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A Presidency's Mortal Wound and The Rise of Iran

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The Bush presidency and legacy was dealt a pretty big hit by the unambiguous voter repudiation of Iraq in 2006. The rise of Iran, however, is the final blow to any hope for a Bush legacy.

On tonight's Situation Room CNN's Brian Todd reported:

"[Iranian President] Ahmadi-Nejad's hand may in fact have never been stronger. With an ambitions nuclear program, the world's third largest oil reserves, a massive army and ballistic missile arsenal he's also gained huge popularity on the so called Arab street by supporting Hezbollah's recent fight against Israel.
Either way Tehran is now clearly a necessary destination for key players in the Middle East. "
Excuse me? Instead of isolating Iran, we're now seeing their rise as a regional power - a "necessary destination" in the Middle East. That's how weak George Bush has made America. We're now so pathetically weak we're considering talking to Iran for the first time in twenty-six years - not on our terms and only if the Iraqis will let us. Suzanne Malveaux later reported on the upcoming summit between Bush and Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki:
"Now National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley aboard Air Force One already gave somewhat of a preview of this meeting. Saying that first the two leaders would discuss the possibility and the appropriateness of the United States reaching out to its nemesis Iran in discussing the situation in Iraq.
Now both these leaders, their credibility, their legacies on the line. the stakes are very high. That is one reason in part Bush administration officials setting the bar very low for these discussions, in case the situation gets worse in Iraq before it gets better."
While you could argue that many presidents face a six-year slump, has one ever included having to turn to the "Axis of Evil" for help? The best part was the conclusion has pretty much already been reached - Maliki said Iraq should talk to Iran directly leaving the US on the sidelines. Thanks but no thanks George, you've done quite enough.

I don't know what Hadley thinks people are expecting, I'm pretty sure the bar has already been set pretty low. Leaving any doubt behind that Iraq is now a complete failure - a place worse off for our having gotten involved - Wolf later began a segment:
"We'll warn you now, this next report contains some graphic images. As President Bush prepares for top level talks aimed at finding answers to the Iraq crisis, death squads stalk the streets of Iraqi cities leaving bodies behind. Day in day out the killing continues for both Sunnis and Shia alike. Is it already a civil war?"
Whatever you call it call it by its real title - the end of George Bush's legacy.

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