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The United States embassy in Baghdad is a bustling complex with a staff of over a thousand Americans, more than in any other country. Its Iraqi counterpart in Washington is a quiet, shuttered red brick house adjacent to Dupont Circle with maybe a dozen staffers headed by Ambassador Mahmoud Sumaidaie. who has held the post since May. Sumaidaie may be Iraq’s leading voice in the United States, but he speaks in a whisper, and very selectively, steering clear of the high volume public debate about the future of his country. For a diplomat whose country dominates the news, he has [...]
WASHINGTON — President George Bush met with a leading Iraqi Shiite politician at the White House Monday amid speculation of an imminent change of direction in the U.S. approach towards charting Iraq’s national destiny. Bush said he told Sayyed Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the influential leader of SCIRI, the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, “we’re not satisfied with the pace of progress in Iraq.” The administration has been gathering proposals from several sources on how to put the democratization of Iraq back on track and accelerate an orderly American withdrawal. One source, the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group is [...]
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If Iraq is, as the Bush administration suggests, the central front in the war on terror, the United States is at risk of being outflanked on other fronts. While the violence in Iraq justifiably dominates the attention of policymakers and analysts, the war in Iraq represents only the largest challenge amidst a troubled region at risk of further destabilization. While the situation in Iraq is discouraging, the Iraq Study Group — the bipartisan group of prominent Americans tasked by Congress to present policy options — offers some hope. While the study group, led by former Secretary of State James Baker [...]
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