Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Bush Surprises al-Maliki

NBC, reporting President Bush's surprise visit to Iraq today, notes that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki "didn't know Bush was in Baghdad until five minutes before they met." For security reasons, "The trip was known only to a handful of aides and a small number of reporters sworn to secrecy..." The "dramatic move" by Bush is but a minor illustration of the utter absence of sovereignty in Iraq. Can one imagine an important head of state of a foreign country putting in a surprise appearance on US soil to meet Bush without the prior knowledge of Washington? "Thanks for having me," Bush is reported to have said upon meeting al-Maliki, presumably without irony.

Symbolically, the meeting took place in the current U.S. Embassy, formerly a palace of Saddam Hussein.

["Bush tells PM: Iraq's future 'is in your hands'," NBC News and news services, June 13, 2006]


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