Senator John McCain who has been arguing for a continued American presence in Iraq was undoubtedly disturbed by demands of the Iraqi government for quick withdrawal of US troops. Unfortunately, for the Republican candidate, the Iraqi government appears more in tune with the “inexperienced” Obama than the man who claims to be conversant in foreign affairs. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari emphasized the United States must provide a “very clear timeline.” This change in attitude reflects growing confidence among Iraqi leaders they can handle security issues in their nation without American assistance. Zebari told Reuters news agency there has been progress in discussions about withdrawal and “the deal is very close. It is about to be closed.”
A major stumbling block is over US demands for immunity for soldiers if they are charged with violating Iraq law. Other issues pertain to American rights to detain Iraqi civilians and to the entire nature of military operations. Bush for years claimed he wanted Iraq to assert more control over fighting terrorism. Now, they are, and Bush is somewhat unhappy.