In a recent interview with a major Spanish newspaper ( source in Spanish ), Iraq Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebar had the following interchanges with a reporter:
* Q: How will President George Bush be remembered in Iraqui History? *
A: We will remember George Bush as the person who gave us the opportunity to have a democracy. It was imperative to end the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and President Bush took the unpopular measure of going to war. The Iraqui people are grateful as it was shown with the level of participation in the last election under difficult security measures.
* Q: What is the challenge for the next American President? *
A: I have spoken with both candidates and they have both assured me that they will not change the US policy towards Iraq in any fundamental way.
* Q: But Obama has promised to withdraw the troops in sixteen months *
A: Obama’s position [of no change in policy] is clear to us, * no matter what he says in the campaign. * (emphasis mine)
* Q: How much longer should the US troops be in Iraq? *
A: …We are in a critical situation. We need [the US troops] presence until at least 2011….
* Q: What happens is there is no agreement reached to keep the US troops in Iraq? *
A:…[the immediate withdrawal of the troops due to no agreement] will bring grave consequences to our security and our economy.
My own conclusions from this interview
- The Iraqui people are thankful for what America, and particularly George Bush, have done for Iraq.
- McCain will continue current policies and ensure success in Iraq
- Obama is either lying to the American people or lying to the Iraquis