July 22, 2008 5:36 p.m.

Just to add more confirmation to the painfully obvious, it turns out that not only did Prime Minister Maliki say what he said. According to Der Spiegel, his office signed off on this specific quote before the article went to press. In other words, the entire misunderstanding, misstatement, mistranslation, miswhatever meme is utter nonsense. You knew that. But just to remove any doubt.

Also, as long as we’re on the subject, and not to get too Frantz Fanon on anyone, but Sunday and Monday there was a meme circulating through a lot of the Maliki reportage that Maliki frequently misspeaks or says things that later need to be corrected. Well, sure. I guess that’s one way of putting it. Maybe, this incident aside, Maliki is terribly gaffe-prone. Who knows? But this little circus puts that idea in a particular sort of light.

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