William Arkin, in a follow-up
to his great column of yesterday, asks a very interesting question about the Bush five hour "state" visit to Baghdad yesterday.
How did al Maliki feel about it?
Bush is incredibly unpopular in Iraq and among Maliki's constituents. Bush tells
Maliki he's coming at the last minute. Bush is escorted by American military while American soldiers lock down Baghdad. Maliki and Bush meet in a former Sadaam palace in the American controlled green zone with an American agenda on the table. Likely as not, the message Bush likely delivered when he "looked Maliki in the eye" (didn't he do that to Putin or someone?) was that the U.S. is going to bug out very soon (I think he gave a deadline/ultimatum).
What a swell, respectful state visit from the typically ham handed Bush!
I stand by my previous prediction that Bush will turn over this mess to a Democratic President who will play the Nixon role from Vietnam of the 70's.