McCain vs Maliki?
What is a "very clear timeline" if it isn't the essence of Obama's Iraq policy for the past two years? Money quote from the Iraqi government:
"We have said that this is a condition-driven process," [Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari] added, suggesting that the departure schedule could be modified if the security situation changed.
But Zebari made clear that the Iraqis would not accept a deal that lacks a timeline for the end of the U.S. military presence. "No, no definitely there has to be a very clear timeline," Zebari replied when asked if the Iraqis would accept an agreement that did not mention dates.
Obama has that sliver of a get-out clause as well: pragmatism will moderate withdrawal's pace. But the goal of total Iraq independence and the eventual removal of all US troops is the same as Maliki's, not McCain's. In contrast, McCain's no-fixed-timeline, put-down-permanent-roots, neo-imperial option is beginning to look out of touch with reality. We'll see, of course. But it seems to me that, despite the conventional wisdom, it is Obama who has shown himself more attuned to winning the war in Iraq - which means turning the country over to the Iraqis, not retaining it as a permanent imperial quagmire -not McCain, whose twentieth century roots are showing.