08 December, 2006

ISG: Bush and Blair summit. (updated)

What is George Bush made of? Over the coming weeks we shall see. Those of us who have watched Bush closely since he was governor of Texas expect to find he is made of sterner stuff than his critics comprehend. Yesterday, he began the political fightback against the ISG appeasers. Although the ISG report is not in the shredder yet, there are encouraging signs that it is on its way to the waste bin.

Now that some of the dust has settled we can see that the Iraq Study Group's proposals are in line with the leaks, that the US should: establish a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq; launch a diplomatic initiative to persuade Iran and Syria to negotiate a solution to Iraq's problems; and, to encourage Iran and Syria to the negotiating table, tie those negotiations to a two state solution to Israel-Palestinian problem. Tony Blair is in Washington to discuss the ISG's recommendations with George Bush. In short, Blair is for the report, Bush against.

The Guardian emphasises that Bush has rejected involving Iran and Syria but Blair is enthusiatic about the idea, particularly the linkage with Palestine-Israel conflict. The Independent follows a similiar line.

The Times focuses on Blair's attempts to walk a tightrope between the President and the ISG and emphasises that Blair is going to the Palestinian Territories to talk about peace.

The Daily Telegraph's eccentric interpretation is that both Blair and Bush "refuse to move over Iraq". Bush is waiting for the results of Pentagon review and, in the meantime will study the ISG closely.

Update @ 10:27:

CSPAN has video of the Bush and Blair press conference.

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