I put Middle Earth Journal in hiatus in May of 2008 and moved to Newshoggers.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Just how bad are things in Iraq?

So bad that the Bush/Cheney cabal is going to Scale Back Talk of Iraq Progress.
WASHINGTON, April 27 — The Bush administration will not try to assess whether the troop increase in Iraq is producing signs of political progress or greater security until September, and many of Mr. Bush’s top advisers now anticipate that any gains by then will be limited, according to senior administration officials.

In interviews over the past week, the officials made clear that the White House is gradually scaling back its expectations for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki. The time lines they are now discussing suggest that the White House may maintain the increased numbers of American troops in Iraq well into next year.

That prospect would entail a dramatically longer commitment of frontline troops, patrolling the most dangerous neighborhoods of Baghdad, than the one envisioned in legislation that passed the House and Senate this week. That vote, largely symbolic because Democrats do not have the votes to override the promised presidential veto, set deadlines that would lead to the withdrawal of combat troops by the end of March 2008.
And as Cernig at Newshoggers points out the Bush administration is not alone in "scaling back its expectations for the government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki". While the Iranians are more than happy to try to pull his strings the Saudis don't even consider him relevant.
But Saudi Arabia isn't interested:
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah has denied Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki entrance into Saudi Arabia, according to a senior Saudi intelligence source.

The king believes al-Maliki, who wanted to go to Saudi Arabia on a state visit, is not doing enough to protect Sunnis from attacks by Shias, the source said.

The Saudi kingdom is a Sunni-dominated state.

There was no immediate reaction from al-Maliki's office.
The president of Iran was recently welcomed by the Saudi monarch. The suspicion must be that he prefers to deal with the organ-grinder rather than his monkey.
Now we all know there is a time table. The Bush administration has weeks not months to convince Republican lawbreakers lawmakers that Iraq will not be the issue that all but kills the party in 2008. By scaling back expectations the administration has admitted it can't do that. The Bush administration will get a temporary victory this time around but won't be able to say the same in September. And don't forget the corporatists. The last thing they want in 2009 is a Democratic president and a filibuster proof Senate.

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