Silly Iraqis! They think their country is sovereign!
A one-on-one meeting between Rice and Maliki was "deep and direct," said Sadiq al Rikabi, a top advisor to Maliki, but only time will tell if a compromise can be reached, he said.
"They tried to reach a compromise solution, but it is too early to say they reached an agreement about all issues," he said.
Iraqi and American officials have been claiming for weeks that they were on the brink of a security agreement. Maliki, however, has demanded a strict timetable for the withdrawal of American forces and insisted that U.S. troops must be subject to Iraqi law when they're outside their bases.
Maliki had demanded that U.S. combat forces leave his country by 2010, but the agreement includes only a vague goal of having combat troops out by 2011 if conditions permit, officials said.
"The Iraqi government wants as a sovereign country to be the master of the law in Iraq," said Ali al Adeeb, a Shiite legislator from Maliki's Dawa party. "There needs to be a strict timetable, otherwise these forces will stay forever. Not having a timetable means they will never leave."
But what is ths "rule of law" of which the Iraqis speak?
Some kind of Babylonian concept? Sumerian? Is it really relevant in today's advanced society?