Quote of the Day: Leaving Iraq Isn’t Admitting Defeat…

…and you’ll be surprised who said that. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki:

“U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months [for withdrawal from Iraq]. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.”…
“Whoever is thinking about the shorter term is closer to reality. Artificially extending the stay of U.S. troops would cause problems.”…
“The Americans have found it difficult to agree on a concrete timetable for the exit because it seems like an admission of defeat to them. But it isn’t,” Maliki told Der Spiegel.

Spencer Ackerman offers a good explanation for why Maliki said this:

Maliki has read the tea leaves and evidently realized what the rest of us considered obvious: that the only one demanding that he turn Iraq to permanent foreign domination is a president thoroughly discredited in his own country who’ll be out of office in a few months. That president’s replacement might very well decide on a unilateral withdrawal from Iraq, abrogating any deal Maliki was strongarmed into signing, at which point the U.S. would essentially be cutting Maliki off. Oh motherfucking shit, Maliki surely thought, if I sign this deal, my people will run my body through the streets and hoist me from a fucking lamppost. Not that the electricity works, but still.
And so Maliki flip-flopped. His newfound resiliency is born of survival — not merely political survival, either.

Meanwhile, McCain’s camp is claiming that Maliki is responding to domestic pressures, such as the Iraqi people wanting us out of their country.
Think of it as a big purple middle finger….

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4 Responses to Quote of the Day: Leaving Iraq Isn’t Admitting Defeat…

  1. phisrow says:

    Don’t worry, the CentCom Press Office has things all cleared up. Seriously.
    “Dr. Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the Iraqi government, issued a statement saying Mr. Maliki’s statement had been “as not conveyed accurately regarding the vision of Senator Barack Obama, U.S. presidential candidate, on the timeframe for U.S. forces withdrawal from Iraq,” but it did not address a specific error. It did soften his support for Mr. Obama’s plan and implied a more tentative approach to withdrawing troops. More of the statement, which came from the U.S. military’s Central Command press office:”

  2. wrpd says:

    I think this whole Surge mirage smells rotten. Does anyone remember the Tet Offensive?

  3. Matty says:

    What is the legal status of US troops in Iraq anyway? If the Iraqi government ordered all American troops out within one month, would they be expected by international law to obey or is there some agreement, making Iraq a US protectorate, that over rules that country’s own soverignty?

  4. Erik says:

    We should stop worrying about what the terrorists will think if and when we pull out of the Iraq. Does anyone think for one moment that they will surrender and accept defeat, even if we are there for another 100 years kicking the snot out of them? Hell no! No matter when we leave, there will be guns shooting up into the air and victory parades and flag waving. When will people figure out that there is no win or lose?

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