Wednesday :: May 9, 2007

Cheney Visit Is About The Oil Law

by Steve

MSNBC image of the happy faces at Shooter’s Baghdad meeting today

The official story this morning is that Shooter made a surprise visit to Baghdad to urge Prime Minister al-Maliki to press ahead with reconciliation efforts, although you’ll note that his regional visits this time are the same as his last trip when he coordinated the covert effort through Saudi Arabia and others aimed at toppling the Iranian regime. Despite the official line that the media will willingly stenograph today, this trip was prompted in part because the White House now knows despite renewed veto threats, there will be GOP support of some type for Iraqi benchmarks in the supplemental appropriation bill, and Shooter wants the administration to suddenly get ahead of this oncoming train. Plus, with the Pentagon now announcing that the “surge” is now a long-term escalation well into 2008, the White House knows that the only way to prevent vulnerable GOP incumbents from jumping ship in September is to create the illusion of Iraqi progress immediately, even if the Iraqis take July and August off for recess.

I suspect that another, unofficial reason for Shooter’s trip is to demand that al-Maliki get the current draft of the Oil Law passed, before the whole government dissolves into chaos and al-Maliki is replaced with someone who is more nationalist, less sectarian, and who would pursue greater reconciliation by rewriting the Oil Law and demanding the Americans leave much sooner. Defense Secretary Gates said as much last month, when he specifically mentioned passage of the Oil Law as something that would speed reconciliation, an odd statement from someone who supposedly is concerned primarily about military matters rather than what is good for the oil lobby and GOP elites.

At least Cheney is showing his usual level of contempt for the media overseas that he does here.

Steve :: 8:01 AM :: Comments (25) :: Digg It!