As we know, we are in Iraq merely to support the elected Iraqi government, and in all matters are following their lead. That’s why we had to help Prime Minister Maliki with his attack on the Sadrist forces. So let’s ask Maliki what we should do now:
ROBERTSON: This week is an important week in the United States. Ambassador [Ryan] Crocker, General [David] Petraeus giving their reports on the state of the surge — looking ahead on what U.S. troops should do — U.S. surge drawdown will end in the summer. They are considering a pause, maybe weeks or months to examine when they should pull all American troops out. What do you want the U.S. to do? Should there be a pause in the drawdown? Do you want it to be weeks? Do you want it to be months?
AL-MALIKI: […] I believe the American forces can draw down. I don’t believe the decision for a drawdown should be paused as long as Iraqi security forces — based on the first agreement the more Iraqi forces move forward, the more U.S. forces move back until all security responsibilities are handed over and coalition forces remain in a support role. And in a support role, you don’t need such a big number.
Here’s today’s top story in the Washington Post:
Bush Backs Petraeus on Indefinite Suspension of Troop Pullout in Iraq
President Bush ordered an indefinite suspension yesterday of troop withdrawals from Iraq this summer…
Fortunately Karen DeYoung and Peter Baker, the authors of the Post article, managed to write 1440 words on the subject without mentioning the views of Iraq’s prime minister. Otherwise Americans might have grown confused about how much Iraq is sovereign and all that freedom is reigning.
(The only large news outlet that seems to have quoted Maliki’s views when reporting on the “pause” is AP.)