The Iraqi government gets even clearer:
"It can be 2011 or 2012," al-Dabbagh said. "We don't have a specific date in mind, but we need to agree on the principle of setting a deadline."
Eric Martin notes:
What does it say of McCain's argument for staying in Iraq that the alleged opposition to our long term presence from the elected government is simply a political move to bolster its support? That is, our continued presence is so unpopular that even our allies are forced to pretend that they oppose us in order to secure votes in upcoming elections. That doesn't sound like a position that we can maintain long term. Even if Maliki can dupe the Iraqi population this election (assuming, ex arguendo, that that is his intention), how many times can he pull that stunt? And will he survive long enough, politically, for a redux?
If Maliki is genuine, McCain's stance is wrong. If Maliki is politicking, as McCain suggests, McCain's stance depends on how long Maliki can keep the bullshit coming.