From Ed Kilgore at Salon's War Room.
In terms of the implications for U.S. politics, Maliki's timetable gambit exposes the vulnerability of George W. Bush, John McCain, and other "surge" enthusiasts to the argument that conditions in Iraq have improved enough that U.S. combat troops can soon be pulled out. After all, if the political leadership of that surge-blessed country seems to think it's time to contemplate a withdrawal timetable for U.S. troops, why should Americans resist?
This illustrates the double-bind that Bush, McCain, and the conservative commentariat have created for themselves with their relentless surge-o-mania. If they're wrong and the surge has failed to significantly change the fundamental realities of Iraq, then it's time to get out. If they're right and the surge is succeeding brilliantly, it's also time to get out. Moreover, if Iraqis agree with either assessment, it's definitely time to get out. . . .