Well it turns out that Maliki brought up Obama all by himself, and that it was Maliki's own translator that translated the passages. Furthermore, Maliki's office was provided with an advance copy of the piece soliciting edits, and Maliki's office had none. Finally, Maliki sent spokesmen out in the following days reaffirming that all U.S. combat troops should be out of Iraq by 2010, with some small flexibility for conditions on the ground. This is known as the Obama timetable.
So, now that every one of their pathetic explanations of the Maliki endorsement of Obama's has fallen on its face, it's important to remember the words that started it all.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki supports US presidential candidate Barack Obama's plan to withdraw US troops from Iraq within 16 months. When asked in and interview with SPIEGEL when he thinks US troops should leave Iraq, Maliki responded "as soon as possible, as far as we are concerned." He then continued: "US presidential candidate Barack Obama talks about 16 months. That, we think, would be the right timeframe for a withdrawal, with the possibility of slight changes."So there. Maliki casts the first vote of the U.S. general election.