Blair Talking to Bush: Iraq

November 12, 2006

In what is shaping up to be a key week in UK and US foreign policy in the Middle East, British Prime Minister Tony Blair is set to present evidence on Iraq this Tuesday to the Iraq Study Group. The British leader is testifying because the bi-partisan group is to deliver a report to President Bush and Congress within the next few weeks; the report’s publication date was set to some time after the Midterm Elections. The US president, who created the ISG, will be addressing the group Monday.

In fact, Tony Blair and George Bush have been spending time on the phone, discussing prospects for Iraq. With President Bush calling his new Defense Secretary an “agent of change,” it’s clear that the British leader and his counterpart have been discussing a change of policy in Iraq.

One of the British scenarios is to involve Syria and Iran in bringing about stability to Iraq. Iran, of course, is the influential voice of the Shi’a. Present-day Iran is a Revolutionary state whose government is led by a supreme (Shi’a) cleric; the majority Iran’s 68 million inhabitants are also Shi’a. Syria, on the other hand, is in majority Sunni (despite being led by Assad, who is an Alawite) and has historic ties to Baghdad because the Ba’th party was born in Damascus. Also, Syria and Iran have in the past opposed Iraq under Saddam Hussein.

In spite of these new scenarios and the obvious eventuality of an exit from Iraq, the US top General in Iraq expressed confidence in US commitment to the Iraqi mission.

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4 Responses to “Blair Talking to Bush: Iraq”

  1. lightcontrast Says:

    I watched a broadcast of this on ABC news and I heard that on this panel of 10 people only one, a Mr. Perry has military ties. The reporter expressed skepticism about whether or not their recommendations would be effective or influential.

    Bush says he’s “open to new ideas” but how open is that?


  2. He’s the one who ordered the panel. With a Democratic congress already talking of troops redeployment to diminish US presence in Iraq, he will have to be open to at least some new ideas.

    The panel is also bi-partisan, which is key — they’re not all “liberals” or whatever the code name for Democrats happens to be nowadays.

    Dmitri

  3. lightcontrast Says:

    Yeah, he did order it.

    Yes, Democrats are “liberals.” I’m wondering why I get called a socialist by other bloggers for being liberal.

    Light

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