And this is not coming from the New York Times or the Washington Post. This story is coming from the Marine Corps Times:
A key aide says Prime Minister Nouri al-Malikiâ€™s relations with U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus are so poor the Iraqi leader may ask Washington the withdraw the well-regarded U.S. military leader from duty here.
The Iraqi foreign minister calls the relationship â€œdifficult.â€
Petraeus says his ties with al-Maliki are â€œvery goodâ€ but acknowledges expressing â€œthe full range of emotionsâ€ on â€œa couple of occasions.â€
U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker, who meets together with al-Maliki and Petraeus at least weekly, concedes â€œsometimes there are sporty exchanges.â€
That should really lead to credibility problems with Petraeus and will make one wonder even more how truthful his report will be in September.
There are also more troubles brewing in the Iraqi government. It looks like everything is on the verge of collapse now:
Iraq's dwindling Shiite-led government and its largest Sunni bloc stepped up their war of words on Saturday, amid a crisis which some lawmakers warned could bring down the ruling coalition.
Sunni ministers are boycotting government business, and the deepening crisis has cast doubt on the US-backed regime's ability to push through reforms designed to reunite the war-torn country.
Washington has demanded that series of law and constitutional amendments be passed to appease Sunni resentment and end faction fighting, as the programme was supposed to proceed alongside a surge of US troops into the country.
Russ Feingold has issued the following statement regarding his walk out of today's hearings on the Constitutional Amendment on Marriage:
“Today’s markup of the constitutional amendment concerning marriage, in a small room off the Senate floor with only a handful of people other than Senators and their staffs present, was an affront to the Constitution. I objected to its consideration in such an inappropriate setting and refused to help make a quorum. I am deeply disappointed that the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee went forward with the markup over my objection. Unfortunately, the Majority Leader has set a politically motivated schedule for floor consideration of this measure that the Chairman felt compelled to follow, even though he says he opposes the amendment.
Constitutional amendments deserve the most careful and deliberate consideration of any matter that comes before the Senate. In addition to hearings and a subcommittee markup, such a measure should be considered by the Judiciary Committee in the light of day, open to the press and the public, with cameras present so that the whole country can see what is done. Open and deliberate debate on such an important matter cannot take place in a setting such as the one chosen by the Chairman of the Committee today.
The Constitution of the United States is an historic guarantee of individual freedom. It has served as a beacon of hope, an example to people around the world who yearn to be free and to live their lives without government interference in their most basic human decisions. I took an oath when I joined this body to support and defend the Constitution. I will continue to fight this mean-spirited, divisive, poorly drafted, and misguided amendment when it comes to the Senate floor.”