Ahmadinejad Thanks U.S. For Liberating Iraq

If only it were so. Yet, in a way, it was.

Most of the press coverage of the Iranian President’s visit to Iraq focused on his statements against President Bush and the United States. But notice this paragraph from The Christian Science Monitor:

“I thank God for blessing us with the good fortune to visit Iraq and to meet our dear brothers in oppressed Iraq,” Ahmadinejad said in a brief statement after meeting with Mr. Talabani. “Visiting Iraq without the dictator is a truly joyous occasion.”

Those who are quick to cast the U.S. in the role of “oppressors” would focus on his reference to “oppressed Iraq,” but his second statement is more telling. “Visiting Iraq without the dictator” — that would be after the U.S.-led coalition toppled the dictator. It’s unlikely the Iranian leader would have visited Baghdad if Saddam Hussein were still in power. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines laid the groundwork for the “truly joyous occasion.”

A simple “Thank you” would suffice.

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