The Nuri al-Maliki not-an-endorsement endorsement of Senator Obama is resonating. Hugely.
Josh Marshall at The Talking Points Memo:
My first instinct is always to try not to overstate the impact of momentary developments. But I don’t think it’s enough to say this is a huge development. It’s huger than that. In a stroke, I think, al Maliki has cut McCain off at the knees in a way I’m not sure his campaign strategy can recover from…McCain may also say that his ‘surge’ strategy is what made all this possible. But fundamentally that’s not a point Obama is arguing. The debate is about whether or not to leave. And on that count, Maliki has now placed McCain is an extremely precarious position.
Joe Klein at at Time magazine:
It will be interesting to see how McCain responds to all this. But it does seem that real events in the real world are endorsing Obama’s foreign policy vision, not McCain’s.
Marc Ambinder of The Atlantic:
This could be one of those unexpected events that forever changes the way the world perceives an issue. Iraq’s Prime Minister agrees with Obama, and there’s no wiggle room or fudge factor. This puts John McCain in an extremely precarious spot: what’s left to argue? to argue against Maliki would be to predicate that Iraqi sovereignty at this point means nothing. Obviously, our national interests aren’t equivalent to Iraq’s, but… Malik isn’t listening to the generals on the ground…but the “hasn’t been to Iraq” line doesn’t work here.
So how will the McCain campaign respond?
Turns out the McCain campaign responded this way:
“The difference between John McCain and Barack Obama is that Barack Obama advocates an unconditional withdrawal that ignores the facts on the ground and the advice of our top military commanders. John McCain believes withdrawal must be based on conditions on the ground. Prime Minister Maliki has repeatedly affirmed the same view, and did so again today. Timing is not as important as whether we leave with victory and honor, which is of no apparent concern to Barack Obama. The fundamental truth remains that Senator McCain was right about the surge and Senator Obama was wrong. We would not be in the position to discuss a responsible withdrawal today if Senator Obama’s views had prevailed.”
Which all sounds really, really great. Except that it’s a total fucking lie.
I’m just sayin’…