Oops. al-Maliki decided he didn’t really want to meet with Bush in Jordan after all. Could that be because of neocon National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley’s memo questioning al-Maliki’s ability to stop sectarian violence? A pretty funny assessment, coming from an administration that launched a preemptive attack on a sovereign nation and then totally mismanaged the aftermath.
AMMAN, Jordan –‘s high-profile meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Wednesday was canceled in a stunning turn of events after disclosure of U.S. doubts about the Iraqi leader’s capabilities and a political boycott in Baghdad protesting his attendance.
Instead of two days of talks, Bush and al-Maliki will have breakfast and a single meeting followed by a news conference on Thursday morning, the White House said.
The abrupt cancellation was an almost unheard-of development in the high-level diplomatic circles of a U.S. president, a king and a prime minister. There was confusion — and conflicting explanations — about what happened.
Bush had been scheduled to meet in a three-way session with al-Maliki and Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Wednesday night, and had rearranged his schedule to be in Amman for both days for talks aimed at reducing the spiral of violence in.
The last-minute cancellation was not announced until Bush had already come to Raghadan Palace and posed for photographs alone with the king.
There are clearly some other factors at work; al-Maliki was reportedly not interested in King Abdullah’s desire to broaden the talks to include the Israel-Palestine conflict. He’s also facing pressure from anti-American factions at home — I can’t imagine why. But it sounds like the Bush administration’s habit of blaming the victim is finally coming home to roost. Unfortunately, the ones who suffer for it will be our troops and the Iraqi people.