How many Bush administration talking points can the new Iraqi prime minister squeeze into a three-question interview? Well, count 'em:
Brokaw: As long as the United States military remains a conspicuous presence in your country working hand in glove with the new Iraqi government, won’t you always be seen really as an instrument of the U.S. military and therefore of America?
Allawi: Iraq, as everybody knows, is the front state now — as the main theater to oppose and fight terrorism. And, with the help of international community and with the help of the region and with the help of the Iraqi people, we are going to win. We are going to prevail.
Brokaw: I know that you and others like you are grateful for the liberation of Iraq. But can’t you understand why many Americans feel that so many young men and women have died here for purposes other than protecting the United States?
Allawi: We know that this is an extension to what has happened in New York. And — the war have been taken out to Iraq by the same terrorists. Saddam was a potential friend and partner and natural ally of terrorism.
Brokaw: Prime minister, I’m surprised that you would make the connection between 9/11 and the war in Iraq. The 9/11 commission in America says there is no evidence of a collaborative relationship between Saddam Hussein and those terrorists of al-Qaida.
Allawi: No. I believe very strongly that Saddam had relations with al-Qaida. And these relations started in Sudan. We know Saddam had relationships with a lot of terrorists and international terrorism. Now, whether he is directly connected to the September — atrocities or not, I can’t — vouch for this. But definitely I know he has connections with extremism and terrorists.
Yikes -- he's not even reciting Bush's lines. That last one is Cheney's -- not "We don't believe Saddam worked on 9/11," but rather "We just haven't found the evidence yet."
Let me remind you, by the way, that back in December Allawi vouched for the phony Niger uranium memo.
Put this together with the Saddam dog-and-pony show Allawi's conducting right now, and with the suggestions he's made at times that both Saddam's trial and Iraqi elections could take place in the fall (perfectly timed for maximum impact on U.S. elections), and you can see he's not even trying to conceal the fact that he's the Bushies' poodle.
So, do you think he'll take at least some time off from his Bush campaign work to put in a few hours as prime minister?