Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sistani Plays Hardball

"We will not accept any memorandum of understanding if it does not give a specific date for a complete withdrawal of foreign troops," national security adviser Muwaffaq al-Rubaie told reporters in the holy city of Najaf.
I thought McCain already gave them a date - 100 years from now. But seriously...
"We can't have a memorandum of understanding with foreign forces unless it has dates and clear horizons determining the departure of foreign forces. We're unambiguously talking about their departure," he told reporters in Najaf after meeting Iraq's top Shi'ite cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.
An Iraqi government's spokesman took the US position that any timetable would depend on security conditions on the ground. But Sistani and Al Sadr are playing hardball here, pressuring al-Maliki to get a firm withdrawal date or face the wrath of the Iraqi people. It's an issue that could topple his government.