Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Bush More Cautious On Iraqi Leader

President Bush’s prior unconditional support for Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki turned south after Iraq’s oil minister talked to China about developing the newest Middle Eastern democracy’s significant oil assets.

The president has gone from holding up al-Maliki as unequivocally "the right guy for Iraq" to tersely declaring that "what matters is whether or not he performs."

Bush's linguistic shift on al-Maliki began last month when he announced his revamped Iraq war strategy. The president said the success of his new plan, keyed around dispatching 21,500 more U.S. troops, depends on the prime minister doing his part.

Bush attached no specific consequences if al-Maliki does not. He also offered no expressions of confidence that he would.

It looks like Mr. al-Maliki’s trial is just beginning. Should he call Scooter Libby to find out what kind of support the White House offers after being jettisoned? I understand it’s quite strong if one has been a major donor for the Bush/Cheney campaign.

How much green is the Iraqi Prime Minister steering to companies that line the Republican Party campaign money trough with fresh cash? Apparently not enough, given Bush’s warning…

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