While on a trip to Abu Dhabi, Darth Vader decided to beam down to Baghdad and rattle a few cages. As always, he turned on the charm:
Once safely ensconced in Baghdad’s fortified Green Zone, however, Cheney appeared to reserve his toughest language for his normal target – the press. Cheney held a lot of photo ops with key Iraqi leaders like Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki, but was adamant about not taking questions. At one point, Cheney emphasized to the assembled journalists that “this is just a photo spray.” Later in the day, as reporters filed into an embassy conference room for another photo of Cheney they overheard him tell his staff “then we kick the press out.”
He evidently had a few things he wanted to get off his chest:
U.S. officials have been livid since discovering that Iraq’s fledgling parliament – hardly a hive of activity in the first place – was planning to take a two-month summer recess, postponing work on a bill spelling out how oil money would be shared among Iraq’s ethnic and sectarian groups or a law authorizing new regional elections.
Those foolish Iraqi leaders evidently got the silly idea that taking extended vacations were a perk that came with having a democracy.
Speaking of Iraqi lawmakers, they appear to be crawling out from under their rock and deciding it is time for the US occupation to end. Maybe that was what Cheney was so anxious to talk about. After all, Dubya had just assured he Saudi government that the US would not be withdrawing from Iraq during his presidency. Imagine having to explain to King Abdullah that there’s been a change of plans? Not a good look.
Apparently Bush never saw fit to run the idea by the Iraqis. Just who do these “freely elected” Iraqis think they are anyway?