In a joint press conference with Kevin Rudd in Canberra
in 2009, now embattled Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki allegedly condemned the
Howard Government over the AWB oil for wheat scandal, however an unnamed
interpreter chose to change his words. Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence reports.
AUSTRALIA'S MORAL COWARDICE has long impaled us between Iraq and a harder place.
Like it or no, we are inextricably linked to the current crisis and heinous slaughter that has turned Iraq into an abattoir for humans.
As we are to the circumstances that have led up to it, including President Barack Obama's announcement yesterday to send in the marines and deploy precisely 275 troops to help quell the bad guys.
Just who the good guys are is anyone's guess. We all bleed.
We have some of that blood on our hands and surely on our conscience
for the flyblown dismembered corpses of massacred Iraqis and the
spillage onto the pages of yet another ill-writ chapter of our fumbling
military strategies in the Middle East.
To indecently paraphrase: First we invaded. Then we abandoned. Then
we went into denial. Three strikes and we were out of there. We can't
keep blaming America for things we do. Or don't do.
Even if we habitually acquiesce to US commands.
The world has long been aware of Iraq's corrupt and Shia-dominated
government and the weary inevitability of a mighty insurgent schism. For
the greater part, we shamelessly averted our eyes.
NOURI MEETS KEVIN — NOT LOVE AT SECOND SITE
On March 11, 2009 the much loathed Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, lobbed into Australia.
The next day, he was formally welcomed to the serenade of a 19 gun
salute, as befitting his status as a stooge for the West; this time, the
guns weren't aimed at him, as well might be the case in his homeland.
At the tightly corseted press conference in Canberra, the body
language between then PM Kevin Rudd and his Iraqi counterpart, who had
replaced Iraq's Transitional Government,
conveyed an uneasy coldness – even an intense dislike between the two –
that not even the media orchestration could masquerade.
The two looked like a divorced couple who despised one another and
who'd had a blistering argument behind the scenes, but were now forced
to put on a united front for the sake of their child's wedding.
A Barney Rubble
lookalike, only not as benign, Maliki just wasn't into Rudd. And vice
versa. Nor had they clicked when Rudd visited Iraq, months earlier.
Answering questions through an interpreter, Maliki clearly couldn't contain his distaste.
Secret negotiations with Australia had reached an impasse and he was
annoyed at the loss-of-face implications of being publicly humiliated
with such stage-management.
His answer defiantly broke with diplomatic protocol and, in Arabic, he slagged off at the previous Howard Government.
No sooner had he lashed out than it was immediately covered up by the
official translator. The trashing should have hit the headlines. Maliki
was biting the very grasping hands that wanted to feed him more wheat.
For a price.
CEREAL CORPORATE FRAUDSTERS
There were several hushed-up backstage disagreements between Maliki and Rudd.
In brief, they included, but are not confined to, argument about the
bribes and kickbacks of the Australian Wheat Board who notoriously
collaborated with Saddam Hussein and his boys in direct contravention of
the Oil for Food program.
The shonky and ignominious activities of the AWB were initially exposed in an 2005 U.N. report by Paul Volcker, that did much to also expose the squalid mutual corruption of other foreign companies dealing with the Hussein regime.
But despite such intense international competition, AWB had the dubious honour of being the worst culprit of bribes/kickbacks.
Some of its number were cowboys in attitude and conduct.
Fairfax published a memorable photo of a bare-chested former chairman of the AWB, Trevor Flugge, flaunting his slab rather than a six-pack, toting a gun and pointing it at the camera.
Former AWB chairman Trevor
Flugge, in Iraq 2003 doing deals with the Saddam Hussein regime as PM
Howard's senior agricultural advisor. (Image via smh.com.au)
Nice one for the Annual Report.
Australia was later to set up an inquiry with Royal Commission powers, headed by Terence Cole QC, to investigate the AWB Scandal. In a rare appearance for a prime minister, John Howard was called to give evidence as was then Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
DOWNER AN 'ABEET' (IDIOT)
Howard and Maliki share a mutual contempt for one another. And the
Iraqis thought Downer was not to be trusted, and that he was a
self-serving dork and an 'abeet' (an idiot), who was up himself. Some of
these opinions are shared by his fellow Australians.
