You remember how Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki basically endorsed Barack Obama’s strategy to withdraw from Iraq? And then how President George W. Bush negotiated a “time horizon” for withdrawal along Obama’s lines, only he maneuvered Maliki to avoid pegging withdrawal to Obama’s stated goal of 2010? Yeah, you remember that. Well, look at what Maliki told al-Iraqiya:
Actually, the final date was really the end of 2010 and the period between the end of 2010 and the end of 2011 was for withdrawing the remaining troops from all of Iraq, but they [the Bush administration] asked for a change [in date] due to political circumstances related to the domestic situation [in the US] so it will not be said to the end of 2010 followed by one year for withdrawal but the end of 2011 as a final date. Agreement has been reached on this issue. They are willing to respond positively because they, too, are facing a critical situation.
That’s via Matt Duss of the Center for American Progress, and I’m using his emphasis because I can’t figure out how to unbold. But let’s not get sidetracked. This is Maliki saying Bush buckled on the substance of withdrawal but the sticking point — the unmovable force — was finding some fig leaf to offer McCain’s war-until-forever posture. This from, as Duss points out, the man who constantly lies and says his war strategy is entirely subservient to the wishes of his commanders on the ground. God, can I not wait until the National Archives open the papers on this administration.
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