Finally, the military surge has been followed by what the US called "benchmark legislation." But it could divide, instead of uniting, Shiites and Sunnis. Will Sunnis armed by the US against al Qaeda turn on the Shiite-led central government? Also, President Bush arrives in Saudi Arabia, and whether Mitt Romney can stay alive in his home state of Michigan.
FROM THIS EPISODE
After a stop in the United Arab Emirates, President Bush has arrived in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with his multiple messages for Middle Eastern nations. He'll stay at the palace of an old family friend, King Abdullah. Mark Silva is traveling with the President for the Chicago Tribune.
Mark Silva, White House Correspondent, Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune
The "surge" of US military forces in Iraq has reduced the level of violence, as promised. However, not until this week did the "so-called "breathing room" lead to "benchmark legislation" from the Iraqi parliament. The Shiite-dominate legislature has passed a a law promoted by the United States, that's supposed to open the government to Sunnis bureaucrats, engineers, teachers, soldiers and police officers from Saddam-Hussein's Baath Party. But today's New York Times reports that it could make matters worse.
Solomon Moore, Criminal Justice Reporter, New York Times
Rend Al-Rahim, former Iraq Representative to US
Douglas Ollivant, New America Foundation (@DouglasOllivant)
Conrad Crane, Army War College's Military History Institute
Laith Kubba, Spokesman, former Iraqi Prime Minister al-Jaafari
Tomorrow's Michigan primary has turned into a standoff between John McCain and Mitt Romney. Polls show the race essentially tied, with 40% of Republicans still undecided. Romney may have been Governor of Massachusetts, but he grew up in Michigan, where his father, George Romney, was chair of the late American Motors Corporation, a three-term governor and a presidential candidate. But with John McCain coming on strong, he may or not be a "favorite son." Juliet Eilperin, who is there for the Washington Post, reports on what could be a decisive political moment.
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