One CNN house commentator, David Gergen, with whom I usually agree, said that Obama made his "first mistake" of his campaign not by meeting with Iraq Prime Minister Maliki, but by divulging a private conversation in which Maliki agreed with the presumptive Democratic candidate that it's time for a timetable, and that 2010 is as good a deadline for withdrawal as any.
The larger issue is what is Obama supposed to do, when confronted with what has come to be called, euphemistically, the "situation on the ground"-- play deaf, dumb, and blind?
Does Maliki have to serve Bush with an eviction notice to make it any more obvious that the country we've occupied for the past six years no longer wants us there?
Have we had so much secrecy, during the Bush years, that an attempt at openness, on the part of a prospective president, looks like presumptousness to us? The obdurate insistence by the mainstream media of maintaining control of information by selectively spinning it is, ultimately, no different than the campaign of redaction, and revision, it is seeking to expose.
Likewise, if secretarys of state, as well as our current president, paid attention to facts on the ground, we'd be out of Iraq by now, and a strike against Iran would be no more imminent than walking on Mercury.