I have three questions for you:
- Is this good news for the W, Rove and Co?
- Is this good news for Iraq?
- Is this good news for America?
And one more for fun: Does it look like the W, Rove and Co cares that the democratically elected government of Iraq is going to deal directly with Iran and Syria?
Q Is President Bush going to bring up the idea of embracing talks with Iran and Syria, with Maliki?
MR. HADLEY: I think you're going to find that Prime Minister Maliki is going to bring that up with the President. He has some strong views on that subject. As you know, the Iraqis have been talking to the Syrians, the Iraqis have been talking to the Iranians. Their view is that the future of Iraq, if it is a subject of conversation with Syrian and Iran, ought to be a conversation by Iraqis, not by others on the outside.
So this is a discussion that Iraqis have taken the lead on with both Iran and Syria, and want to take the lead on. And so I think it's a subject, actually, that Prime Minister Maliki is likely to bring up with the President.
Q So he'll say, basically, let us do this, don't you convene direct talks?
MR. HADLEY: I've said what he has said, I think, publicly. We'll see what else he says when the President and he get together.
Q Are you holding out --
Q But his point is he doesn't want the U.S. meddling in --
MR. HADLEY: I said what I said, which is what he said. And he's talked publicly about this, and I'll let his words speak for themselves.