Nothing Will Change
Bush and Nouri al-Maliki had their meeting today in Jordan, and both said they were against partitioning the country into regions, which puts them in the same company as Muqtada al-Sadr, who is against that also.
The two agreed that Iraq should not be partitioned along sectarian lines into semi-regions for the Kurds, Sunnis and Shiites, Bush said.
"The prime minister made clear that splitting his country into parts, as some have suggested, is not what the Iraqi people want, and that any partition of Iraq would only lead to an increase in sectarian violence," the president said. "I agree."Of course, the oil companies are against this as well.
Bush said that the United States was willing to do whatever is necessary to speed the transition of security responsibilities to the Iraqis, but that the United States has no desire for a graceful exit from Iraq, because Bush knows how tough it is inside Iraq.
"I know there's a lot of speculation that these reports in Washington mean there's going to be some kind of graceful exit out of Iraq," he said. "This business about a graceful exit just simply has no realism to it at all."
The president added: "I'm a realist because I understand how tough it is inside of Iraq."
George Bush: Iraqi Wise Man.
Al-Maliki pressed Bush to give the Iraqis the weapons they need to reestablish security, which Bush has yet to do.
"We mean by arming, the weapons fit to fight the terrorists ... the light and effective weapons, vehicles, armor vehicles and helicopters that will be active in the next phase in the fight against the terrorists," he said.
And after saying that an exit from Iraq isn’t on the table (unless of course it is an ungraceful one), Bush then sent the usual signal:
The president also acknowledged the pressure at home for the beginning of U.S. troop withdrawals but he said, “We’ll be in Iraq until the job is complete, at the request of a sovereign government elected by the people.”
He said the United States — which now has about 140,000 troops in Iraq —will stay “to get the job done so long as the government wants us there.”
In other words, nothing will change.