Bush has meeting with Maliki. America wakes up to the leak of the Baker Commission report and sees it is just a repeat of the disasterous 'Vietization' program we tried before we were defeated there. Fierce fighting in Baquoba and the leaders of the Taliban and al Qaeda walk about openly in Pakistan. I predict Maliki will keep us in Iraq because our troops are hostages now for Iran. Israel attacks Iran, they die.
AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 30 — President Bush today proclaimed Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki "the right guy for Iraq," and said the two had agreed to speed the turnover of security responsibility from American to Iraqi forces. But Mr. Bush dismissed a reported decision by an independent bipartisan panel to call for a gradual withdrawal of troops.
"I know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq," the president said during a joint news conference with Mr. Maliki, referring to the panel's reports that are expected next week. "We're going to stay in Iraq to get the job done as long as the government wants us there."
Um, there is no graceful exit from this tar pit. Way back, before the war, I demonstrated in DC against it. My take: Iraq is shaped literally like a bag with a very narrow opening, it is a classic cul-de-sac. Going in is easy, coming out is very hard. Our only exit if the Shi'ites decide to decimate us is via the desert between Iraq and Syria and this is Anbar province, the place where the hottest fighting is raging and where everyone is turned against us!
I marvel at the ineptitude of the Pentagon's planners. If little old me can see this, why are they blind to it? At West Point, they teach military history and my apprehensions about the coming war were based entirely on historical facts, this was, I thought, very easy to see. Just like everyone has known since around 2,000 BC, one shouldn't march an invading army between two defiles without first securing the hill tops, the notion of pouring all of one's troops into a cul-de-sac has been a military verity for just as long. Like, don't march into a canyon with no exit, dudes!
So why is the collective IQ of the Pentagon so dismal? Well, we saw them in action on 9/11. They goofed off. Not until the attackers hit the Pentagon itself, did this sluggish, lazy beast wake up. But all the plans since that moment have been madness, stupid and astonishingly inept. I say, fire all the planners and hire someone who knows tactics and strategy. Hire Col. X in Iraq. He obviously knows how to fight.
Back to the summit that was only a hill top:
Mr. Maliki, for his part, dismissed any suggestion that he had cancelled the meeting out of pique, saying the meeting – which had been scheduled to include King Abdullah II of Jordan – was not necessary because the prime minister and the king had already had discussion earlier in the day. "So there's no problem," Mr. Maliki said.
Translation: the Shi'ite chief told the Sunni king, butt out. The Shi'ite President just had a meeting with an elected Shi'ite President, Ahmadinejad, the Shi'ites just won many seats in an election in a Gulf kingdom and all the kings ruling Shi'ites are scared sh*tless. The Shi'ites hold some very impressive cards and they don't want the Sunni kings, all corrupt and venal traitors to their Islamic subjects, to interfere. So the king stayed very scarce during this meeting where Maliki very gingerly shook Bush's hands while giving him the look of death.
This is obvious in the photos. Every picture from Teheran shows a beaming, happy, relieved Maliki hugging and kissing Ahmadinejad. A classic way to read diplomatic tea leaves is to look at photos of the participants. Anyone with even slight aquaintance of reading faces can easily decipher relationships. Looking at Putin's eyes throwing darts at Bush's back in nearly all photos with Putin standing behind Bush is amusing, for example.
The senior official said the Hadley memo did not come up during the breakfast, except for a few jokes about leaks to the media – a reference to The New York Times, which published the memo in Wednesday's editions. The official said Mr. Bush and Mr. Maliki seemed comfortable with one another.
"There's no cloud over the meeting in any fashion whatsoever," she said.
Still, tensions seemed to bubble just under the surface. The two leaders barely looked at one another during the news conference. And when Mr. Bush, at one point, asked the prime minister if he wanted to continue taking questions from reporters, the prime minister swiveled his head toward the president and shot Mr. Bush an incredulous look.
"We said six questions, now this is the seventh – this is the eighth – eight questions," Mr. Maliki said.
Nearly universally, Bush's toadies like to say Bush or whoever is 'comfortable'. This, concerning a man who makes everyone visibly uncomfortable if not downright angry. Just before trotting off to the Middle East to blunder about, Bush tried to joke with the only Senator with a son in Iraq, fighting. Senator Webb was so offended by Bush's flippant remarks, he evidently said to friends at the party where this happened, he wanted to punch Bush in the snout.
This careless, jokey, goofy, drunken frat rat raises hackles wherever he goes. Sending him out on diplomatic missions has caused more trouble for America than sending bin Laden out as an envoy to Israel.
In reference to Sadr pulling out of the goverment coalition:
"My coalition is not only with one entity," the prime minister said, speaking through an interpreter. He added, "Mr. Sadr and the Sadrists are just one component that participate in the parliament."
There are some interesting forces at work here nearly all of which are totally hidden from view of Americans but in the Middle East, due to the complications of the complex Ottoman empire's construction, reading Byzantine tea leaves comes naturally to everyone. Heck, Byzantia is in Turkey, after all! Understanding palace intriques and subtle statements is second nature with everyone in the Middle East. The USA officials are so accustomed to getting our own way, we have no ability to understand anything anymore.