As well as the AWB affair, Maliki and Rudd also haggled over the
forgiving of Iraq's debt to Australia, as well as the treatment and
visa/residency status of Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers.
Maliki ominously wanted personal data on the latter and also about
those who claimed to be political asylum seekers fleeing from his
There was also tense argument about credit for the rescue of Australian hostage Douglas Wood,
and even tenser discussion between Maliki and Rudd about whom should
snatch undeserved credit for my campaign to secure sanctuary for the
Iraqi soldiers involved. (It was a people driven campaign and succeeded
despite the thwarting of both governments who, time and again, tried to
However, in a brazen act of outrageous censorship, the still
unidentified and mysterious interpreter chose to ignore Maliki's
disparaging statement and instead instantly manipulated it, to make it
sound as if Maliki was referring to the previous Iraqi regime — and not
the previous Australian regime.
INTERPRETER DELIBERATELY 'LOST' IN TRANSLATION?
It so happened that I watched broadcasts of the strained press
conference in the company of Iraqis and Arabic-speaking Australians.
They categorically believed Maliki was referring to John Howard's government.
They felt that the translator appeared to deliberately mask what Maliki said, or was 'protecting' Maliki from his own words.
It may be that Maliki was under instruction by the U.S. to keep his head down, or was under political strictures from his own Dawa colleagues and other government and tenuous sectarian factions.
The Iraqi Government is a lucrative cash camel for those who have
bought their membership fees and who are entitled to write their own
Of course, I asked if the arabic used by Maliki was ambiguous and was
told that the phraseology used by Maliki was unambiguous and that it
was clear he was referring to the government/regime before the Rudd
Government — that is, John Howard's Government. And he was making his
displeasure with the Howard Government public — with good reason, as it
A professional accredited interpreter also confirmed Maliki's
interpreter did not correctly translate the words. She too confirmed
that Maliki was referring to the Howard Government, not the previous
Presuming that media attending/monitoring the televised press
conference would have an Arabic-speaking person checking the
translation, I cross-checked with other media, including the ABC,
Fairfax and News Ltd, the Canberra Press Gallery, SBS and other ethnic
Most were unaware of any anomaly or dispute about the translation.
MEDIA DIDN'T WANT TO ROCK THE BOAT
Astoundingly, others said they knew the translator was incorrect but
didn't want the hassle of getting into a stoush with the Federal
Government and its media unit, and/or 'rock the boat' regarding the
Iraqi-Australian relationship, or have their families put on an
immigration department visa 'black list' or any intimidating 'watch
It happens. Yes. In god's own country.
Others, including ethnic media representatives, confided that it was
just too dangerous and asking for personal trouble to visit them and
their relatives, because of the divisiveness it would provoke within the
Iraqi and wider Middle-Eastern community in Australia, including
hotheads among the Sunni and Shia communities.
Given my own horrible and continuing personal experiences, including
being physically attacked and my property being shot into, resulting
from funding and mounting the campaign to rescue the
Iraqi soldiers and their families from being systematically
assassinated by al-Qaeda, I understand those fears only too well.
Here is a breakdown of responses to questions I directed at the time,
to various government and other departments, including government media
Who was the interpreter, anyway? No-one professed to know.
Who was paying him? No one knew.
Who had engaged him? No-one knew.
Was he part of Nouri al-Maliki's contingent? No-one knew.
Or was he 'supplied' by the Australian Government? The Government,
strangely, refused to answer this seemingly innocuous question.
Was he a DFAT employee? Wouldn't say.
Was the interpreter a minder? Was he a U.S. intelligence officer?
Was he there to ensure that Maliki did not drop a verbal incendiary
device in a vain attempt to gain cred on the arab street that he is his
own man? Maybe.
I asked the Prime Minister's department to provide me with a transcript of the Press Conference. They wouldn't.
I asked the Prime Minister's department to provide me with a copy of the televised Press Conference. They wouldn't.
I asked the Parliamentary Library to give me a copy of the televised Press Conference. They said they would get back to me.
They didn't. So I again contacted them for a copy of the televised
Press Conference. They said they couldn't give me a copy. They had been
instructed not to.
I asked who gave such an extraordinary instruction? They said they were not allowed to say.
I note there is now a DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) media release that
purports to be a transcript of the 12 March 2009 Joint Press Conference
with Prime Minister al-Maliki, who is also secretary-general of the
Islamic Dawa Party.
