Thursday, October 26, 2006

We must be discerning readers

Keep in mind as you read reports of Prime Minister al-Maliki complaining of U.S. actions, as he has done twice this week: first, criticizing a raid on the Mahdi militia and, second, rejecting the idea of a timeline as proferred by Bush, that there is such a thing as saying one thing in private and another for public consumption. Public officials do it all the time, so don't make too much of these complaints unless they care connected to some concrete action.
Iraqi leader balks on U.S. timeline - Africa & Middle East - International Herald Tribune: "Speaking in Baghdad just hours before President Bush gave a news conference in Washington, Maliki tailored his remarks for his own domestic audience, reassuring the millions of Shiites who form his power base that he would not bend to pressure by the American government over how to conduct internal Iraqi affairs.

His comments stood in stark contrast to the message given on Tuesday by the two top American officials in Iraq, General George W. Casey Jr. and Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who said the timetable for political measures was one the Iraqi government had accepted.

'I want to stress that this is a government of the people's will and no one has the right to set a timetable for it,' Maliki said at a news conference broadcast on national television.

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