The Blue Jinn:
Cole in Salon on Iraqi Speaker
My article in Salon.com on the controversy surrounding the Speaker or President of the Iraqi parliament, Dr. Mahmoud Mashhadani. By the way, a jinn or djinn is a genie as in genie in a bottle. I don’t actually think they are blue in the Thousand and One Nights, and suspect Mashhadani has been watching Disney movies, where they are blue and have Robin Williams’s manic attention deficit disorder.
‘ When George Bush met the speaker of the Iraqi parliament, he liked him. During his June trip to Baghdad, Bush sang the praises of Dr. Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, who had been elected speaker in late April. “I was impressed by him,” said Bush during a press conference. “He’s a fellow that had been put in prison by Saddam and, interestingly enough, put in prison by us. And he made a decision to participate in the government … It was interesting to see a person that could have been really bitter talk about the skills he’s going to need to bring people together to run the parliament.”
But when the Iraqi parliament reconvenes next month, the first item on the agenda will be firing Mashhadani. He has put his foot in his mouth too many times. Considering what he’s been saying about the United States since his moment with the president, the end of his tenure should come as a relief to the Bush administration. “Who destroyed Iraq? Who plundered Iraq?” exploded Mashhadani in a recent interview. “It is none other than the blue jinn whose name is the American Occupation.” Mashhadani’s imminent removal, however, is an ominous sign for the future of inclusive electoral politics in Iraq. . .