Talks between Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki have turned into a diplomatic nightmare for President Bush, showing the world just a stressed U.S.-Iraq relationship.
Bush did not cancel the meeting with al-Maliki, but postponed it until Thrusday. I guess this was to buy time while a final decision is made on whether or not to meet is made.
President Bush’s planned meeting Wednesday in Jordan with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was put off following the public disclosure of U.S. concerns about the Iraqi leader’s ability to control the raging sectarian violence in his country.
This last minute change seems to show just how little the Bush administration understands about Iraq political situation. A major Shiite partner in the governing coaltion, allied with Moqtada al-Sadr, had commenced a boycott of their government roles.
Or perhaps it just reflects the leaked White House memo gives an unflattering description of al-Maliki’s performance. As reported by the New York Times:
“His intentions seem good when he talks with Americans, and sensitive reporting suggests he is trying to stand up to the Shia hierarchy and force positive change,” the memo said of the Iraqi leader. “But the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action.”
The postponement seems to only show how weak the American position in Iraq is, and settles nothing for al-Maliki on his domestic front.