Saturday, July 19, 2008

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki Backs Obama's Exit Plan (UPDATED x2)

iraqi prime minister al-maliki


Well, I thought I would lounge around a bit today, but it is turning out to be a pretty busy news day.

First off, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki dropped a bomb shell by giving an interview to a German magazine, by stating he backs Barack Obama's plan of withdrawal of American troops in 16 months.

This is putting a huge dent in the McCain plan of "winning the war", when the country is telling you politely to get the hell out. Because that is exactly what the PM is telling the United States.

Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told a German magazine he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months.

In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.

"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."

Then another zinger by al-Maliki:
"So far the Americans have had trouble agreeing to a concrete timetable for withdrawal, because they feel it would appear tantamount to an admission of defeat," Maliki told SPIEGEL. "But that isn't the case at all. If we come to an agreement, it is not evidence of a defeat, but of a victory, of a severe blow we have inflicted on al-Qaida and the militias."

I don't care what anyone says, that throws out the Bush/McCain frame for staying in Iraq.

Dr. Susan Rice, Obama Campaign:
Senator Obama welcomes Prime Minister Maliki's support for a 16 month timeline for the redeployment of U.S combat brigades. This presents an important opportunity to transition to Iraqi responsibility, while restoring our military and increasing our commitment to finish the fight in Afghanistan.

Then the Bush Administration's intern (who is probably fired now) performed a no-no, by sending the initial story to the press instead of the internal distribution list.
The White House this afternoon accidentally sent to its extensive distribution list a Reuters story headlined "Iraqi PM backs Obama troop exit plan - magazine."

The story relayed how Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki told the German magazine Der Spiegel that "he supported prospective U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's proposal that U.S. troops should leave Iraq within 16 months ... ‘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,'" the prime minister said.

The White House employee had intended to send the article to an internal distribution list, ABC News' Martha Raddatz reports, but hit the wrong button.

I agree with the analysis by turneresq, being that before this story hit the fan everyone was going to get their talking points together. Well, so much for talking points when the country you invaded is telling you to get the hell on in 16 months. What talking points can the Bush Administration possibly come up with?

Then it gets even better:
Via e-mail, a prominent Republican strategist who occasionally provides advice to the McCain campaign said, simply, "We're fucked."

Yes, the McCain Campaign is. His whole campaign is hanging on a thread of national security and terrorism. If your main man in Iraq is complementing and agreeing with your rival, what can you do or say?

Oh, and we are smack dab in the middle of listening sessions with the Iranians. Yeah, the ones on that axis of evil list.

My take. Stay tuned. I expect a reversal of words, or my words were misunderstood by al-Maliki. Meaning, the Bush Administration will attempt to twist his arm.

Remember the only breathing room the Republicans have is Iraq. If al-Maliki says, "screw you" to the Bush Adminstration, McCain is a done deal.

Wow, all that and Obama in Afghanistan and Kuwait, too.


McCain's response:
"His domestic politics require him to be for us getting out," said a senior McCain campaign official, speaking on the condition of anonymity. "The military says 'conditions based' and Maliki said 'conditions based' yesterday in the joint statement with Bush. Regardless, voters care about [the] military, not about Iraqi leaders."

and the Obama Campaign:
"So given that al-Maliki said today that it’s time for an official timetable and that Obama “is right when he talks about 16 months,” will McCain honor that commitment and call for withdrawal or change his position that we should leave Iraq if asked?"

And another McCain statement by Tucker Bounds:
"Let’s be clear, the only reason that the conversation about reducing troop levels in Iraq is happening is because John McCain challenged the failed Rumsfield-strategy in Iraq and argued for the surge strategy that is responsible for the successes we’ve achieved and which Barack Obama opposed. Unlike Barack Obama, John McCain has never ignored the facts on the ground in Iraq, he’s never avoided the warzone before proposing new strategy, and he’s never voted against funding our troops in the field. If John McCain was following Barack Obama’s lead on foreign policy, the United States would have already withdrawn from Iraq in a humiliating defeat at the hands of al Qaeda.” ---Tucker Bounds, spokesman John McCain 2008.

Great, throw it on Rumsfeld, who is GONE. But it is a plan Bush backed to the hilt. The McCain Campaign got to come with something stronger than this.

And voters don't listen to Maliki. Get ready that is the framing that McCain is going to use.

Josh Marshall's take on this is WEAK and I agree. Remember, McCain is NOT FOR US LEAVING IRAQ. Keep this in mind. Read it, here.


Apparently, Britain Prime Minister Gordon Brown is on the same page as Obama for troop withdrawal:
Gordon Brown prepared the ground for a historic realignment in the "war on terror" yesterday by setting out a four-point plan for withdrawal of British troops from Iraq by the end of next year.

Although he is refusing to set a detailed timetable for withdrawal, it is clear Mr Brown is in agreement with the US presidential candidate Barack Obama on the need for military action in Afghanistan to take priority. Both appear to be working to a 16-month timetable.

The Bush/McCain regime is "frackked", and I am being nice here.

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