Yesterday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said he would like to set a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. Today, however, the Bush administration rejected the timetable. In an April 24, 2007 interview with Charlie Rose, however, President said he would remove troops if asked by Iraq, but he predicted that Maliki would not ask for a withdrawal:
ROSE: But if he said get out now, we don’t want you anymore–
BUSH: I don’t see how we could stay. It is his country.
ROSE: But if he said that, it would lead to the catastrophe that you have suggested.
BUSH: That’s why he’s not going to say it.
ROSE: You don’t think he’ll say it?
BUSH: I don’t. No, I don’t.
“[W]e’re looking at conditions, not calendars here,” State Department spokeperson Gonzalo Gallegos said today.