There is also a second copy of a transcript on their website.
I am not prepared to say it/they correctly represent the dialogue in any way.
It is worth noting that despite using the words 'wheat sales' in the
transcript, there is no mention of wheat in the subject's headlines.
This is such ridiculous neglect, it has to be deliberate. Any mention
of 'wheat' in relation to Iraq and an Iraqi Prime Minister is a dead
(Image via stublogs.wordpress.com)
MALIKI FIRST IRAQI PM TO VISIT — NO QUESTIONS ASKED
Given that this was the first time an Iraqi Prime Minister had
visited Australia, why were so few questions allowed from the media?
And, to say the least, why no questions about the bleeding obvious,
ergo, the AWB scandal, the Douglas Wood rescue, Iraqi soldiers campaign,
I eventually got a copy of the televised press conference from Sky News.
However, the National Australia Bank, McKean Park Lawyers illegally possess this, as they illegally do
all my business equipment and investigative/journalism files and
property and personal belongings, including investigations and
statements of financial holdings in the National Australia Bank by Libyan tyrant and former frenemy to the West, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, and his family and cohorts.
There are also documents and confidential investigative files,
illegally taken by the National Australia Bank and McKean Park Lawyers,
including but not confined to, matters pertaining to the National
Australia Bank and matters relating to the Australian Wheat Board and
persons and organisations associated with the selling of wheat and other
business matters associated with Iraq, and matters dealing with
investigations relating to Douglas Wood, the Iraqi soldiers campaign,
'Mohammed Comes to the Mountain', as well as the secretion of funds in
Australia, including into banks, by corrupt regimes, terrorists and drug
Here is part of the DFAT transcript that might contain a few clues as to the 'lost in translation' aspect [IA emphasis].
Subjects: Australia-Iraq Relationship; United Nations Sanctions; Security; Overseas Aid; Labour Force Figures; Liberal Party
PM RUDD: Australia's security relationship with Iraq will
continue to remain important.We still have a small number of Australian
embedded forces in Iraq. We still have Australian forces defending our
embassy in Baghdad. Of course we still have our naval frigate in the
Gulf. These are important, continuing contributions to the security
But this is simply the beginning in what we intend to build as a
very big, broad and strong relationship in agriculture. Both on the
research side and on the commercial side.
.... I'm pleased to note the statement made just before
by the Iraqi Trade Minister that Iraq has also agreed on new wheat sales
from Australia to Iraq.
Prime Minister, you should know that in Australia you are
seriously among friends; genuine friends. There are many Iraqi
Australians and more broadly Arab Australians who make a huge
contribution to our life in this country.
PM AL-MALIKI (translation).... I bring my gratitude and the Iraqi
Government's gratitude for the contribution by the Australian forces in
Iraq in helping rebuild Iraq, particularly in the security sector.
I also would like to...thank Australia for forgiving
Iraq's debts, which were accumulated due to the policies of the previous
regime due to its ill-conceived adventures and wars.
...The Prime Minister has outlined the areas for the
Memorandum of Understanding. In this Memorandum the agricultural sector
is the most important. Unfortunately it has deteriorated so badly in
Iraq due to the policies of the previous regime.
In response to a question about killings in two mass attacks, and the
ability of the Iraqi security forces to protect the country once the US
forces withdraw, Maliki says...
PM AL-MALIKI (TRANSLATED)...The Iraqi police and the security
authorities in the country are trying to do their best to bring the
perpetrators to justice...notwithstanding the gruesome operations that
took place and the large number of victims, Al Qaeda extremists and
terrorists in Iraq have lost their capabilities of confronting and
challenging the security forces in Iraq...what happened
...appears to be an attempt by them to prove that they still exist in
Iraq but we are intent on doing our best to secure the situation in the
country...The situation keeps... getting better day after day
and that is through the close cooperations between the people and the
security forces in Iraq.
When it comes to the withdrawal of the American forces, I believe
that Iraqis will be able of taking the whole situation in their hands.
Maliki is also asked by the same journalist:
'And when will the Australian security attachment be required to leave your country?'
According to the transcript, Maliki, a former newspaper editor, does
not answer. Nor does Commander Rudd give his two bob's worth.
