Al-Maliki, who wants a timetable for US withdrawal by the end of 2010, ended the interview with a clever appeal over Bush's head to the American public:
' "If I had enough funds to assist the American economy, I would do all that I can. But unfortunately Iraq cannot solve America's economic problems.
"But what Iraq can do is take up more responsibility security-wise here inside Iraq. And I have told the Americans repeatedly that we are ready to take up responsibility here in Iraq so there are less losses, a decreased number of American lives lost, and I am prepared to present this case before the American people. ...'
Maybe al-Maliki has been reading John Gray, who writes, "The global financial crisis will see the US falter in the same way the Soviet Union did when the Berlin Wall came down. The era of American dominance is over . . ."
Al-Maliki is reminding an economically prostrate America that it cannot afford to buck him on the troop withdrawal timetable. Literally cannot afford! As in, best you go home now and let us take care of security, and save what little money you have left.