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Wednesday, July 26, 2006


Breaking news: Maliki in Congress

[First posted 7/26, 8:23 a.m.; updated and bumped]

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's speech to the U.S. Congress was just interrupted (forcing him to stop) by a woman screaming repeatedly from the gallery, "Iraqis want U.S. troops to leave Iraq now!" Sure sounded like Medea Benjamin to me. How does she do it?

In non-breaking news, Maliki is spending his time spouting meaningless platitudes, while the Congress periodically rises to its feet to applaud. So far he hasn't mentioned Israel or Lebanon; if he does I may not be able to update this blog, since I'll probably have passed out from shock.

Update: The New York Times already has a story up, which does briefly mention the disruption:

Although Mr. Maliki was applauded from time to time, he was also heckled. A young woman wearing a T-shirt with the words “Troops Home Now” shouted during the address and was taken out by security guards.
However, the thing that most struck me about their article was this relatively prominent paragraph:
President Bush has often described the campaign in Iraq as a logical part of the United States’ response to the Sept. 11 carnage. His critics have accused Mr. Bush of disingenuously implying that the Iraq of Saddam Hussein was somehow involved in 9/11. Mr. Bush and his top aides have countered by insisting that the United States could not wait for another terrorist attack and went after a regime that was a known danger.
This paragraph comes after Maliki mentioned 9/11. But he didn't even hint at any connection between 9/11 and Iraq, so the fact that the New York Times uses this article to propagandize its readers with the Bush line here is completely unwarranted. And that fact that they attribute the lack of connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 to "Bush critics" rather than to the truth is simply outrageous.

Second update: You read it here first. Local news (KTVU) is reporting that it was indeed Medea Benjamin in the Congressional Gallery today.

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