Spoken in 2009, Maliki's words, along with those spoken by Rudd, ring as hollow in 2014 as they did then.
INDEPENDENT AUSTRALIA REQUESTS VIDEO OF AL-MALIKI
This afternoon we wrote to Peta Credlin, requesting a copy of the al-Maliki press conference.
Here is the text of the email:
June 12, 2014
Ms Peta Credlin
Office of the Prime Minister
Dear Ms Credlin,
I hope this email finds you well in bod and spirit.
On March 12, 2009, there was a televised Press Conference with
the visiting Prime Minister of Iraq, Mr Nouri al-Maliki and the then
Prime Minister, Mr Kevin Rudd.
My information is that the unidentified interpreter for Prime
Minister al-Maliki failed to properly translate the entire of Mr
al-Maliki's responses and that during his responses, Mr al-Maliki was
disparaging of the Government preceding the Rudd Government - that is,
the Howard Government.
For some inexplicable reason, the Rudd Government refused to give
me a copy of the televised press conference and apparently instructed
the Parliamentary Library to also deny me access to the televised press
I am writing an article on this subject and would appreciate you
sending me by return email a copy of the press conference, or arrange
for a copy to be sent urgently to me via email for publication.
I am assuming that given the current atrocities in Iraq and
dealings/negotiations/aid monies sent to the al-Maliki regime, that the
Abbott Government, intelligence agencies and various advisers, including
the Foreign Minister Ms Julie Bishop, will have revisited Mr
al-Maliki's words and have had the video close at hand for scrutiny and
Contributing editor-at-large, Independent Australia
AUSTRALIA: MOST SERVILE IN THE COALITION OF THE WILLING
As the most servile of the 31 servants of the notorious U.S.-led 'Coalition of the Willing'
that invaded Iraq in 2003, we have indisputably contributed to the
emergence of extremist jihadist guerrillas like ISIS/ISIL – the Islamic
State of Iraq and the Levant – and its celebrated bad-ass leader Awwad
Ibrahim al-Badri al-Samarri, better known as Abu Bakr, whose bloodlust and thrill kills make al-Qaeda look like amateur wannabees.
Liberal and Labor, along with their politically effete affiliates,
must share in the culpability of an already ruptured nation now reduced
emotionally and physically to a pulverised failed state and systemically
corrupt puppet leadership.
Post Saddam Hussein, the land that some deem the site of the Garden
of Eden, continues to boil in a bloody quagmire of industrial strength
rape and murder, soul-destroying massacres, atrocities and violence,
profiteering war and whore mongering,
Corruption is endemic and politically sanctioned; as is wholesale fraud, vicious insurgent and religious in-fighting.
Contemptuous government militia and private armies alike, daily
trespass on the discarded genteel Conventions of Geneva and common
decency. The rule of law is as feral as the rule of lore. We helped to
make it so.
As ever, war weary poor ordinary people are the ones who most suffer; human sandbags for swords, bullets and bombs.
Today's fomenting Sunni-Shia animosity and atrocities were tragically predictable.
Everywhere. Anywhere. Think Catholic versus Protestants. Think IRA and ' the troubles ' in Northern Ireland. Think Omagh bombing.
Waging war on Iraq because of the lie that Saddam Hussein had weapons
of mass destruction will forever relegate the United States, Britain
and Australia and their leaders, George W Bush, Tony Blair and John
Howard to the realm of war criminals in pin-stripe suits – and justly so
– regardless of their revisionist collective and individual bleatings
to the contrary, including Blair's controversial essay on his website.
Draw straight lines from 20 March 2003 to 17 June 2014 from the
starting points of Washington, London and Canberra to Baghdad. We all
know where the bodies are buried; the Christian populated Mosul
Prime Minister Tony Abbott will be only two aware of Maliki's disdain
for Howard's government; even if it was the government that dislodged
Saddam Hussein from his Sunni-dominated murderous regime. But no doubt
Abbott will keep his balance holding onto Obama's elegant coat-tail.
What the Coalition of the Willing has succeeded in doing is to lay
the foundation stone to fuel those locked out of the decision-making
process to take by force what they believe is theirs by forming their
own Coalition of the Killing.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Australia License
President Obama Speech On Iraq FULL - June 19, 2014 - ISIS Terrorist Group