CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: That was an appalling statement. Does he think Maliki is in the third grade? Of course Maliki knows that the flights over his country, starting in Iran, are bringing weapons and helping us out. He needs the Secretary of State of the United States to instruct him on what's happening? He understands exactly what is happening. And the reason is doing this is precisely because he wants to support Assad. And also he is receiving influence from Iran. Iran, of course, is the main supporter of Assad.
The other reason is a sectarian one because Maliki is a Shiite and Assad's Alawites, who are the minority in control of Syria, are related with Shiites, and they are the minority in a majority Sunni country. So it isn't as if Maliki isn't aware of what he is doing. He is, of course.
The story is that the Secretary of State, representing a country which has been in retreat from Iraq -- Obama made a decision to leave no residual American military in Iraq, which essentially meant we would have zero influence. And we have zero influence. And that's why Assad is doing what he's doing, that's why the rebels don't care one way or the other what American thinks. That's why Iraq, also, considers America relevant. Obama talks about the tide of war is receding. The tide of war is rising, America is receding and it is irrelevant. And that is the story of the visit.