The Press has made a big deal of a leaked memo from the prime minister of Iraq, Maliki, generally siding with a phased withdrawal ala Barack. No surprise, with its US point of view and worship of Barack, the Press got the story backwards. They have implied that Obama has persuaded Maliki to go with Barry's w/drawal strategy. Instead, Maliki has manipulated Obama to go with Maliki's (and Bush's) plan. Maliki is afraid that a Demo govt will do to him what Tip O'Neill did to the South Vietnamese - abandon Iraq at the point of victory and leave them to the mercies of bitter enemies. So by floating this, he has moved Obama quite a ways from his earlier views on Iraq:
- 2006, immediate complete w/drawal
- 2007, 16-month complete w/drawal
- 2008 post Maliki, gradual w/drawal depending on conditions on the ground and a residual force of 50-80k to hold the peace. Almost identical to the Bush plan!
Barry is quite a good politician - much better than Mac, and perhaps even better than Bill Cinton - and so expect him to shift focus away from Iraq and on to Afghanistan before the Press catches on.