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Sweet Column: Schakowsky, Emanuel urge Hastert to nix Iraqi PM speech to Congress

| 18 Comments


Rep. Jan Schakowsky and Rep. Rahm Emanuel are leading a drive to pressure House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert to cancel Wednesday's address to Congress by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki because he condemned Israeli attacks on Lebanon -- putting him at odds with U.S. policy.


Emanuel and Schakowsky, both Illinois Democrats with party leadership positions, were circulating a letter Monday among colleagues stating "with mounting evidence that the Iraqi leadership's goals are not in the best interests of the United States -- nor the Middle East -- Prime Minister Maliki's address is inappropriate.

"We are unaware of any prior instance where a world leader who actively worked against the interests of the United States was afforded such an honor.''

The visit of al-Maliki comes as violence in Israel and Lebanon, triggered by Hezbollah's kidnapping of Israeli soldiers in Israel, has overshadowed the ongoing bloodshed in Iraq and made a complex situation even more complicated.

The Bush White House, in standing with Israel, is not calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah for two reasons: It would leave Hezbollah with missiles to launch another day and Hezbollah would continue to undermine the fragile government of Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora.

Schakowsky and Emanuel drafted their letter after the New York Times ran a story last week quoting al-Maliki stating that "we call on the world to take quick stands to stop the Israeli aggression."

The protests of Schakowsky and Emanuel to Hastert, an Illinois Republican, come in a larger Mideast context -- growing concern about Iranian threats and the U.S. support of a fledgling Iraqi government, supported by the Bush White House, that is anti-Israeli and anti-Semitic.

Last week Schakowsky, along with Rep. Dan Burton, an Indiana Republican, circulated among their colleagues a letter to Bush asking him to denounce Iraqi Parliament Speaker Mahmoud al-Mashhadani after he accused Jews of masterminding killings in Iraq carried out by Sunni or Shiite insurgents.

A July 13 Associated Press story quoted al-Mashhadani stating "These acts are not the work of Iraqis. I am sure that he who does this is a Jew and the son of a Jew."

The remarks are false and contemptible.

President Bush meets with al-Maliki today in the Oval Office, followed by a news conference.

Al-Maliki will deliver an address to a joint session of Congress on Wednesday in the House chamber and also meet with the speaker and other members of Congress.

I asked the White House for comment on the letters and was directed to last Thursday's briefing by Tony Snow, the White House press secretary. Then, he was asked about al-Maliki condemning Israel and if it represented a sharp break with Bush.

Snow said it was not and talked about the need for the United States to bolster the growth of democracy in Iraq.

"You've got to understand that Prime Minister Maliki is running a unity government and he is going to express the opinions of that government."

Opinions are one thing. Blatant falsehoods are another.

Hastert has been to Iraq. Last month, he met al-Maliki as well as his counterpart, the Iraqi speaker, and praised them both.

I called Hastert's office for reaction to the letters from Schakowsky and Emanuel. I was told that Hastert had no intention of canceling the al-Maliki invitation. Hastert's office steered me to Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) if I wanted a further response.

All of a sudden, Cantor? Cantor is the only Jewish Republican in the House. Regarding al-Maliki assertions about Israeli aggression: Cantor said it at least three times in our brief chat. The prime minister was "dead wrong."

18 Comments

A little perspective: the last leader of Iraq was paying for suicide bombers to kill Israelis.

I think people don't quite understood how thoroughly brainwashed the Arab world has been over the past few decades re Israel. Iraq's infant free press has made a significant dent in the skein of lies, but it's going to take time for people to realize the truth, esp. in a country where literacy is only 65%, and Maliki is answerable to the people.

What part of 400 Lebanese civilians dead, 1,000 wounded, 700,000 displaced, the systematic destruction of Lebanon's infrastructure, the ruination of the Lebanese economy, and the frightening humanitarian crisis currently developing in Lebanon and Gaza, don't these two Democrats understand?

These people are Democrats?

