Ezra Klein is Right
"Maliki, speaking to the German magazine Der Spiegel, said, '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.' In other words, the head of the Iraqi government endorsed the Obama plan -- both its timetable and its timing -- by name. That's huge. And it's the culmination of a weeks-long effort by the Maliki government to drive their desire for a timetable for withdrawal into the American political conversation. But though they've repeatedly expressed their preference for a timetable for withdrawal, this is the first time they've explicitly supported the plan of one candidate or another.
"Fundamentally, Maliki's comment is evidence of what the Iraqi government sees as the primary impediment to their government attaining real legitimacy: Us. The American occupation is hugely unpopular, and if Iraq is to truly stabilize, its government needs to be seen as independent from the occupiers and opposed to their continued presence. McCain needs to either come out with a new Iraq plan featuring a withdrawal component tomorrow, or explain why he believes America should fight for continued military dominance in Iraq over the objections of the American people, the Iraqi people, and the Iraqi government."
(Crossposted to American Footprints)