Out of town in Afghanistan for just 24 hours, and my man Obama is already stirring up trouble.

Depending on who you believe, the Senator from Chicago either has or does not have the support of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in his quest to end the American military presence in 16 months.

Here's the CNN VERSION of the story:

"U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months," he said in an interview with Der Spiegel that was released Saturday.

"That, we think, would be the right time frame for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes," he said.

But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately."


Now, just to keep it "fair and balanced", here is an excerpt of the version that you will find at SLYFOX.COM:

The statement by Ali al-Dabbagh came after an article was published by Germany’s Der Spiegel magazine which quoted al-Maliki as favoring the 16-month withdrawal window proposed by Barack Obama.

The article quoted al-Maliki as saying “U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes.”

Al-Dabbagh said al-Maliki’s views were “misunderstood and mistranslated” by Der Spiegel and that the prime minister backs a general vision of pulling out U.S. combat forces based on talks with Washington “and in the light of the continuing positive developments on the ground.”

Al-Dabbagh said statements by al-Maliki or any members of the Iraqi government “should not be understood as support to any U.S. presidential candidates.”


In other words (mine), Iraq's prime minister probably should have consulted Bush before he went and endorsed anything pro-Obama without permission. Somebody's not being a team player, it seems.

All caught up. Moving on...

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