Despite — or because of — Bush’s mentoring and tough talk, Al-Maliki’s government is crumbling.




Just last week, George Bush and the Iraqi Prime Minister had another one of their chats:

Bush and al-Maliki spoke in a secure video conference, part of a regular series of conversations on the war and Iraq’s struggling democracy.

“The president emphasized that the Iraqi people and the American people need to see action—not just words—but need to see action on the political front,” said White House press secretary Tony Snow. “The prime minister agreed.”

Well, there’s been some action all right. Not the action Bush wanted. His tough talk backfired and the government is crumbling fast. This is the government that is supposed to lead Iraq away from the violence so our troops can come home. It’s not working:

Five ministers suspended their participation in meetings of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki’s cabinet on Monday, sending a warning signal that they may pull out of his increasingly isolated government if their demands are not met.

The five are members of the secular Iraqiya coalition led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi, a moderate group whose lawmakers are drawn from across sectarian lines. Their move, coupled with the largest Sunni Arab bloc’s decision to withdraw its six ministers last week, struck yet another blow to Mr. Maliki’s faltering efforts to present his religious Shiite-led coalition as a “national unity” government.

Listen, this sucks for the U.S. But to be fair to al-Maliki, he never had a chance. That chat Bush and al-Maliki had last week was just one of many they’ve had. George Bush has been mentoring the Iraqi Prime Minister on leadership as we reported two weeks ago:

But, now we know that Bush is actually trying to mentor the Iraqi prime minister. Yes, think about that. As if it’s not bad enough for Al-Maliki, he has to get regular coaching sessions from the worst President ever. That’s what we learned in today’s NY Times:

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 sessions usually lasting more than an hour, Mr. Bush, a committed Christian of Texas by way of privileged schooling in New England, and Mr. Maliki, an Iraqi Shiite by way of political exile in Iran and Syria, talk about leadership and democracy, troop deployments and their own domestic challenges.

Need we say more?


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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