View Full Version : Bush and Iraqi: Frequent Talks, Limited Results

07-25-2007, 09:23 AM
25 July NY Times - Bush and Iraqi: Frequent Talks, Limited Results (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/25/washington/25maliki.html?ref=world) by Jim Ruttenberg and Alissa Rubin.

Once every two weeks, sometimes more often, President Bush gathers with the vice president and the national security adviser in the newly refurbished White House Situation Room and peers, electronically, into the eyes of the man to whom his legacy is so inextricably linked: Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki of Iraq...

In recent months, White House officials say, Mr. Bush has spoken more frequently with Mr. Maliki than just about any other foreign leader besides those of Britain and Germany.

Administration officials say the sessions have given Mr. Bush a forum to persuade Mr. Maliki to make more of a public show of being a leader to all Iraqis, not just his fellow Shiites. It was in the teleconferences, aides said, that Mr. Bush prevailed upon Mr. Maliki to implore his colleagues in Parliament to reduce their planned two-month vacation this summer, though their grudging concession to take just one month has not done much to quiet criticism.

The White House also believes that Mr. Maliki has made good on pledges to commit three new Iraqi brigades to Baghdad, the official said, and has given American and Iraqi forces more leeway to go after Shiite militias, though the official acknowledged that Shiite security officials sometimes block their pursuit...

07-26-2007, 06:20 AM
26 July Washington Post - Sunni Bloc in Iraq Threatens Boycott (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/25/AR2007072501053.html) by Megan Greenwell.

Iraq's largest Sunni political group will end all participation in the national government next week unless the prime minister complies with a lengthy list of demands, the group announced Wednesday.

The announcement by the Iraqi Accordance Front dealt another blow to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, whose desire to create a cohesive administration has been crippled by tensions between rival Shiite groups and a sense of alienation among Sunnis. The government also has failed to pass several pieces of legislation that the Bush administration considers essential to promote national reconciliation...

T. Jefferson
07-26-2007, 07:48 AM
If the Iraqi Accordance Front does end it’s participation, will that cause a collapse of the Maliki government?

The current government appears to be completely ineffective and taking a vacation now while the clock is running out seems to be something less than wise.

I had been hoping to see some real statesman like behavior emerging from this parliament.

If there is no military only solution to the many problems in Iraq and the political process is moribund, what should be the next step?

07-26-2007, 08:24 AM
The Sunnis have been boycotting. They have just returned and have either left or are threatening to leave again.

Jedburgh posted (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showpost.php?p=21699&postcount=3)some testimony (http://armedservices.house.gov/pdfs/FC071807/Mathews_Testimony071807.pdf)by CEIP's Jessica Mathews earlier that seems appropriate here.

There has been little if any progress towards a political solution for two primary reasons: because the needed agreements are hugely difficult in the best of conditions and because the current situation in Iraq is the worst of conditions for taking such great risks.

Amending the constitution, allocating the country’s one source of revenue, etc all define the future allocation of power in Iraq. These are not simple pieces of legislation the current government could pass if its members would just try harder and were willing to work in August. These are fundamental political choices from which every individual in the country faces enormous potential gains or losses.

What do I mean by the worst of conditions? Think of it this way. More than 4 million Iraqis are refugees, internally displaced, or dead from violence. In per capita US terms that would be 50 million people forced out of their homes, sitting in Mexico or Canada, or dead. Think for a few minutes about what that would be like. Could we, under such conditions, come together as a nation, bury past and present wrongs and, under foreign occupation and direction, make painful and scary political accommodations, amend the constitution and relocate wealth? The question answers itself – yet we continue to pretend that Iraqis can ...

07-27-2007, 09:56 AM
27 July LA Times - Iraqi Lawmakers Take Their Time (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-fg-missing27jul27,0,4508518.story?coll=la-home-center) by Molly Hennessy-Fiske.

Missing from Thursday's session of the Iraqi parliament were about half of the members, including the speaker, the former speaker and two former prime ministers.

Also missing: a sense of urgency.

American officials have been pressing Iraqi leaders to prove their commitment to ending sectarian strife by enacting landmark legislation before mid-September, when the Bush administration is to present its next report on Iraq to Congress.

But even as parliament's monthlong August break approaches, key issues aren't being discussed. Quorums are marginal, or fleeting.

Despite the high stakes here, the Iraqi parliament appears to be deliberating at a pace to rival plodding legislative bodies around the world...

07-28-2007, 06:57 AM
28 July NY Times - As U.S. Rebuilds, Iraq Won’t Act on Finished Work (http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/28/world/middleeast/28reconstruct.html?ref=world) by James Glanz.

Iraq’s national government is refusing to take possession of thousands of American-financed reconstruction projects, forcing the United States either to hand them over to local Iraqis, who often lack the proper training and resources to keep the projects running, or commit new money to an effort that has already consumed billions of taxpayer dollars.

The conclusions, detailed in a report released Friday by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction, a federal oversight agency, include the finding that of 2,797 completed projects costing $5.8 billion, Iraq’s national government had, by the spring of this year, accepted only 435 projects valued at $501 million. Few transfers to Iraqi national government control have taken place since the current Iraqi government, which is frequently criticized for inaction on matters relating to the American intervention, took office in 2006....

07-28-2007, 07:10 AM
28 July Washington Post - Maliki Aide Lashes Out Over Sunni Demands (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/27/AR2007072701282.html) by Megan Greenwell and Saad al-Izzi.

The Shiite-led Iraqi government issued a sharp response Friday to a Sunni political bloc that is threatening to pull out of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's administration, saying the group's "threatening, pressuring and blackmail" will not impede Iraq's progress.

In a four-page statement, Maliki's spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, dismissed each of the 11 demands made by the Iraqi Accordance Front, the country's largest Sunni political group. Dabbagh accused the Accordance Front of working for its own political gains rather than for the benefit of the Iraqi people...

The group's government boycott would not affect its 44 seats in the Iraqi parliament.

The blunt statement from Maliki's government makes it unlikely that the Accordance Front will see the type of action it desires before its deadline Wednesday, leaving the future of the cabinet unclear. The government infighting coupled with the dwindling chance of legislative action on several key bills before the parliament's August recess will likely be seen as major setbacks when the top U.S. commander in Iraq issues a progress report to President Bush on Sept. 15...