In Bush’s Iraq-as-Vietnam speech that Monika blogged about early this morning (lots of interesting stuff in the comments section, btw), he said Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is a “good man with a difficult job.” He’s half right, I suppose.
But why come out in favor of Maliki when you are about to undercut him? From the Times:
The administration is planning to make public today parts of a sober new report by American intelligence agencies expressing deep doubts that the government of the Iraqi prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, can overcome sectarian differences. Government officials who have seen the report say it gives a bleak outlook on the chances Mr. Maliki can meet milestones intended to promote unity in Iraq.
You can read all about the miserable Maliki government here. To date, Democratic Sens. Carl Levin and Hillary Clinton have called for Maliki to get the boot — it appears the intelligence community isn’t far behind.
Update: For a rundown of Maliki’s possible replacements, see this Time article. Looks like the U.S.’s hopes lie with a guy named Mithal Alussi. The real question is, who on earth would want this job?