In this corner, weighing in at 145 pounds, voted Miss Incompetence 2001 – The Contender – Condoleeza Rice!
SECRETARY RICE: Well, I think that the United States has been very involved with the Iraqis every step of the way. But this is an Iraqi process; this is not an American process. And I know that Zal, as John Negroponte before him, tried to help in any way that they were asked to do. Sometimes they were asked to facilitate, to hold discussions, but I want to be very clear that this is an Iraqi process and I think you saw today that Iraqis are in control of this process. They decided that they were responsible officials who needed more time to look at the very difficult issues that were in the text. And so they took that time in accordance with a process that was set up. And so, yes, Zal has been active. Our people have been active. Others have been active in helping them, but this is by all means an Iraqi process.
And in this corner, weighing in at 175 pounds – The Great Prevaricator – The War Criminal – The Chimpion – George W. Bush!
Talks over the Iraqi constitution reached a breaking point on Thursday, with a parliamentary session to present the document being canceled and President Bush personally calling one of the country’s most powerful Shiite leaders in an effort to broker a last-minute deal.
Mr. Bush intervened when some senior Shiite leaders said they had decided to bypass their Sunni counterparts, as well as Iraqi lawmakers, and send the document directly to Iraqi voters for their approval.
The concern that a deal on the constitution was falling apart appeared to have to prompted Mr. Bush to call Mr. Hakim to urge a comprise. One Iraqi official, who was not authorized to speak publicly, said the Americans, who have already expressed their frustration with the Sunnis, have recently become irritated with what they regard as the stubbornness of the Shiites as well.