Lots of others have commented on the absurd walkback of Maliki’s explicit endorsement of Barack Obama’s vision for a withdrawal timeline. But to me the most significant part of the interview is the fact that Maliki, totally unprompted went out of his way to mention Obama and his plan by name. And presumably the Iraqi arabic rendering of “Obama” is, just, you know, “Obama.” So hard to see how we’re dealing with a translation issue here.