Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, responding to U.S. critics who say his government is moving too slowly while U.S. troops are dying, said in Syria today that "no one has the right to place timetables on the Iraq government."
"Those who make such statements are bothered by our visit to Syria," Maliki said. "We will pay no attention. We care for our people and our constitution and can find friends elsewhere."
Flashback: George W. Bush told the New York Times in January 2005 that the United States would "absolutely" leave Iraq if the government asked it to do so.
Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.