Yesterday, Western news outlets published shocking reports (via Memeorandum archives) on Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s press conference with reporters. The articles described a bitter and defiant man who was very upset with the assistance his country was receiving from the US. But, NOT ONE of the international articles included this from his press conference (translated from Maliki’s website):
“We feel and know the great help the United States and President Bush gave us (IRAQ). They rescued Iraq from oppression and dictatorship and helped set up the current democratic government in Iraq, even though it still needs to mature fully, and the freedom Iraqis enjoy. None of this would have happened without the effort (of the USA) and hard work…”
“Our success is Presidents Bush’s success and America’s success and failure will affect both of us.”
Instead, the media grossly distorted the information from this press conference to paint the picture of a bitter and ungrateful Iraqi leader.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki (L) and Iraq’s National Security Advisor Muwafaq al-Rubaie meet with the heads of foreign diplomatic missions in Iraq at the fortified Green Zone area in Baghdad. (AFP)
Here is just one example from the hundreds of reprints- this one by the Associated Press at FOX News– on the press conference held by al-Maliki on January 17, 2007, in Baghdad:
In comments on U.S. President George W. Bush’s revised strategy for the country, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also told Milan-based Corriere della Sera that the situation in Iraq would not be so dire if the Americans had moved faster .
“The situation would be much better if the United States had immediately sent our security forces more adequate weapons and equipment. If they had committed themselves more and with greater speed we would have had a lot fewer deaths among Iraqi civilians and American soldiers,” al-Maliki was quoted as saying by Corriere.
But in Baghdad, an Iraqi government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, denied that al-Maliki made the comments to Corriere. “The news circulated by the media about the Iraqi prime minister’s declaration regarding relations with American administration are baseless.”
Hat Tip Cornhusker
The Times Online included an audio cut with their coverage HERE.
From the 5 minute audio clip you hear al-Maliki comment on:
– 116 of his family members were executed by Saddam. Yet, I had ordered people to treat him with respect.
– The court and judicial system carried out the execution under required standards.
– Mistakes did happen during the execution but they came from minor people. We have referred those people who shouted during the execution and action will be taken.
– I would like to assure President Bush that Saddam was not subjected to any acts of revenge or physical attack but it was a judicial process that sentenced him to death according to Iraqi law.
Here’s where we get to the truth on what was really said at the press conference…
Iraqi American Haider Ajina wrote in an email on what Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki really said in his press conference:
I looked at al-Maliki’s personal web page and read the official spokesperson comments. Maliki’s comments were taken completely out of context and even reported inaccurately. The news first was reported by an Italian paper totally inaccurately. I will get more details and get back to you.
It is interesting that the media missed Maliki’s announcement of the arrest of over 400 Mahdi army people, in spite of the strong support he has from Muktada. Maliki is doing this to show that he will punish all who do not obey the law.
By the way, Muktada’s party said they will come back to the Parliament. They left, if you remember, when Maliki went to Jordan to talk with President Bush, now they are back with their tails between their legs….
Later, Haider Ajina writes back with more:
I have read the interview Maliki gave to a number of Western papers. They have taken his comments completely out of context.
Maliki even accused the LA Times person of asking devilish or tricky misleading questions.
The LA Times person was trying to put words in Maliki’s mouth and Maliki rebutted him.
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Maliki said in his interview that Iraqis have their freedom because of the sacrifices and help of the USA and President Bush and Iraq is grateful. This they did not report.
This is Maliki’s personal web page, it is not in English. The link take you directly to the interview of the 17th…
It is very maddening how the papers twist what he said and even make up stuff.
And, later MORE from Haider Ajina translated from the press conference:
Here is the answer he gave to the LA Times. After he accused them of asking a devilish or misleading question…..
“We feel and know the great help the United States and President Bush gave us (IRAQ). They rescued Iraq from oppression and dictatorship and helped set up the current democratic government in Iraq, even though it still needs to mature fully, and the freedom Iraqis enjoy. None of this would have happened without the effort (of the USA) and hard work. Thus, there exists a close relationship of mutual interests between me and President Bush and between Iraq and the USA.”
“Our success is Presidents Bush’s success and America’s success and failure will affect both of us. Thus we have a very close and regular dialogue. We may some times disagree about a certain matter but we eventually come to an agreement…”
For some odd reason, we did not see this in our media reports on the press conference.
Why is this not surprising?
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