Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Questions of rhetoric
What does it mean that President Bush said today he's behind Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after implying Tuesday that he'd consider a change in Baghdad? Maybe Bush gets it that he can't decide precisely what the head of an independent democratic government will or won't do, anymore than he can tell Israel or France what to do. Anyway, the key of what Bush apparently was trying to do was send a message to al-Maliki that he won't be Iraq's prime minister for long if the political situation there does not improve, and that message was clear. I think Bush got angry that al-Maliki was making nice with Iraq's neighbors, Iran and Syria, which are on the U.S. terrorism-supporters list, but then was reminded by his advisers that the U.S. can't simply order the Iraqi government to do what it wants all the time. So, it's backup time. While we're on the subject of backup time, I'm sure everyone was happy to see the shuttle Endeavor astronauts return home safely. I just hope the NASA people who decided to bring the ship back without repairs were really sure that it would make it, and that whooshing noise I just heard wasn't the space agency's management team saying a collective "whew."