I never thought too much of al-Maliki. His ties to Sadr and a seeming refusal to do something grated.
Something has changed now. He's got a little fire in his belly, and its hard not to like someone who will tell the US to shove it. After all, that's the attitude that got us where we are today -- and I wish we still had more of it.
"No one has the right to place timetables on the Iraq government. It was elected by its people," he said at a news conference in Damascus at the end of a three-day visit to Syria.
"Those who make such statements are bothered by our visit to Syria. We will pay no attention. We care for our people and our constitution and can find friends elsewhere," al-Maliki said.