By Patrick Appel
I'm not sure how much this changes things:
Dr. Ali al-Dabbagh, a spokesman for the Iraqi government, issued a statement saying Mr. Maliki’s statement had been “as not conveyed accurately regarding the vision of Senator Barack Obama, U.S. presidential candidate, on the timeframe for U.S. forces withdrawal from Iraq,” but it did not address a specific error. It did soften his support for Mr. Obama’s plan and implied a more tentative approach to withdrawing troops.
As if it’s not bad enough that they’re trying to spin this after the fact, the Times reports that the statement was put out by Centcom, just to make the U.S. fingerprints on it extra legible, I guess. In any event, Maliki’s desire to make any timetable contingent upon further security gains was already clear from the Spiegel translation...