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Monday, November 27, 2006


For The "Eye Contact" President the Next Stop Is Jordan

First it was Putin, then Nuri al-Maliki of Iraq

Expect more claptrap to come out of Jordan from the man caught in his grand vision that went awry. President Bush talks about looking at them in the eye and becoming convinced of their their sincerity. But can al-Maliki trust the president? Faced with loss of support at home and mounting pressure for an exit from Iraq, President Bush is going to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in Jordan to discuss shifting more responsibility on the Iraqis. The president is between the proverbial rock and a hard place. Not going to be easy. The Iraqis are not ready to tackle the peacekeeping; they have neither the manpower nor resources for the task. And, in Iraq, there is growing opposition to Maliki.

The Washington Post

"As violence in Iraq continues to mushroom, President Bush travels to meet with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday and Thursday. Bush is coming under increasing pressure from the new Democratic Congress to reduce the U.S. troop presence in Iraq. But Maliki might push Bush for more support as he tries to govern a country torn by sectarian strife."

The gathering is fraught with danger for Maliki. Both Shiite and Sunni leaders have criticized the prime minister; one prominent Sunni religious leader warned that the violence in Iraq could swell throughout the Middle East if the global community continues to back Maliki. Adding to the tension, Shiite politicians led by anti-U.S. cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who form a key constituency for Maliki, are threatening to boycott the government if Maliki goes ahead with Thursday's meeting.


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