Maliki Claims He Was Misinterpreted After White House Objects To What He Said
Iraq Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, in an interview with Der Spiegel, agreed with Barack Obama’s plan for US troops to get out of Iraq. But the White House objected, and now Maliki is backing off his comments.
Scott M. Stanzel, a White House spokesman with President Bush at his ranch in Crawford, Tex., said that embassy officials explained to the Iraqis how the interview in Der Spiegel was being interpreted, given that it came just a day after the two governments announced an agreement over American troops.
“The Iraqis were not aware and wanted to correct it,” he said.
Translation: The White House was pissed off that the government they helped install is backing the Democratic candidate for president of the United States, and let them know that in no uncertain terms.
A spokesman for the Iraqi government is saying that Der Speigel got it wrong, claiming Maliki’s words were “misunderstood” and “mistranslated”. The problem is, translator was Maliki’s, not one from the magazine.
…in an audio recording of Mr. Maliki’s interview that Der Spiegel provided to The New York Times, Mr. Maliki seemed to state a clear affinity for Mr. Obama’s position, bringing it up on his own in an answer to a general question on troop presence.
The following is a direct translation from the Arabic of Mr. Maliki’s comments by The Times: “Obama’s remarks that – if he takes office – in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq.”
He continued: “Who wants to exit in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq.”
And Maliki’s top political advisor, Sadiq al-Rikabi, continues to echo the sentiments expressed in the magazine interview.
Click here for reuse options!
“Foreign soldiers in the middle of the most populated areas are not without their side effects,” he said. “Shouldn’t we look to an end for this unhealthy situation?”
Copyright 2008 Liberaland