Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and other Iraqi officials have recently made clear that they want the U.S. to commit to a timeline for withdrawing troops. This has bolstered the peace community’s arguments for a withdrawal plan with a timeline. Senator Obama has also used the Iraqi position to add weight to his pro-timeline position in the campaign — much to the dismay of the McCain campaign.
The American political import of the Iraqi position was not lost on the administration. Today the White House is reporting that Bush and Maliki agreeed that troop reduction should be “based on continued improving conditions on the ground and not an arbitrary date for withdrawal.”
Here at Peace Action West we are picturing the arm twisting that must have gone on prior to the White House "clarification" of the Iraqi position. Ouch!