Sunday, July 20, 2008

Iraqi Leader Tweaks U.S. Presidential Campaign

We're having another iteration today of the Spiegal quotation controversy, which started yesterday with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's statement that he was essentially aligned with Barack Obama's 16-month troop withdrawal plan.

Nuri al Maliki

Comments made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki in an interview with SPIEGEL (more...) published on Saturday have stirred up the campaign teams of both Barack Obama and John McCain this weekend. And late on Saturday, Maliki tried to distance himself from the statements, saying his comments were misunderstood.

In the interview, Maliki expressed support of Obama's plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months. "That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of changes."

Maliki was quick to back away from an outright endorsement of Obama, saying "who they choose as their president is the Americans' business." But he then went on to say: "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"....

SPIEGEL sticks to its version of the conversation.

Maliki's comments immediately hit the headlines of US papers and Web sites across the country, partly the result of a White House employee inadvertently sending out a news alert to its full media distribution list. The White House said it was an error and that it was meant to be sent internally only.

The Obama campaign was quick to welcome Maliki's expression of support, with his top foreign policy advisor, Susan Rice, saying "Senator Obama welcomes Prime Minister Maliki's support for a 16 month timeline for the redeployment of US combat brigades. This presents an important opportunity to transition to Iraqi responsibility, while restoring our military and increasing our commitment to finish the fight in Afghanistan."
Obama should welcome an expression of support, since he's long been wrong on Iraq, and he's jonesing for some positive press on his war policy, which has become increasingly irrelevant to facts on the ground (recall the Obama camp went so far as to scrub its criticism of the surge from the campaign's official page).

Allahpundit's offered some of the best analysis of the issue yesterday (
here), and he links this morning to this interview with Joseph Lieberman, who notes that "Obama couldn't travel to Iraq today" if we'd followed his earlier, incessant proposals for a precipitous withdrawal:



The left's triumphalism is in full ejaculation over at
Matthew Yglesias' page, and this comment is particularly revealing of Marxist mindset that has gripped these folks:

Der SPIEGEL is the most important and reputable news magazine in Germany, and it also offers the biggest news website in German. It is majority-owned by the employees, which means that there's no big shareholder in the background pulling the strings and influencing the reporting. Spiegel's _factual statements_ are regarded with utmost credibility in Germany, even when the commentaries and editorials can be controversial.

The probability that Der SPIEGEL not only mistranslated the same things multiple times AND having Maliki fail to recognize this when his interview was signed off (standard practice) is so low that you need to be literally BRAINDEAD to believe it.

Well, that describes CNN, for example.

Sorry, but America has no free credible mass media left.
One more data-point of evidence of the left's hope for a shift to socialism in the U.S.