What's the Point
Two thoughts came up as I read the NY Times article on the memo, one, why publish it at all, especially the day the President is meeting with the Prime Minister. Second, what would they expect Hadley to write, some tome blowing sunshine up the President's ass?
The answer to the first is of course easy, the NY Times seems to take special pleasure in embarassing the President, and the US as a whole, as often as possible. Why else pick today for publishing their story? The information in it would have been no less relevant in 3 or 4 days.
The second question requires thought though. I think the Times, and the media in general is still, for some reason, in Bill Clinton mode. They expect all of the President's advisors to tell him what they think he wants to hear, not what's really going on.
When Bush's advisors don't do that, it baffles that media. Here's a hint NY Times and others, good advisors aren't "yes men". Good advisors should provide information, insight and advice that is contrary to what whoever they are advising might wish to hear. That's exactly what Hadley was doing with his trip report from Iraq.
Should Maliki be upset about the memo? Hopefully not, he should understand it for what it is, an assement of his government, and their abilities; along with a lot of suggestions on how to help him.
The problem is that things don't always translate well from one language to another. So what Hadley said may well be good, constructive criticism (that all leaders should desire) but after translating it, it may well seem insulting to the Prime Minister. For that reason alone, the NY Times could have waited until after the leaders meeting in Jordan to publish their piece. Unless of course their hope was to embarass the President and insult the Prime Minister.
Technorati Tags: Iraq, Bush, Hadley, Maliki, Jordan, New York Times