From the moment the interview with Iraqi prime minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki came out this weekend, the right has been trying to interpret his comments so that John McCain would still have his one and only perceived advantage over Barack Obama.
Soon afterwards, the Bush administration sent our diplomatic contingent in Iraq to see Maliki’s advisers in an obvious attempt to get clarification on his remarks that preferably wouldn’t leave McCain without a campaign. As expected the Iraqi regime complied like the good little lap dogs that they are and blamed the translation of the Maliki comments for the misunderstanding.
The statement, which was distributed to media organizations by the American military early on Sunday, said Mr. Maliki’s words had been “misunderstood and mistranslated,” but it failed to cite specifics.
“Unfortunately, Der Spiegel was not accurate,” Mr. Dabbagh said Sunday by telephone. “I have the recording of the voice of Mr. Maliki. We even listened to the translation.
Unfortunately also, this time for Mr Dabbagh, the New York Times has access to the original tape as well and they have translators that don’t have to answer to the Bush Administration.
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.”
Doesn’t sound like 100 years to me.