The United States ended its occupation of Baghdad, but a Baghdad Baathist is dreaming of an occupation of Washington D.C.
The Iraqi-born Shallal, who was once reportedly arrested during an environmentalist protest outside the White House, was heavily active in anti-war circles during the run up to the Iraq war. His father, Ahmed Shallal, was an undersecretary under Iraq’s Ba’athist regime until 1966 when he moved to the U.S. to become Baghdad’s representative to the Arab League.
The mayoral candidate has also been a vocal critic of Israel. In one 2007 speech, Shallal said the United States gets its “marching orders from Tel Aviv” and said the Jewish state “terrorized” the Middle East, the Daily Caller reported.
“This is a plan to create to a new American-Israeli century, and those who dare to speak out will be squashed,” Shallal said. ”A century where the military will continue to call the shots, and where Israel, America’s largest arms depot, will continue to control and terrorize the region.”
Busboys and Poets has also held fundraising events for members of the Gaza flotilla and held a memorial honoring Furkan Dogan, a member of the 2010 Turkish flotilla to Gaza who was killed during an attack on Israeli soldiers.
So he’s doing the obvious thing. Running for mayor. If Bill de Blasio can take over New York, why can’t Anas Shallal take over Washington D.C.?
Shallal’s Busboys and Poets chain restaurant has become a go-to venue for far-left authors, lecturers, and activists. It has hosted 9/11 truth organizations and anti-war agitators such as Code Pink. Weather Underground founder and domestic terrorist Bill Ayers is slated to speak there later this month.
Shallal announced his candidacy Nov. 8 on WAMU-FM’s Politics Hour. He joined six other Democratic mayoral candidates, including city council members Tommy Wells, Jack Evans, and Muriel Bowser. Current D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has not yet announced whether he will run again.
The restaurateur is pitching himself as a political outsider, and has been highlighting his successful business career. But he has also hit some speed bumps. During a debate on Wednesday, Shallal blasted a Washington City Paper reporter for allegedly putting the word “dump” in a headline about him.
“I would admonish the media to sort of tone it down a little bit when it comes to how they report about this stuff,” said Shallal. “Sensationalism sells papers, but it doesn’t make for a good democracy. This is to you, Will Sommer, I just want to tell you.”
It turned out Shallal named the wrong reporter, and apparently misinterpreted the “Mayoral Dump” headline, which referred to a “news dump” about the mayoral race. The flap led to criticism of Shallal as “thin-skinned.”
“I don’t want to feel like a piece of shit,” Shallal explained the Washington City Paper.
Come back, Marion Barry. All is forgiven. We’ll even spring for the crack.