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Wha? Maliki supports Obama's withdrawal plan? Hasn't he talked to our commanders on the ground yet?

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 10:19 AM
Original message
Wha? Maliki supports Obama's withdrawal plan? Hasn't he talked to our commanders on the ground yet?
Edited on Sat Jul-19-08 10:22 AM by jefferson_dem
Why does he hate 'Merca?


Facts on the Ground
19 Jul 2008 08:39 am

U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.

It's unremarkable on its own terms for someone to tell a periodical that they think Barack Obama is basically right about Iraq, but in this case the person talking is Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki being interviewed by Der Spiegel so that seems pretty noteworthy. We shouldn't slavishly adhere to whatever the Iraqi government happens to want (if they say we need 100,000 soldiers in Iraq for the next 20 years, we need to tell them no way) but as even John McCain and George Bush used to admit if the Iraqis want us to leave we really have to leave.

Maliki here -- and for the past couple of weeks more broadly -- is addressing himself to the most fundamental "facts on the ground" in Iraq of all, the gross unpopularity of the American military presence. Under those circumstances, only real desperation (such as the terrible situation prevailing in 2006) makes it make sense for Maliki to uncritically endorse an open-ended presence. Whatever it is he would like to get from US forces (and you've got to believe it's plenty, given that plenty of security issues still exist for Iraq) the larger imperative is to get it in the context of also getting a plan to get Iraq's sovereignty back.

http://matthewyglesias.theatlantic.com/archives/2008/07...


MALIKI BACKS BARACK OBAMA'S IRAQ PLAN.

To really understand the importance of Maliki's comments, you need to consider their opposite. Imagine if Maliki had walked in front of the cameras and said, "at this stage, a timetable for withdrawal is unrealistic, and we hope our American friends will not bow to domestic political pressures and be hasty in leaving Iraq just as the country improves." It would be a transformative moment in this election. John McCain would talk of nothing else. The cable shows would talk of nothing else. Magazines would run thousands of covers about "Obama's Iraq Problem." Obama would probably lose the race.

Instead, the opposite happened. Maliki, speaking to the German magazine Der Spiegel, said, "U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes." In other words, the head of the Iraqi government endorsed the Obama plan -- both its timetable and its timing -- by name. That's huge. And it's the culmination of a weeks-long effort by the Maliki government to drive their desire for a timetable for withdrawal into the American political conversation. But though they've repeatedly expressed their preference for a timetable for withdrawal, this is the first time they've explicitly supported the plan of one candidate or another.

Fundamentally, Maliki's comment is evidence of what the Iraqi government sees as the primary impediment to their government attaining real legitimacy: Us. The American occupation is hugely unpopular, and if Iraq is to truly stabilize, its government needs to be seen as independent from the occupiers and opposed to their continued presence. McCain needs to either come out with a new Iraq plan featuring a withdrawal component tomorrow, or explain why he believes America should fight for continued military dominance in Iraq over the objections of the American people, the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi government.

Posted by Ezra Klein on July 19, 2008 9:27 AM | Permalink

http://www.prospect.org/csnc/blogs/ezraklein_archive?mo...
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Muttocracy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 02:13 PM
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1. how can it be that they don't want us there for ever? what if they need liberating??? nt
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-19-08 02:19 PM
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2. It was other Dem's plans before it was Obama's. Let give credit where credit is due. n/t
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