Does Iraqi prime minister Maliki want a quicker end to the U.S. military presence than our goals would allow? It's beginning to look that way after seemingly contradictory statements he's made.
It looks as if he's attempting to influence U.S. midterm elections, which begs the question; is Maliki the right man for the job?
From the AP:
The American ambassador and Iraqi prime minister issued a rare joint statement yesterday in which Iraq reaffirmed its commitment to a "good and strong" relationship with Washington -- a bid to dampen speculation about souring ties less than two weeks before U.S. midterm elections...And from the LA Times:
On Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad announced the centerpiece of the Bush administration's new strategy: The establishment of a timeline to curb violence and solve other Iraqi problems. He said Mr. al-Maliki had agreed to the plan.
But over the next two days, Mr. al-Maliki publicly and heatedly said that he saw imposition of timelines as an infringement on Iraqi sovereignty. Then he said that the timeline program was a product of U.S. electoral politics.
The White House on Thursday said Mr. al-Maliki's comments were taken out of context. But hours later, the Iraqi leader reissued the same complaint, unambiguously in an interview with British journalists.
Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and the U.S. Embassy said in the statement that they had agreed to unspecified timelines to make tough political and security decisions on the country's future.I'm all for Iraqi sovereignty, but we kind of sacrificed a lot for you to be in power, and it's a bit unsettling to watch you take virtually no action against sectarian insurgants. And to top it off, you come out just before our elections and criticize our policies, and say you're a friend but not our man.
Privately, however, Maliki criticized what he called the patronizing U.S. tone toward the Iraqi government and warned U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad to respect Iraq's sovereignty, two of the prime minister's advisors said.
"I'm a friend to the United States, but not America's man in Iraq."
With all due respect, I question your intentions Maliki.
I'm beginning to think you're not arguing for Iraqi sovereignty, rather Iranian interests. What could come of an Iraqi prime minister's criticism? Perhaps a Democrat controlled American Congress, and consequently an end to the military funding.
Mr. Maliki, you could not be more right; you are not America's man. The question is, are you Iraq's man?