Kind of reminds me of the Chinese when I was asked to teach the embassy staff how to interact with outsiders. I was not surprized to learn they didn't know how to ring doorbells and ask permission to enter, for example. My parents told stories about how government officials would blythely walk into their bedroom unexpectedly. Once, into the BATHROOM!
So it is with American diplomats: evidently we have to start from scratch. They have to learn what is an inappropritate joke and don't touch women who are Presidents like Bush did recently. And spitting food while talking is totally gross. Ewww.
So many lessons. I suggest the State Department hire a nun with a ruler to instruct everyone on proper decorum.
By TOM RAUM, Associated Press Writer 59 minutes ago
AMMAN, Jordan - President Bush's high-profile meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday was canceled in a stunning turn of events after disclosure of U.S. doubts about the Iraqi leader's capabilities and a political boycott in Baghdad protesting his attendance.
Instead of two days of talks, Bush and al-Maliki will have breakfast and a single meeting followed by a news conference on Thursday morning, the White House said.
The abrupt cancellation was an almost unheard-of development in the high-level diplomatic circles of a U.S. president, a king and a prime minister. There was confusion — and conflicting explanations — about what happened.
So, from the very beginning, this was a terrible development. Anything that came out of this was to our disadvantage. The only thing that came out was the wool being pulled over Bush's eyes. The previous meeting in Iran between Talibani, the President of Iraq, concluded with a vow of friendship and love and a joint statement that the GOAL was to remove American INFLUENCE in the entire Middle East! So it is obvious we are seeing the various sides in this civil war picking their allies.
A sane, smart foreign policy initiative takes into consideration all these factors: what happens before, who said what to whom and what are the ultimate goals? Answering these questions is the work of diplomats and it seems to me, we don't have any real diplomats anymore. We have people like Condi running around, barking orders or talking in tremoulous voices, begging everyone to stop whatever, sort of like how we whine to the Chinese all the time, this means Americans have to grow up and join the ranks of the civilized world.
Maybe learn finesse from the French, for crying out loud. Go to the opera. Many operas have stuff about diplomacy in them like the Ring der Nibelungen by Wagner, nearly all of Verdi, any Baroque opera, Mozart, even!
Gads. Being civilized means attaining the mentality and intelligence of the fine arts which then causes the mind to see things differently rather than...oh well, the Nazis loved opera and look at them. One can always learn the wrong lessons!
Updated: 6:47 p.m. CT Nov 29, 2006
BAGHDAD, Iraq - Fierce fighting Wednesday between coalition forces and insurgents shut down the Iraqi city of Baqouba, killing scores of militants and civilians. Dozens of bullet-riddled bodies were found around Baghdad.
The fighting will get worse and worse now because the lines are now drawn in the bloody sand and no one is going to sit idle while the Shi'ites consolidate power! The coming struggle for dominance isn't an easy one to riddle out, there are many forces at work here, this is 'the Perfect Storm', aka, a great way to trigger WWIII.
The super-danger here is as always, the crazed American rulers going nuts and nuking everyone. The chances of this happening is very high. The Iranians don't want to be nuked and the Israelis can't afford t be nuked but mutual destruction is always on the agenda and can't be ignored.
Unlike Vietnam, this struggle for power is fueled by religious frevor and this means it will be very ugly indeed. No one is going to back down if they imagine they are 'Gott mit uns.' The entire struggle of bin Laden vis a vis the Saudi Royals is over their choice of buying American military mercenaries to do the bidding of the Muslims, he was quite clear that this made them traitors not to Saudi Arabia but to ISLAM!
Refusing to understand this, we pulled troops out of Saudi Arabia but continued this fatal relationship and this battle will continue, Americans think, 9/11 was a singular event. But any readers of history know, it is only one tragic page in a book filled with bloody pages and we are not at the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning, to paraphrase Churchill.
This disasterous meeting of Maliki with Bush has telegraphed our weakness to all parties involved in this coming conflagration. Americans ignored the Iran/Iraq war. The Shi'ites were willing to take half a million casualties! This is most astonishing! And there has grown up a new generation since that war, these youth are now coming of age and here we go again.
Alexis Debat Reports:
The Taliban and al Qaeda have become so emboldened by recent events in Pakistan that senior al Qaeda operatives have been spotted "walking and talking openly" in the market of Mir Ali in North Waziristan, according to analysts at the British Joint Intelligence Committee.
North Waziristan is where the Pakistani military withdrew its troops following a peace agreement with the government of Pakistan in September.
This peace treaty was, as I pointed out back then, a surrender. NATO wants to surrender, too, but the USA won't let them, they did finally rebuff our demands for increased troops. But that stupid war is done. We lost. If we were smart, we would withdraw and lick our wounds and maybe learn some lessons...naw.
Learning is hard work. The Pentagon generals want to make money when they 'retire' working for the military/industrial complex. Building and buying very expensive toys is what it is all about. Star wars! Whoo hoo.