Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Moving the pieces around



President Bush just conducted a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at which the president conceded that more troops are needed in Baghdad. So, he's going to move some in from elsewhere in Iraq.

For his part, Maliki declined, when offered the chance via a reporter's question, to condemn Hezbollah.

Earlier in the day, the U.S. Senate's Democratic leaders called a press conference (via Real Player) of their own at which they warned Maliki that he's no friend of ours if, in his scheduled address to a joint session of Congress tomorrow, he neither denounces Hezbollah or his earlier plan to grant amnesty to insurgents who have killed U.S. troops. [Maliki's criteria for amnesty, according to Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.) exclude only those who have shed Iraqi blood.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid said he planned to attend the joint session, but would leave it up to the consciences of the individual senators as to whether or not they would stay away in protest.

CLICK HERE FOR WHITE HOUSE TRANSCRIPT OF REMARKS BY BUSH AND MALIKI

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