Bush and Hakim: Mission Accomplished
It got blown off the front pages by the entirely predictable John Bolton resignation, and seems to have been largely ignored in the blogosphere. But today's White House meeting between George Bush and scary SCIRI honcho Abdul Aziz Hakim cleared up a few things about the motivation for this meeting.
Hakim obviously got the imprimator of respectability from Bush, despite his pro-Iranian background and his probable responsibility for death squad killings of Iraqi Sunnis during the recent escalation of violence.
But what did Bush get? A real, live, authentic looking Iraqi who said (a) he violently opposes any international intervention to settle the Iraqi civil war, and (b) wanted the U.S. military to hang around for the foreseeable future.
Maybe there's some Grand Strategy involved with the Bush administration's sudden enthusiasm for SCIRI. But given its snails-eye view of Iraq since, well, the beginning, you'd have to guess the White House just wanted that photo op and those Hakim quotes, and will postpone thinking through the implications of embracing Hakim until somewhere down the road. --