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Debate Factcheck: Maliki Timeline

Barack Obama's White House Campaign Office (D) posted a Press Release (Fact Check) on October 2, 2008 | 11:00 pm - Original Item - Comments (View)

FACT: MCCAIN WON'T EMBRACE A TIMETABLE EVEN THOUGH MALIKI AND THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION HAVE AGREED ON A TIMETABLE

· McCain Rejects A Timetable And Says New Withdrawals From Iraq Must Be Based On Improvements In The Security Situation There. "McCain rejects a timetable and says any new withdrawals from Iraq must be based on improvements in the security situation there." [Bloomberg, 9/9/08 ]

· McCain Said Maliki's Timetable Was "Not A Timetable." McCain distanced himself this weekend from previously saying that Obama's 16-month timetable for withdrawal from Iraq would be "a pretty good timetable." McCain explained, "Look, it's not a timetable, as I said. I was asked, "How does that sound?' Anything sounds good to me ... Anything is a good timetable that is dictated by conditions on the ground." [ABC, "This Week," 7/27/08 ]

· Washington Post: "The Bush Administration And Maliki Government Have Agreed On A Timetable For The Withdrawal Of U.S. Forces." "U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have agreed to the withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces from the country by the end of 2011, and Iraqi officials said they are "very close" to resolving the remaining issues blocking a final accord that governs the future American military presence here. Iraqi and U.S. officials said several difficult issues remain, including whether U.S. troops will be subject to Iraqi law if accused of committing crimes. But the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were unauthorized to discuss the agreement publicly, said key elements of a timetable for troop withdrawal once resisted by President Bush had been reached." [Washington Post, 8/22/08 ]

· Maliki Specifically Said That There Will Be No Agreement Between Iraq And The United States Unless There Is A "Specific" Timeline That Is "Not Open-Ended." "Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki demanded a complete U.S. military withdrawal from Iraq by 2011 as he embarked Monday on an attempt to win support among Iraqi leaders for a draft security accord with the United States. … "There is an agreement between both sides that no foreign soldiers will be in Iraq after 2011,' Maliki said. He added that the accord "must be based on a specific deadline for the withdrawal of foreign forces and that it should not be open.' His remarks are likely to complicate the debate in the U.S. presidential campaign over how best to conduct an American military pullout from Iraq. Sen. John McCain, the presumptive Republican nominee, has opposed a firm timeline for withdrawal but suggested that troops be out of Iraq by 2013. Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic candidate, has called for U.S. combat troops to leave by mid-2010." [Washington Post, 8/26/08 ]

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