Variations of this story have been around since well before Nouri al-Maliki took his seat as prime minister:
Senators Urge Bush on Pressuring Maliki to Stop Violence
Sunday, October 22, 2006
WASHINGTON — Republicans and Democrats urged the White House on Sunday to step up the pressure on Iraq’s prime minister to crush the militias that are inciting sectarian violence and undermining a fragile democracy.
Senators from both parties expressed wavering confidence in Nouri al-Maliki’s ability to come to grips with the rising bloodshed. They said he was the “best horse” for now to support. But they agreed that if no political solution can be found between warring Shiite and Sunni sects, peace will never be achieved.
Sen. Carl Levin of Michigan, the leading Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said the Bush administration must pressure the Iraqis to make political compromises on power and oil resources.
Bush Predicts ‘Victory’ Three Years After Iraq Invasion
Washington (AFP) Mar 20, 2006
With political party and faction leaders in Baghdad deadlocked over forming a national government, top US senators called on Bush to put greater pressure on them.
Hagel, who said the country had been in a “low-grade” civil war for as long as a year, added that the United States has to stop talking about “victory” and think through responses to a worst-case scenario, like all-out civil war.
“Are we better off today than we were three years ago? Is the Middle East more stable than it was three years ago? Absolutely not,” Hagel told ABC.
But seriously, do useful idiots like Hagel and Levin have a clue about the pressure Iraqi leaders are already under? They, the Bush administration, and the morons running this show are living in Washington DC. Despite their security guards and armored convoys. Allawi, Maliki, and other members of the Iraqi government are living in Baghdad, are living in a country occupied by the US, with militias and police and militia/police and Iraqi soldiers and Iraqi soldier/militiamen (and a small percentage of al Qaeda terrorists) fighting each other, killing civilians, setting off bombs, using drills for torture, and cutting off people’s heads. No member of the US Congress or administration has been assassinated. No member of the US Congress or administration has been shot by US troops.
What kind of “pressure” do these people think can put on members of the Iraqi government that’s somehow more powerful than watching their country slide into oblivion?
Billmon has a post along similar lines today, but I wrote my idea down before I saw his column — I swear — so I’m staying the course.