Buckpassing Already?

Looks like the President is in pre-emptive butt-covering mode. Just posted on the New York Times site — John O’Neil writes,

President Bush will announce tonight that the additional American troops he plans to sent to Baghdad will act only in support of Iraqi forces, and that they are being sent only because the Iraqi government has promised a “fundamental” change in policy, a top White House official said this morning.

Dan Bartlett, the White House counselor, said that as a “precondition” for the increase in American forces, the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has agreed to assign more Iraqi troops to the capital and to remove restrictions on their operations that had protected Shiite militias tied to his political allies.

“President Bush would not commit one additional troop to Baghdad if it weren’t based upon a new strategy,” Mr. Bartlett said on Fox News this morning.

Translation: If the pooch gets screwed, it’s Maliki’s fault.

In an interview with an Arab television station on Tuesday, Mr. Maliki gave a different picture of the agreement reached with Mr. Bush on the new strategy during a two-hour videoconference last week.

He said that Mr. Bush would announce measures “to speed up the building and arming of Iraqi forces, increasing Baghad’s security in order to stabilize it and supporting the government in the economic field,” according to The Associated Press.

Mr. Maliki said that Mr. Bush “wanted to express his continued commitment to support” his government.

Maliki and Bush — perfect together. Someday they should share a cell.

5 thoughts on “Buckpassing Already?

  1. No, Bush’s cell should be at least a couple rings deeper. A 2 hour video conference call? Bet that’s enough to get him to regret that the Green Zone has it’s own power generators.

  2. “Support” — sure.

    What’s going on now, and has been for months, is ethnic cleansing of Baghdad. American troops have already been operating in a “support” role. Only there aren’t enough of them, apparently, and the Maliki government wants to accellerate the pace of “cleansing.” So he’ll get some more Americans shortly (they may be already assembled in Kuwait).

    Of course there is the usual blather about evenhandedness, and how, Oh No, we would never do anything to take sides in the sectarian violence. Oh no no no no no.

  3. Here’s my quick summary:

    Bush admitted past mistakes and said the responsibility for them rests with him. But he said the way to fix these mistakes was not just more of the same, but even more of more of the same. He presented his administration’s carefully-crafted new plan for Iraq, which he has supposedly been agonising over for many long weeks (between rounds of golf, bike-riding and scrub-clearing), as fundamentally an Iraqi plan devised by the Iraqi government. He set benchmarks for the Iraqi government, which he claimed they had set for themselves. He made the usual fear-mongering predictions about the horrific consequences that would follow US withdrawal from Iraq. He said Iraqi and US forces in Baghdad were suffering from “too many restrictions” and would now have a “green light” to whatever they damn well please (if only they had Green Lantern power rings as well). He said he and his great mate Joe Liebermann were setting up a new committe so things would look bipartisan and the Democrats could share the blame when things go wrong. He said he would listen to any Democrat suggestions that would lead to victory. He said he is going to bomb Iran as soon as he gets the chance, and other countries in the Middle East were wusses if they didn’t support him. He mentioned September 11 again. He thanked the “selfless” men and women who were dying for his “noble” cause and then demanded further “sacrifice” from them. He called God “the Author of Liberty(TM)”. He said US “civilians” in Iraq would have more money to throw around. He mentioned “oil” only twice: once to warn about terrrsts getting their hands on it, the other to gush about how “all” Iraqis would soon be showering in the profits from it (after Big Oil take their PSA-enforced cut, of course).

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