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Al Maliki Represents Me Better Than Virgil Goode

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I've got no strings
To hold me down
To make me bow to Cheney's crown
I had strings
But now I'm free
I'm Nouri al Maliki

Nouri Kamel Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki, the puppet Prime Minister of Iraq, represents me and the people of Virginia's Fifth Congressional District better than Congressman Virgil Hamlin Goode [rhymes with lewd], Jr. This is not an idiosyncratic opinion so much as a measurable fact.

Virgil Goode voted Presente! on the war money three weeks ago and will no doubt vote Yes on it this week. He always votes for it, despite the wishes of those of us living in his district. Of course, he would never concede that his vote could even be translated into Spanish, because Goode believes our most desperate wish is to proclaim English our "official" language. Of course, I won't mind if other languages are only spoken for fun, as long as I get paid whenever I talk English, but that's not Goode's agenda. His goal is to bash immigrants and foreigners and non-Christians. I'm a non-Christian with a lot of friends who are foreigners and great-grand-parents who were immigrants. I'm prouder that Keith Ellison borrowed a Koran from local boy Thomas Jefferson's collection to be sworn in on than I am that local congressman Virgil Goode nearly suffered a heart attack over the episode. For his health and the rest of ours I'd like to see him take up golfing full-time beginning next year.

Al Maliki is a different story. He's been working with Bush/Cheney to craft an illegal treaty establishing a permanent occupation of Iraq, without input from the US Congress or the Iraqi Parliament. Congress has never said it won't approve of such a treaty. After all, it continues year after year to go out of its way to fund the ongoing occupation. But some members of Congress have said, and the House has passed a measure saying, that Bush should get Congress's approval before signing off. The Iraqi Parliament, on the other hand, has made very clear it will never approve such a thing. That's why I used to say that the Iraqi Parliament represented me better than Virgil does. Then Maliki suggested that he would have to run the treaty past the Parliament. That made Maliki look somewhat decent and shrewd. Now Maliki has let it be known that he is rejecting Bush-Cheney's draft treaty himself and drafting his own version. This makes him look like a completely different, more vertebrate, species than a U.S. congress member.

Here's Bob Fertik's take on Maliki's stunningly bold move. And here's why this matters: the United Nation's fig leaf for the US occupation of Iraq expires this December 31st. If that happens without a new treaty having been put in place and accepted by all parties, a treaty that provides US troops, mercenaries, and contractors immunity from Iraqi law, then . . . Iraqi law will be able to try and punish crimes by American troops and contractors. If that appears likely to happen, Blackwater and other contractors will pull out. If Blackwater pulls out, the occupation will be untenable even if Congress has already approved stealing the money from our great grandchildren to pay for it, and even if the money has already been handed out.

The American and Iraqi people have long wanted the occupation of Iraq brought to an end. Assuming Congress fails to cut off the funding, our best hope of having our wishes represented by anyone with the power to fulfill them lies with al Maliki. So, I say, celebrate the freedom of a puppet who just may be cutting his strings!

I've got no strings
To hold me down
To make me bow to Cheney's crown
I had strings
But now I'm free
I'm Nouri al Maliki

Hi-ho the me-ri-o
That's the only way to go
I want the world to know
There'll be no mo' immunity

I've got no strings
So drop your gun
I'm not tied up to anyone
Goode's got strings
But you can see
So does Nancy Pelosi

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David Swanson is the author of "When the World Outlawed War," "War Is A Lie" and "Daybreak: Undoing the Imperial Presidency and Forming a More Perfect Union." He blogs at http://davidswanson.org and http://warisacrime.org and works for the online (more...)
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