The New Iraq Doctrine is a Matter of Time

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Troops in Afghanistan. Negotiations with Iran. Barack Obama gets to see how his foreign policy ideas might work, since the Republicans are busy adopting them. Of course, the people putting these ideas in play are the same people who accidentally leaked this to everybody in the USA:

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports US presidential candidate Barack Obama’s plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months. When asked in and interview with SPIEGEL when he thinks US troops should leave Iraq, Maliki responded “as soon as possible, as far as we are concerned.” He then continued: “US 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.”

And ever the politician —

…Maliki was careful to back away from outright support for Obama. “Of course, this is by no means an election endorsement. Who they choose as their president is the Americans’ business,” he said. But then, apparently referring to Republican candidate John McCain’s more open-ended Iraq policy, Maliki said: “Those who operate on the premise of short time periods in Iraq today are being more realistic. Artificially prolonging the tenure of US troops in Iraq would cause problems.”

Nonpartisan — uh huh. And as many have pointed out, the United States has been clear about respecting Iraq’s wishes.

That goes until they ACTUALLY ASK US TO LEAVE. So far.

I guess what separates a naif from a foreign policy expert is understanding this truth of the universe:

There is neither strength nor wisdom in spitting into the wind.

The wind is blowing the ball into the R side. Whaddaya gonna do, boyz?

UPDATE: This was quick. Ball back to al-Maliki. Iraqi Administration sings “I’m Your Puppet:”*

… a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks “were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately.”

Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the possibility of troop withdrawal was based on the continuance of security improvements, echoing statements that the White House made Friday after a meeting between al-Maliki and U.S. President Bush.

How’s that song go?

*I’m Your Puppet
Linden Oldham/Dan Penn
© 1965 Screen Gems/EMI Music Inc. (BMI)

Pull the string and I’ll wink at you, I’m your puppet
I’ll do funny things if you want me to, I’m your puppet

I’ll be yours to have and to hold
Darling you’ve got full control of your puppet

Pull another string and I’ll kiss your lips, I’m your puppet
Snap your finger and I’ll turn you some flips, I’m your puppet

Your every wish is my command
All you gotta do is wiggle your little hand
I’m your puppet, I’m your puppet

I’m just a toy, just a funny boy
That makes you laugh when you’re blue
I’ll be wonderful, do just what I’m told
I’ll do anything for you
I’m your puppet, I’m your puppet

Pull them little strings and I’ll sing you a song, I’m your puppet
Make me do right or make me do wrong, I’m your puppet

Treat me good and I’ll do anything
I’m just a puppet an you hold my string, I’m your puppet
Yeah, I’m your puppet

Walking, talking, living, loving puppet
I’m hanging on a string girl, I’ll do anything now

I’m a walking, talking, living, loving puppet, and I love you

I’m a smiling happy face when you want me to
Even make you happy when you’re feeling blue.

Oh, yeah.

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