Iraq allies urge Bush to turn to Iran, SyriaYah huh.
By Claudia Parsons
BAGHDAD (Reuters) - President Bush was under pressure from some of his closest allies on Monday to turn to arch enemies Iran and Syria for help in stabilizing Iraq amid Iraqi government paralysis and fears of all-out civil war.
A suicide bomb that killed 11 Iraqis on a minibus and news that at least nine U.S. and British troops died in the previous two days kept the pressure on Bush as he met the bipartisan Iraq Study Group on Monday to talk about changes in Iraq policy.
Monday's violence, which also underlined Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's problems trying to curb the bloodshed, followed attacks which killed more than 100 people on Sunday including a suicide attack on police recruits which killed 35 in Baghdad.
Bush has said he is looking for "fresh perspectives" on Iraq after his Republican Party received a drubbing in last week's mid-term elections, losing control of both houses of Congress.
"Cut and run"? Not quite. But it is negotiating with terrorists.
See, folks, this is about the dance. You can bet that, back in September, this was already being worked out between the administration and Maliki, and furthermore, Bush is cynical enough to have allowed the Republicans to fight with one hand tied behind their backs in order to get in place a Democratic Congress (at least a House) who would be far more compliant with him on this point: we're basically ceding responsibility for the fate of Iraqis to the hands of those whom Bush and the Neo-Cons would normally deride and denigrate in order to score cheap political points with his base.
What this also does is put an enormous burden on the Democratic Senate now: in order to approve any deal that involved Iran and Syria, the Dems will have to be portrayed as "terrorist sympathizers."
How to combat this?
Part of me is tempted to name any treaty that the Senate is asked to ratify "The Bush Doctrine". And in point of fact, he just must be ego-drive enough to bite. Any peaceful accord that gets American troops out on his watch will be an enormous feather in his cap (o/~ and he called it Macaroni...o/~).
Better, the Dems should hem and haw on this, in the hopes that Ahmenidejad screws up, as appears likely. Worse, that Sadr incites further violence as a means to draw attention to the "agreement", as opposed to falling in line.
Ah, the dance of politics. Quite a-muse-ing...