Salih: "But this is a battle against an enemy called al-Qaeda and international terrorism that is transcending borders, and it is attacking here in the United States; it is attacking us in Iraq....I can tell you this readily...Americans cannot deliver for us; we have to deliver for our own country."My make-believe interviewer: "Whooaa big guy...an enemy called al-Qaeda? What about the SCIRI death squads; what about the Sunni insurgents, what about the Blackwater shoot'em up types, what about Iraqis who just don't want a bunch of heavily armed, scared, trigger happy, kick-in-the-door-at-night English speaking soldiers occupying their country?"
Norris: "You say Iraq needs to deliver for itself, to stand on its own. Until it's able to do that, if you are against any kind of timetable for withdrawal, how long do you think the U.S. should or would be involved in Iraq?" [trans. Squeak, squeak, stand on its own, timetables, how long should the US be there - squeak, squeak...]
Salih: "When we assumed sovereignty in 2004 – June 2004 – we had no forces. Now Iraqi police and Iraqi military are nearly 400,000 or so."My make-believe interviewer: (laughing heartily) "Sovereignty...ha..ha...that's funny. That's good. And excuse me Mr. Deputy Prime Minister, but did you really just say 400,000? Do you think I'm as stupid as my President, or are you dropping acid? 400,000? Now that is rich!"
Norris: "Now, Dr. Salih, I didn't hear in that answer a time frame. For many Americans, what they're uncomfortable with is this open-ended commitment." [whew, bold challenge...no time frame--very daring.]As this farce of an interview goes on they talk about the "surge" and how it has been "succeeding" somewhat. And we get.
Norris: "I want to return to something you said. In your estimation, you say the surge is working, but might this be a temporary breakthrough in the areas where they've actually been able to provide some measure of security...." [Surge is working? On which planet?]
Salih: "That is the danger. How can we sustain the military gains? It's not just a matter of clearing a neighborhood for a day and then relieving it and creating a vacuum. We are working now on measures by which these military victories, these security measures, could be sustained beyond a search."
My make-believe interviewer: "That's it Mr. Salih. Military gains? Military victories? You've insulted our listeners enough for one day. This war is bad enough, but you are killing me...Goodnight."
I've got to believe that it's no accident that NPR lets a politician come on and shovel the same line as Bush with no challenge. It passes as informaton and lends credibility and legitimacy where none is deserved.