Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki blasted the American military commander in Iraq for some recent comments in which he said Iran was engaged in a campaign to bribe Iraqi lawmakers to vote against a security agreement that was being negotiated between Iraq and the United States. “The American commander has risked his position when he spoke in this tone and has regrettably complicated relations.” Maliki referred to the US general as “good and kind” but was infuriated an American was interfering in the internal affairs of another nation. General Ray Odierno is undoubtedly reflecting the views of President Bush and the State Department.
Many current Iraqi leaders spent time in Iran when they were in exile due to fear of being killed by Saddam Hussein. They share the Shiite religion and have many other commonalities. Ordierno admitted he had no definitive proof of his charge but insisted “there are many intelligence reports” about Iranian bribes to Iraqi politicians.
There are times when silence is golden. If America has proof of the bribery, the first place to go is the office of the prime minister.