Well, I doubt this was what they had in mind when all those administration officials said things like we want to Iraqi government to be independent and sovereign, to reflect the wishes of the Iraqi people, and especially, when the Iraqis stand up we will stand down.
Now Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki has said it would be a good idea to have a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. He didn't offer a specific timetable, just said it would be a good idea. The foreign minister followed up, more forcefully. Of course the Bush administration has gone apoplectic whenever any U.S. war critic has uttered the forbidden word, "timetable," claiming it would play right into al-Qaida's hands. Of course, al-Qaida never was much of a factor in the insurgency, but never mind; it's the preferred enemy. Now that al-Maliki has said it would be a good idea, it puts the Bushies in a bit of a box. Do they acknowledge, as they have been claiming has been happening, that Iraq is really independent of us, which is what we claimed to want?
McCain's virtual dismissal of the remarks as "political" is more revealing of McCain than he might have wanted. If they were "merely" political it suggests that al-Maliki knows that most Iraqis want the U.S. out sooner rather than later and he has to say so or risk domestic political repercussions. But if most Iraqis want us out, isn't it time to congratulate them on achieving a measure of independence, wish them luck, and start to leave? Does McCain think his opinion is more important than that of the majority of Iraqis, or that he is so wise that he has a right to override the majority in a foreign country? A bit paternalistic and colonial are we?