“John McCain has said he will only support a withdrawal based on conditions on the ground. It is our belief that the Iraqi leaders share that view. The disposition of a sovereign, democratically elected government is one of the conditions that will be taken into account.” — Michael Goldfarb, deputy director of communications for the McCain 2008 campaign [emphasis added]
The reaction to Nouri al-Maliki’s endorsement of Obama’s Iraq withdrawal timetable is interesting. First, we had an Iraqi government spokesman claim that Maliki was misquoted, without offering any details, and with the translation showing quite clearly that Maliki said what he said, as an audiotape of the interview actually exists. Even more dubiously, the qualifying statement was issued by the occupying army! But, after recent clarification, there is now no doubt that the Iraqi government favors a withdrawal timetable similar to Obama’s proposal.This is a key test, really, of who really runs Iraq, the relatively weak government or the US occupying army. Obama is deferring to the wishes of the Iraqis (not just the political leaders, but large majorities want the occupiers out). But when McCain said that the view of government was only “one of the conditions” he would consider, then he is betraying his true imperial ambitions.