From Juan Cole:
The New York Times says that President Bush called Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, the Shiite leader. But the call seems to have been to no avail if the Shiites did not come to Barzani's home for negotiations. The Americans are annoyed that the Shiites recently came up with this demand for a southern confederation and are urging them to compromise with the Sunni Arabs, fearful that any other course will prolong and exacerbate the guerrilla war. Poor Bush, who once ordered mighty armies into war and tampered with the US Constitution through his Draconian "PATRIOT" act, now is reduced to pleading with a pro-Iranian cleric to please make nice with the ex-Baathists. And he isn't even succeeding in the plea!
(Apologies for lack of link; Blogger seems to be playing up at the moment.)