International Talks Fail on Middle East Cease-fire
The worsening war in Iraq and the ongoing fighting in Lebanon are putting a double-squeeze on the Bush Administration. As the Iraqi Prime Minister addressed the US Congress today in Washington, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice met with delegates from Europe and moderate Arab states in Rome with the hopes of negotiating an end to the recent violence in the Middle East. While the conference stopped short of calling for an immediate cease-fire, mostly in the face of strong opposition from Rice, diplomats did agree to support an international military force to stand as a buffer between Israel and Lebanon. Guest host Marc Cooper gets a progress report from a journalist covering today's peace talks, and hear about the major difference between European and US attitudes toward a cease-fire. (An extended version of this program was broadcast earlier today on To the Point.)Making News: Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki Speaks to CongressIraq's Prime Minister addressed a joint session of the US Congress today and pleaded for continued American backing for his embattled, fledgling government. Nouri Al-Maliki's speech came amidst controversy with some Democrats upset that he'd criticized Israel as an aggressor in Lebanon while saying nothing about Hezbollah. Today, speaking only of the war in Iraq, Maliki received a standing ovation from both sides of the aisle. John Broder is defense and foreign policy editor of the congressional quarterly.