Wednesday, November 29, 2006


The highly anticipated trilateral meeting between President Bush, the Jordanian King and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki in Amman, Jordan, took an odd turn today. The Iraqi PM was a no-show, meeting earlier with the Jordanian King and apparently snubbing the President. The President and Prime Minister will meet tomorrow. The official White House explanation is this:

“Since the King of Jordan and the prime minister had a bilateral themselves earlier today, everyone believed that it negated the purpose of the three of them to meet tonight together in a trilateral setting,” White House adviser Dan Bartlett told reporters traveling with Bush.

However, such a meeting would still have been beneficial, so what really happened?

Earlier today the infamous leakers at the New York Times posted a classified memo by Bush National Security Advisor Stephen J. Hadley which was critical of al-Maliki’s ability to control the sectarian violence in Iraq. (the memo in its entirety can be read HERE) In part, the leaked memo said:

-Do we (U.S.) and Prime Minister Maliki share the same vision for Iraq?

-In my one-on-one meeting with him, he impressed me as a leader who wanted to be strong but was having difficulty figuring out how to do so.

-Despite Maliki’s reassuring words, repeated reports from our commanders on the ground contributed to our concerns about Maliki’s government.

-His intentions seem good when he talks with Americans, and sensitive reporting suggests he is trying to stand up to the Shia hierarchy and force positive change. But the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action.

Ouch, that’s gotta hurt. While this memo is a totally legitimate critique of the Prime Minister, it must embarrass and perhaps anger the good PM. This appears to be another attempt in a string of many by the communistic New York Times to purposely thwart the Bush administration. Why leak a private classified memo? Why now? Why at all? The answer is obvious: to continue to chip away at the war effort in Iraq. This time, however, the angle was to divide and conquer by placing the U.S. and Iraq at an awkward and difficult juncture.

Another possibility for the Iraqi Prime Minister’s no-show to the three way meeting could be due to the 30 parliamentarians loyal to radical anti-American cleric Muqtada al-Sadr who vowed to leave their positions altogether, threatening the stability of the Iraqi government. The original condition was that if al-Maliki, whose constituency has a large portion from al-Sadr followers, met with Bush in Jordan for the summit, they would boycott the government. Now it appears the boycott may not be permanent, but significant nonetheless.

“We are sticking to our position…. The boycott is still valid,” Falih Hassan, a Sadrist legislator, said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Bush is a criminal who killed a lot of Iraqis and we do not want him to interfere in Iraq’s affairs. The Iraqi government should negotiate with the U.N. Security Council, not with the leader of the country that is occupying Iraq.”

This of course puts PM al-Maliki in a difficult position.

My sources in Baghdad, Iraq, who are Christian and therefore neither Shia nor Sunni, believe al-Maliki is a good man, but that he is surrounded by “evil and selfish” people in the parliament, and that they are the problem. “They” are the members of the government who are involved in the boycott.

If al-Maliki indeed skipped the trilateral meeting with President Bush today because he deemed it redundant, so be it. If it is because he is offended by the contents of the memo, damned be the New York Times. If it is because of the parliamentary walkout, this will work itself out. Just as with the first round of elections in Iraq back in 2004-05, the participants who sat it out realized they were more empowered through the political process than by foregoing their representation. If this current parliament needs to be reestablished, that could also be positive.

To be continued…….


There's a story today that Islamic Sharia law is starting to spread in Great Britain. There are unofficial Islamic courts sitting in various parts of London. Here's how it works. Some Muslim commits a crime. The Muslim community tries him before one of their "unofficial" Islamic courts. Punishment is meted out, and the victim of the crime then refuses to file a criminal complaint with the legal British courts. Some British lawyers are even supporting the system, calling it "legal pluralism." Nobody seems concerned. Some officials are suggesting that there will be a formal system of Muslim courts in Britain within ten years.

And so the Islamic invasion of Europe proceeds at a rather brisk pace ... Eurabia is on the way.

Now ... this all leads up to an article by Victor Davis Hanson I really want you to read. You can find it in today's Wall Street Journal or click to read it right here. The title? "Losing the Enlightenment. A civilization that has lost confidence in itself cannot confront the Islamists." Here's one paragraph:

Just imagine in our present year, 2006: plan an opera in today's Germany, and then shut it down. Again, this surrender was not done last month by the Nazis, the Communists, or kings, but by the producers themselves in simple fear of Islamic fanatics who objected to purported bad taste. Or write a novel deemed unflattering to the Prophet Mohammed. That is what did Salman Rushdie did, and for his daring, he faced years of solitude, ostracism, and death threats--and in the heart of Europe no less. Or compose a documentary film, as did the often obnoxious Theo Van Gogh, and you may well have your throat cut in "liberal" Holland. Or better yet, sketch a simple cartoon in postmodern Denmark of legendary easy tolerance, and then go into hiding to save yourself from the gruesome fate of a Van Gogh. Or quote an ancient treatise, as did Pope Benedict, and then learn that all of Christendom may come under assault, and even the magnificent stones of the Vatican may offer no refuge--although their costumed Swiss Guard would prove a better bulwark than the European police. Or write a book critical of Islam, and then go into hiding in fear of your life, as did French philosophy teacher Robert Redeker.

Can you accept the possibility that Europe may be lost to Islam? Spain is surely doomed ... and nobody anywhere else seems willing to take a stand. Look at your children, and wonder just what type of world they're going to grow up in. We in America spend more time condemning ourselves than we do looking at the threat from abroad. A certain recipe for disaster.