Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Thought The Bush Administration Was Incapable of This

According to the Washington Post, the Bush Administration employed some rather nuanced diplomacy to bring Iraq back from the brink of civil war.

By Saturday morning, the crisis had reached a turning point. After discussions at the White House and with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, President Bush called leaders from each faction to give them the final push toward an accommodation, Khalilzad said.

After the call, the Sunni leaders announced their willingness to rejoin the talks, and later that evening they met with various representatives. At the end of that meeting, just before midnight on Saturday, the Iraqi prime minister, flanked by the leaders of the major political parties, solemnly announced at a news conference that the country would not have a civil war -- a moment of "terrific political symbolism," the Western diplomat said.

The diplomat said that the outside pressure helped but that the Sunni decision to seek an agreement was also made from a cold calculation of what could happen if they fought it out.

"I think these guys don't just react to pressure," the diplomat said. "They measure their own interests. And they understood that staying out of the political process put them back to where they were a year ago," when they had largely boycotted Iraq's first election and found themselves with almost no political power.

Somehow, this sort of stuff gets missed when it involves Bush. I'm surprised the Post noticed. I don't expect the New York Times to even mention it. I recall when Bush diplomacy pulled Pakistan and India back from the brink of what would have been nuclear war. Because Bush is disinclined to toot his own horn, that sort of got overlooked too.


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