Nouri al-Maliki's endorsement of Barack Obama's timetable for withdrawal from Iraq this week was "the earliest and most ostentatious absentee ballot of this presidential election," writes Charles Krauthammer. The Washington Post columnist thinks that the Iraqi PM gave Obama an electorial assist for a clear reason: between him and John McCain, "it is no mystery who would be the more pliant US negotiator."
McCain, like George W. Bush, thinks that America must profit from the long war with Iraq by establishing a strategic relationship and using Iraq as a regional power base. Not the Democrats: they are "so sick of this war, so politically and psychologically committed to its liquidation" that they'll cede to any of Maliki's demands to get out. And if, as Krauthammer predicts, Obama becomes president, Iraq's PM has a new bargaining chip: "He now owes him."