George W. Bush begins two days of meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in Jordan today. How warmly will Maliki greet his patron? It probably depends on whether the Iraqi prime minister has gotten the same memo the New York Times has seen.
In a pre-trip memo to Bush obtained by the Times' Michael Gordon, National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley stresses the importance of shoring up Maliki and his government but questions whether the prime minister is up to the task.
"His intentions seem good when he talks with Americans, and sensitive reporting suggests he is trying to stand up to the Shia hierarchy and force positive change," Hadley writes. "But the reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action."
Sounds to us like the two leaders will get along just fine.