Reader Bill Donahue writes:
Much has been made about the comments of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki regarding Obama’s 16 month timetable for withdrawal of U.S. Troops. The common spin is that al-Maliki is putting pressure on the Bush administration. It might also be fueled by Iraqi concern about the U.S. election as well as local elections there. The Prime Minister knows that a portion of the United States wants to leave Iraq. If we do so, he is on his own. It could motivate him to ally himself with the powerful al-Sadr militant faction or at least join the chorus of anti-American groups. Also, there are provincial elections forthcoming in Iraq as well. It may be to al-Maliki’s advantage to seem tough and independent in their own election cycle. The militant radical Montique al-Sadr incidentally also is a supporter of Obama’s plans. He wants US troops out so he, an Iran supporter, can take over. So, if he is going to stay in power, al-Maliki, might feel the need to run toward his “right” just as Obama is now running toward his “center.” Also, militant groups will play upon the election to get U.S. troops out. Curiously, streetwise Iraqis are not so sure they want the US out too soon. It would destabilize the country and re-open the sectarian violence. Then what have we accomplished and what do they have but more bloodshed?
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