Maliki was careful to back away from outright support for Obama. "Of course, this is by no means an election endorsement. Who they choose as their president is the Americans' business," he said. But then, apparently referring to Republican candidate John McCain's more open-ended Iraq policy, Maliki said: "Those who operate on the premise of short time periods in Iraq today are being more realistic. Artificially prolonging the tenure of US troops in Iraq would cause problems."
Iraq, Maliki went on to say, "would like to see the establishment of a long-term strategic treaty with the United States, which would govern the basic aspects of our economic and cultural relations." He also emphasized though that the security agreement between the two countries should only "remain in effect in the short term."
Maliki's comments come in the context of Senator Obama making a trip to the war zones this weekend to "see for himself" the dog-and-pony-shows that these events are at their very core - but the masses require these juggernauts so they can feel like their candidates are "soing something." But ask any Soldier, Sailor, Airman or Marine - it's all just Kabuki theater, and the productions are hellaciously expensive.