Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's comments on Obama's planned troop withdrawal now available in full

Monday, July 21, 2008

Topography of Iraq / Topografie de Iraq

This is turning out to be an interesting story. Iraq's prime minister Nouri al-Maliki (Nouri Kamel Mohammed Hassan al-Maliki, نوري كامل محمّد حسن المالكي) made some comments in an interview with Der Spiegel the other day about how Obama has the better plan for troop withdrawal in Iraq, after which there were some halfhearted denials about a mistranslation by Der Spiegel and that he might not have really meant that, but it turns out that the translator wasn't working for Der Spiegel but actually for al-Maliki himself and now Der Spiegel has published the entire interview here:

Maliki: As soon as possible, as far as we're concerned. U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.

SPIEGEL: Is this an endorsement for the US presidential election in November? Does Obama, who has no military background, ultimately have a better understanding of Iraq than war hero John McCain?

Maliki: Those who operate on the premise of short time periods in Iraq today are being more realistic. Artificially prolonging the tenure of US troops in Iraq would cause problems. Of course, this is by no means an election endorsement. Who they choose as their president is the Americans' business. But it's the business of Iraqis to say what they want. And that's where the people and the government are in general agreement: The tenure of the coalition troops in Iraq should be limited.

I still know next to no Arabic though, so once the Arabic text comes out I'm going to ask a few people I know about it.

Edit: now has a direct translation on what was said:

The following is a direct translation from the Arabic of Mr. Maliki’s comments by The Times:

“Obama’s remarks that — if he takes office — in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq.”

He continued: “Who wants to exit in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq.”


  © Blogger templates Newspaper by 2008

Back to TOP