Thursday, November 30, 2006

What's it all about?

So Feckless Leader had a two hour breakfast with Maliki, followed by a 35 minute press conference that said precisely nothing. Let's look at the events of the last couple of days.

1. Cheney goes to Riyadh, ostensibly summoned by a nervous King Abdullah.

2. A 'top secret' memo by Hadley is disclosed, it's main thrust is highlighting a lack of confidence in Maliki.

3. Bush goes to Amman to meet Maliki and the other King Abdullah.

4. Maliki and Abdullah call off the dinner meeting. Abdullah doesn't meet Bush at all.

5. It's disclosed that the ISG will call for withdrawal but not set time lines. Their report is ready but won't be aired until Dec. 6.

6. Breakfast and press conference, no change in course, Maliki makes the unlikely assertion that Iraqi security forces will be ready by July, 2007. Until that happy day, whenever it comes, the US will continue the course, which is different from 'staying the course', of course.

For a more detailed look at the meeting, read Froomkin: Bush v. Baker.

All I can see here is a kabuki dance. Were all these gyrations necessary just to show that there will be no change in policy? Maybe it was just a show to upstage the ISG report, or something else entirely that will be revealed 0nly in the fullness of time. Stay tuned.


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