Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Obama Confirms Effort to Delay Troop Pullout in Iraq

Barack Obama's statement denying secret negotiations with the Iraqi government on the U.S. withdrawal from Iraq in fact confirms Amir Taheri's allegations that the Illinois Senator made an end run around U.S. officials on the disposition of American forces.

Obama's own statements reveal he indeed appealed to the Iraqi government for a delay in the withdrawal plans:
In the New York Post, conservative Iranian-born columnist Amir Taheri quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying the Democrat made the demand when he visited Baghdad in July, while publicly demanding an early withdrawal.

"He asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington," Zebari said in an interview, according to Taheri.

"However, as an Iraqi, I prefer to have a security agreement that regulates the activities of foreign troops, rather than keeping the matter open," Zebari reportedly said.

The Republican campaign of John McCain seized on the report to accuse Obama of double-speak on Iraq, calling it an "egregious act of political interference by a presidential candidate seeking political advantage overseas."

But Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri's article bore "as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial."

In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.
There's lots of analysis online, but Captain Ed lays out the implications of Obama's confirmation of independent military diplomacy with the Iraqi government:

Barack Obama went to Iraq and interfered with the diplomatic efforts of the elected United States government, in a war zone no less, by telling the Iraqis to stop negotiating with the President. How exactly does that make Taheri’s column untruthful?

It wasn’t enough for Obama to fail at forcing the nation into a defeat in Iraq when he opposed the surge. Now he has interfered with our efforts to stabilize Iraq and provide for its security after the surge succeeded in keeping Iraq from falling into a failed state. And when he got caught working for failure and defeat, he tried making it into a smear against John McCain.

That’s not leadership America needs from a Senator, let alone a President. The Senate should investigate this as a gross violation of the Constitution and the separation of powers between the branches of government.
This story demands wide circulation.

See also, "
Will the Biggest Obama Scandal of the Campaign Be Buried Alive?"