Friday, December 15, 2006

Iraq's Maliki Squirms

After a secure video-conference with President Bush today Iraq's Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, started singing a new and harmonious tune.

Suddenly, according to Reuters, he is says that he is willing
to improve security in Baghdad by targeting "all sources of violence", including insurgents and militias...
Not only that but he apparently
talked about his desire, and the desire of many in Iraq, for a larger core of Iraqi political leaders to come together for the common objective of stabilizing Iraq and promoting the rule of law...
This is interesting considering that Maliki has been seen as brazenly protecting Shi'ite interests in general and those of al-Sadr and his militia in particular since he took office earlier this year.

For Maliki to say that he has a "desire" to include Kurd, Sunni and Shi'ite leaders in a conference designed to target "all sources of violence" seems like a last-stand attempt to keep his job.

I hope that he is feeling intense pressure from the United States as well as from the competing political factions in Iraq to quit his partisan leadership-style and get on with the agenda of securing a secure and unified Iraq.

If it turns out that he is just spouting empty rhetoric I suspect that he will be out of office before Bush's State of the Union speech next month.