Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki Has Finally Agreed to Step Down

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Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry (unseen) at the Prime Minister's Office in Baghdad on June 23, 2014. Kerry was in Baghdad to push for Iraqi unity and stability, as Sunni militants swept through western towns abandoned by the security forces. AFP PHOTO/POOL/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI        (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images

Iraq's Nouri al-Maliki will gracefully leave his prime minister post, it turns out, though he originally threatened only to go kicking and screaming. In an attempt to exit with some dignity — as the rest of the country goes to hell — Maliki even endorsed his successor, Haider al-Abadi. As luck would have it, Abadi is already well acquainted with the foreign press: He evidently used to be an elevator engineer at the BBC's old home.