I get to talk to John Amato multiple times a day, but it's easy for me to forget no matter how familiar and frequent that voice is in my ear, most
August 25, 2008

I get to talk to John Amato multiple times a day, but it's easy for me to forget no matter how familiar and frequent that voice is in my ear, most other C&Lers don't know what John looks or sounds like. But luckily for all you curious C&Lers out there, Jason Linkins, HuffPo's roving reporter at the DNC, caught up with John in Denver and asked him his take on Maliki's insistence that the newly negotiated withdrawal of US troops from Iraq is a "real" withdrawal:

Iraq and the United States have agreed that all U.S. troops will leave by the end of 2011, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday, but Washington said no final deal had been reached.

"There is an agreement actually reached, reached between the two parties on a fixed date, which is the end of 2011, to end any foreign presence on Iraqi soil," Maliki said in a speech to tribal leaders in Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone.

"An open time limit is not acceptable in any security deal that governs the presence of the international forces," he said.

Maliki's remarks were the most explicit statement yet that the increasingly assertive Iraqi government expects the U.S. presence to end in three years as part of a deal between Washington and Baghdad to allow them to stay beyond this year.

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