Remember how Al Sadr said his group would withdraw from the Iraqui government if the meeting with Bush went forward?
Well looks like the Iraq PM caved in, even though Bush traveled thousands of miles for the meeting and was staying in the same hotel as Bush.
AMMAN, Jordan, Nov. 29, 2006 — The White House tried to play down the significance of President Bush's meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki being delayed, but it is a huge embarrassment for the president to have a foreign leader cancel a meeting, especially one who has 150,000 American troops in his country.
Bush and Maliki both arrived in Amman today to look for a way to bring the spiraling violence in Iraq under control. They were expected to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah, but only Abdullah and Bush appeared in a photo opportunity with reporters.
After Maliki abruptly cancelled his appearance at the scheduled meeting, the White House insisted this was not a snub.
"There was going to be a trilateral meeting, and then the dinner with the king. Now, since they already had a bilateral themselves — the king of Jordan and the prime minister — everybody felt, well, there's no reason for them to do a trilateral meeting beforehand, because matters had been discussed," said White House counselor Dan Bartlett.
But the only reason Bush came to Amman was to meet with Maliki in this much heralded summit. And it certainly wouldn't have been difficult to arrange — the two leaders are staying at the same hotel.
The White House also denied that Maliki's sudden decision had anything to do with a leaked memo that appeared in The New York Times today. The memo, by National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, raised doubts about the Iraqi leader's ability and will to stop sectarian violence.
"The reality on the streets of Baghdad suggests Maliki is either ignorant of what is going on, misrepresenting his intentions, or that his capabilities are not yet sufficient to turn his good intentions into action," the memo said.
If that memo was leaked to put pressure on Maliki, it instead may have pushed him over the edge.