Two similar men, worlds apart

Identify X, Y and Z in the excerpt below, taken from an article in the June 25, 2007 issue of Newsweek:

They’re both increasingly isolated from the people they are supposed to lead. They are contemporaries (X is 60, Y is 57), and both spent most of their lives as relatively unworldly men, albeit worlds apart. Both have had to learn on the job while in the top job. Both are surrounded by small circles of confidants who have given them demonstrably bad advice where the future of Z is concerned. Both are at odds with fractious legislatures. Both are deeply religious and have important fundamentalist constituencies. Each of them very much needs the other to succeed, and neither has any real alternative.

Answer: (select the text below to show)

X – George W Bush
Y – Nuri al-Maliki
Z – Iraq

The excerpt is from “Bogged Down In Baghdad” by Larry Kaplow and Christopher Dickey.

Question by Amit Varma