Interim Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari has called for a speedy withdrawal of US forces from his country:
Prime Minister Ibrahim Jaafari said at a joint news conference with Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the time has arrived to plan a coordinated transition from American to Iraqi military control throughout the country.
Asked how soon a U.S. withdrawal should happen, he said no exact timetable had been set. "But we confirm and we desire speed in that regard," he said, speaking through a translator. "And this fast pace has two aspects."
First, there must be a quickening of the pace of U.S. training of Iraqi security forces, and second there must be closely coordinated planning between the U.S.-led military coalition and the emerging Iraq government on a security transition, he said.
"We do not want to be surprised by a withdrawal that is not in connection with our Iraqi timing," he said.
It's good to see the Iraqis asserting control over what happens in their own country, and its also good to see them asserting that any withdrawal must follow their timetable, not America's. There's a real danger that an American pullout will be driven by domestic political concerns (like the 2006 midterms), rather than the needs of the Iraqi people. And given the claimed premise of the invasion, the latter should be paramount.