allawi:

LEHRER: What would you say to somebody in the United States who questions whether or not getting rid of Saddam Hussein was worth the cost of more than a thousand lives now and billions and billions of U.S. dollars?

ALLAWI: Well, I assure you if Saddam was still there, terrorists will be hitting there again at Washington and New York, as they did in the murderous attack in September; they’ll be hitting also on other places in Europe and the Middle East.

When I heard this, I wanted to shake the softballs out of Lehrer’s throat, as he at least could of asked Allawi how his answers might square with the 9/11 Commission report:

to date we have seen no evidence that [Iraq-al Qaeda] contacts ever developed into a collaborative operational relationship. Nor have we seen evidence indicating that Iraq cooperated with al Qaeda in developing or carrying out any attacks against the United States. (p. 66)

Here are a couple more neo-agitprop gems from Allawi’s performance:

LEHRER: How many Iraqis have died since the U.S. military operation began?

ALLAWI: The figures we have so far, this is the ministry of health figures… in the last five months, this is taking into account the most recent ones, deaths, three-thousand-six hundred and something, I can’t remember the fractions over six hundred. Civilians have been killed by terrorist attacks in the last five months by terrorists, and more than twelve thousand injured now.

You have to be killed by the bad guys to be mentionable. Iraq Body Count has about 13,000 civilian deaths recorded since early 2003, mostly from US bombing and other military operations.

ALLAWI: …there are a lot of areas in Iraq, the majority of areas are free of such violence.

Juan Cole eloquently refuted this oft-used nonsense tack by asking, “If America were Iraq, What would it be Like”??:

…What if 3,300 Americans had died in car bombings, grenade and rocket attacks, machine gun spray, and aerial bombardment in the last week? That is a number greater than the deaths on September 11, and if America were Iraq, it would be an ongoing, weekly or monthly toll….[What if the rulers] maintained that the citizens of the United States are, under these conditions, refuting pessimism and that freedom and democracy are just around the corner?

The Bush people are ballsy to trot out this brutal intelligence asset and have him maintain these fantasies of success that the recent CIA intelligence estimate (signed onto even by some Republicans) has declared are really “pitiful” failures.

2 Responses to “Allawi gems”

  1. david says:

    Whoa! Has this thing become a full-time job?

    Sorry I haven’t responded to you sooner. Yes, it is somewhat fun to tear things down. More gratifying to to see something built properly. Still finishing the inside of our new shed. Not sure what part it will play in our lives yet.

    Gratifying to see a link back to my site!

    Take care.

  2. Deep Blade says:

    Yeah, lately I’ve been overflowing with stuff I think should be posted. Not even half gets put up. I stay up too late at night, and I’m always scrambling to get all the work done that I need to do to teach my classes. But it keeps me going. Hope my two readers appreciate it!