There's no denying that liberals who once derided Maliki as a Bush administration stooge are now touting him as the authentic and sovereign voice of the Iraqi people; but conservatives are doing their own flip-flop as well.
I think that's wrong in a whole bunch of ways. For one thing, it's not some kind of crazy inconsistency to deride someone as a stooge while he's being a stooge, and then to stop deriding him when he stops being a stooge. I don't think anyone can deny that over the past couple of months Maliki has moved to a position more independent from the Bush administration.
I agree with that completely--and he is a stooge. Maliki is not an independent mind--he is dependent on rising or ascendant power, whether it comes from the US or Iran, to maintain a thin veneer of legitimacy. He now sees that Obama represents true political power in that he is the future leader of the country.
What got lost this week was the fact that John McCain is now irrelevant in every discussion about Iraq. Every aspect of our policy moved towards Obama and moved as far away from him as it could get. He has been left in the dust, like a runner with fat ankles and walnuts for lungs.
I said over the weekend that I fully expect that in ten years or so, we're going to have invade Iraq all over again, take out the Maliki regime, and try to find another person who can lead Iraq. That coincides with my belief that Jeb Bush will be President, of course, which is inevitable.