Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Maliki and Obama

The remarkably fair-and-balanced WAHINGTON POST has published a good article by Max Boot explaining why we should be skeptical of the Iraqi chief executive’s apparent endorsement of the Obama withdrawal timetable. Maliki surely isn’t wrong to believe that it’s prudent to curry favor with the guy with good odds of becoming our next commander-in-chief. And I can’t help but think he’s really helped Barack: He’s helped to create the impression that our withdrawal would not be, as it was in Vietnam, a dishonorable abandonment of our ally. It would be what the sovereign nation really wants. McCain’s challenge in dispelling this impression is pretty formidable.

Discussions - 5 Comments

McCain was never going to win this election on the basis of his Iraq policies. This election is going to turn on economic issues, very likely gas prices foremost of all. McCain is running some good ads on how resistant Obama and the rest of the environmentalist-dominated Democrats are to exploiting our domestic energy resources. He needs to keep on in that vein, and forget any notion that his heroic military record or visionary support for the surge are going to get him into the Oval Office, because the reality is they simply won't.

On energy, as on so many other issues, the Dems long ago let themselves be body-snatched by a narrow but well-heeled special interest (elite types for whom the environment is a kind of substitute religion) that is inimical to the interests of most ordinary Americans. The Dems are exposed on this one, caught directly between an intense, vocal, well organized, and well funded minority on the one hand, and the great majority of American voters on the other. If McCain can pound that and keep pounding it effectively, it could help his campaign enormously. Iraq, whatever the merits of the dispute, was never going to offer such prospects and certainly will not now, especially with the way the MSM is squirting inky clouds of adulation in Obama's defense and ignoring his Dan Quayle-like gaffes such as his "Israel will always be Israel's best friend" remark of the other day.

I think Boot is right about Maliki's prudent calculation and there is also the issue of satisfying his own domestic political constituencies....he is trying hard to dispel the notion that he is merely a puppet of the US and encourage a sense of national pride and self-suffiency....

Maliki also has little to lose and some to gain in his relationship to the next US President. Maybe President Obama will be grateful for the little assist, maybe not. Either way, it was worth it. If McCain wins, Maliki can be sure that McCain will not abandon Iraq to the terrorists out of pique, so there is little risk there. The only major potential downside is that Maliki's outburst made it much more likely that Obama will be the next President, when McCain would be more in the Iraqi government's interest. I would guess that Maliki sees the main chance that Obama is the next President and is acting according to that calculation.

1: Roger -- Yes.

It seems that McCain's working of the energy issue is yielding some results:

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