Well, slap my ass and call me Katyusha.
[Maliki's speech was] right out of George W. Bush's playbook. It painted the war in Iraq as a struggle between democracy and terrorism. "Iraq is free," he said, "and the terrorists cannot stand this." Those who killed thousands of Americans on Sept. 11 are "the same terrorists" as those killing innocent Iraqis today. "Iraqis are your allies in the war on terror," and Iraq is this war's "front line."
He expressed gratitude to Congress for standing with the Iraqi people—a line that drew the loudest and longest of several standing ovations (self-righteousness being the favorite sentiment on Capitol Hill). He described Iraq as a country where people "rely on dialogue to resolve their differences," where "women are equal to men" (in the constitution anyway), and where he plans very soon to establish a free-market economy and to loosen restrictions on foreign investment. These fairy tales, too, triggered what the transcripts of speeches before the Soviet Union's Central Committee used to call "stormy applause."