He said what he said because he is a weak leader, he can't believe that. That would put him on the same level as Jan Shakowski whose hubby robbed a charity blind and she knew nothing. Or Rham (D-Tomczak) who had illegally hired patronage goons working for him,hmmmm similar to the palestinians in gaza electing corrupt thugs who use them (i.e Dickey Daley, Toddler Stroger, Ikey Carruthers). Illinois has alot in common with Arabs we elect morons (Ryan , Blago) who serve their own purpose and use race to divide all of us.

"We are unaware of any prior instance where a world leader who actively worked against the interests of the United States was afforded such an honor."

didn't Olmert address a joint session of Congress a short while ago?

when it comes to the ME, the Democrats are as complicit as the Republicans...not an iota's worth of difference.
can one get any more bloodthirsty than Tom Lantos or Anthony Weiner?

Ralph you seem to forget Hastert caught in a land deal. Hastert caught going on fishing trips $1000,00 a day paid for by lobbyist. You will hear the FBI talking next week about Hastert and drug dealers in Turkey. Don;t throw stones if your people you admire are crooks

What falsehoods has the Prime Minister said? He's merely stated his opinion.

For example the Lebanese are angry because thousands of their citizens and Palestinians have been detained in Israel without trial. So, in their minds Israel started it by detaining their citizens.

Right or wrong, the fact is that there is a cycle of violence in that area, and terrorists don't just become terrorists for nothing. Israel does not have clean hands in this mess at all.

I think the US's blantely unilateral support for Israel is wrong. We need to recognize that Israel's interests and our interests are not the same thing.. Currently in the Arab world, they look at our country as being unfairly slanted to Israel, despite what Israel may do to them.

So what if Iraq disagrees with Israel's actions. What does Iraq disagreeing with Israel have to do with us anyways. Frankly, it is between Iraq and Israel.

Are we looking for a "free" Iraq, or are we looking for a puppet state.

1. we need to support every democracy.

2. we need to support the right of any country to defend itself against violent attacks.

3. we need not support any country - a democracy or not - that works against the best interests of the U.S. public

4. we need to take constructive, positive actions against our own government policies which hurt the US public - and by doing so, show the world that the US public acts like a true democracy.....but, this is almost impossible because both husbands and wives are working full time to support a family as opposed to having only one of them working full time like it used to be. So.....effectively, are democracy is, to a great extent, extinct.

Dale, hmmmm the people you admire are really honest. Dickie Daley, Dickie Divine who covered for john burge as he tortured minorities. you cant really be that stupid, can you?

So we have reached the stage have we,where the only test of US foreign policy,is "How does it profit Israel? ".It seems that ..only Israel matters ???

Profit Isreal you islamofascists supporter, these people are murderers and terrorists and thats the reason why we side with isreal. US foreign policy backs democracy's not dictatorships. These Islamo Nazis want to kill all of us unitl they kill the non believers. bunch of cowardly nuts.

No Ralph I di not admire them at all. I just don't want one side of the spin to be here. What Dems in the City do will be look at. What Hastert has done even takes your tax money. His crimes are far more hurtful to we the people because it effect the whole Country. He is the number three in line for President if something happens. He is the policy maker in the US Congress that make him the greater danger to us. Ralph I do not admire or trust the people you list. I want all crooks gone don't you or is your point what ever Republicans do is ok

What is an islamo-nazi? Terrorists are stateless isn't that what we are told? Enemy combatants and all that? (Of course we don't count Republican good friends in Saudi Arabia and Dubai that hold fund raisers for terrrorists and literally moved the money for the 9-11 hijackers). You need a nation to be a facist. A nation that represses freedom and attacks other nations that cannot defend themselves and allows corporations to control the government (check w/Stalin) to have a facist regime. Pouring religion over the international violence is also usually good.
Come to think of it, that does sound awfully familiar...

