Not much to say here. Other than the fact that this is a huge huge huge deal. Article speaks for itself.
In an interview with Der Spiegel released on Saturday, Maliki said he wanted U.S. troops to withdraw from Iraq as soon as possible.
"U.S. 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"[..]
"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.
Is there anything left to say?
Jake Tapper reports that the White House "accidentally" emailed the article to its extensive distro list.
The misfire comes at an odd time for Bush foreign policy, at a time when Obama's campaign alleges the president is moving closer toward Obama's recommendations about international relations -- sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, discussing a "general time horizon" for U.S. troop withdrawal and launching talks with Iran.
Obama's campaign issued this statement (from an email):
There are two problems with John McCain's political attacks on Barack Obama's foreign policy. First, on the biggest foreign policy questions of the last eight years, Barack Obama has made the right judgment and John McCain has sided with George Bush in making the wrong one. Second, the failure of the McCain-Bush foreign policy has forced John McCain to change his position, and to embrace the very same Obama approaches that he once attacked.
Just this week, Senator McCain has been forced by events to switch to Barack Obama's position on two fundamental issues: more troops in Afghanistan, and more diplomacy with Iran. On both issues, Obama took stands that weren't politically popular at the time - opposing the war in Iraq as a diversion from the critical mission in Afghanistan, and standing up for direct diplomacy with Iran - while John McCain lined up with George Bush. Time has proven Obama's judgment right and McCain wrong.
The next shift appears to be Iraq. For months, Senator McCain has called any plan to redeploy our troops from Iraq "surrender" - even though we'd be leaving Iraq to a sovereign Iraqi government. Now, the Bush Administration is embracing the negotiation of troop withdrawals with the Iraqi government - a position that Senator Obama called for last September, and reiterated on Monday in the New York Times. And now, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports Barack Obama's timeline, telling Der Speigel that, "Barack Obama is right when he talks about 16 months."
Ooh, that's gotta leave a mark when you make your campaign all about your foreign policy expertise.