Hastert caught going on fishing trips $1000,00 a day paid for by lobbyist. You will hear the FBI talking next week about Hastert and drug dealers in Turkey. Don;t throw stones if your people you admire are crooks.....hmmm what does 1000,00 meean? Are you saying Denny Hastert is deal drugs in Turkey? You are a left wing radical nut. Read this to yourself. We live in illinois all politicians are slimeballs, read the paper you knucklehead. Ill throw stones all day...jan Schakowsky's hubby in jail for robbing a charity, Rham (D-Tomzcak), Dickie "hired truck" Daley, Dickie "John Burge" Divine....shall I go on, these were proved to be a fact,...your telling us Denny Hasterts dealing drugs in Turkey,....wacko.

The censorship board didnt put my last post to explain it. In Illinois we have smart voters like Edward who vote for Dickie "John Burge" Daley, and I blasted George Ryan as slim, that seems bi-partisian to me, you only take shots at one party. As far as you being the medium of this blog, gimme a break. You socialist. People like Edward brought us Jimmy Carter (started the mujahadeen, gave us current Iran), Clinton (turned down Bin Laden from Sudan fact and he admitted it). It brave men like Edward ran our country we would be all forced to praise allah at the local mosque, while women wear burqas. What Islamofascists, you sand in the head coward. Look at these murderers, kill in the name of their god! We dont have to look far from a Soviet style goernment we have Cook County and Chicago for that. If Repubicans are friends with Saudis then Iran is the democrats best friend. And yes Hezballa is getting what they wanted and Isreal will knock the crap out of them. hmmm corporations or radical islamic terror groups, Ill take the greedy corporations on that note, typical liberals. I said all parties in this state are corrupt and run by slimeballs. You only attack one party Dale, hypocrite.

lets see if Rham lets lynn posts this.

You need a nation to be a facist......hmmm did Hitler have a nation before he came to power, noooooo but he was still a Fascist, your wrong and a nut. Pouring religion over the international violence is also usually good........do Christians or muslims start the majority of violence in the world in the name of religion,...I am going to go out on a limb and say muslims . Your wrong again and a nut. Muslims want to force their religion on all non believers. What ollege professor told you this crap. Typical liberal.

Ralph first the $1000.00 fishing trip were paid for by oil execs when the enegry bill was on the table that breaks all US House rules.The Turkey part of the story is comeing from and X FBI agent. Hastert targeted because of his stopping a genocede bill for Turkey and the lobbyest are drug dealers in Turkey .I never said he sold drugs the bill was to stop killing overseas . and by you defending all the Republican crimes you show everyone here who is not telling or believing the truth you just are a RNC supporter no mater what they do. As a Republican I am ashamed of you . You are not a true Republican who believe in clean Government. Ralph we clen this Government up stop the problems going on with Our Country or we will fall like Rome . Wake up sir this Country is in deep trouble are you one who spit on us veterans when we demaned that our budget not be cut or did you even serve this country.

Your a liberal and any real Repulican rejects people like you who support Democrats we dont advance our party by supporting Rham Emannuel (real honest guy), George Ryan supported Demorats and was a Republican, maybe your alot like Ryan. The poleit bureau that censors this board , I am a vet and am like other vets ashamed by someone like you who claims to be a republican ,but endorsed Christine Cegalis a left wing nut? over Duckworth! Why are you endorsing people in a democratic primary who want to cut military spending and increase welfare spending? Yea your a republican, and an embarassing one...a fraud. No wonder your so bitter , and I back MR. PIECARCYK's WORDS YOU DO NOT REPRESENT THE MAJORITY OF VETS! We dont want to live off of foodstamps and catfood like you do! You are no where ner a republican, change your party through primaries not voting for left wing liberals who put our troops in harms way, thats the lowest thing a vet could do!

Dale, I am a vet and 10 to 1 he vets here are saying you are an embaressment , dude quit making us look like welfare queens , you are a liberal goof. What were you a cook in the reserves I am a ranger and your a real moron. Period. Please I am ready to puke when I read your posts!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on July 25, 2006 5:09 AM.

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