Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Two-Faced Obama Tries to Slow Iraq Withdrawal--While Telling Voters We Need to Get Out Now

Just when you thought he wasn't that big of a creep after all.

From the extremely credible Amir Taheri writing for the New York Post:

OBAMA TRIED TO STALL GIS' IRAQ WITHDRAWAL

By AMIR TAHERI
September 15, 2008 --


WHILE campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal of US troops from Iraq, Sen. Barack Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence.

According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for delay a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad in July.


"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.

Obama insisted that Congress should be involved in negotiations on the status of US troops - and that it was in the interests of both sides not to have an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration in its "state of weakness and political confusion."

"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 says.


Though Obama claims the US presence is "illegal," he suddenly remembered that Americans troops were in Iraq within the legal framework of a UN mandate. His advice was that, rather than reach an accord with the "weakened Bush administration," Iraq should seek an extension of the UN mandate.


While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the US commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a "realistic withdrawal date." They declined.

Obama has made many contradictory statements with regard to Iraq. His latest position is that US combat troops should be out by 2010. Yet his effort to delay an agreement would make that withdrawal deadline impossible to meet.


Supposing he wins, Obama's administration wouldn't be fully operational before February - and naming a new ambassador to Baghdad and forming a new negotiation team might take longer still.


By then, Iraq will be in the throes of its own campaign season. Judging by the past two elections, forming a new coalition government may then take three months. So the Iraqi negotiating team might not be in place until next June.

Then, judging by how long the current talks have taken, restarting the process from scratch would leave the two sides needing at least six months to come up with a draft accord. That puts us at May 2010 for when the draft might be submitted to the Iraqi parliament - which might well need another six months to pass it into law.

Thus, the 2010 deadline fixed by Obama is a meaningless concept, thrown in as a sop to his anti-war base.

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Bush administration have a more flexible timetable in mind.

According to Zebari, the envisaged time span is two or three years - departure in 2011 or 2012. That would let Iraq hold its next general election, the third since liberation, and resolve a number of domestic political issues.


Even then, the dates mentioned are only "notional," making the timing and the cadence of withdrawal conditional on realities on the ground as appreciated by both sides.


Iraqi leaders are divided over the US election. Iraqi President Jalal Talabani (whose party is a member of the Socialist International) sees Obama as "a man of the Left" - who, once elected, might change his opposition to Iraq's liberation. Indeed, say Talabani's advisers, a President Obama might be tempted to appropriate the victory that America has already won in Iraq by claiming that his intervention transformed failure into success.
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Obama's office tried to talk their way around Taheri's claims, but ended up reiterating the gist of it themselves:

Obama camp hits back at Iraq double-talk claim
2 days ago

PUEBLO, Colorado (AFP) — Barack Obama's White House campaign angrily denied Monday a report that he had secretly urged the Iraqis to postpone a deal to withdraw US troops until after November's election.

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. [Exactly what Taheri wrote--TRC].

In the face of resistance from Bush, the Democrat has long said that any such agreement must be reviewed by the US Congress as it would tie a future administration's hands on Iraq.

"Barack Obama has never urged a delay in negotiations, nor has he urged a delay in immediately beginning a responsible drawdown of our combat brigades," Morigi said.

"These outright distortions will not changes the facts -- Senator Obama is the only candidate who will safely and responsibly end the war in Iraq and refocus our attention on the real threat: a resurgent Al-Qaeda and Taliban along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border."

Last Tuesday, Bush announced plans to remove 8,000 US troops from Iraq in the coming months and send 4,500 to Afghanistan by January.

Obama said the president was belatedly coming round to his own way of thinking, but also accused Bush of "tinkering around the edges" and "kicking the can down the road to the next president."
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Safely and responsibly end the war? He's willing to prolong the tours of U.S. troops, and gamble with the lives of Iraqis, just to rob the Bush administration of credit for the win, and gain an edge in the polls in November to get his own sorry ass into a chair he can never fill.

There's no way this President would ever kick this can down the road to the likes of the treacherous Barack Obama. He couldn't trust this clown with an empty can of SPAM™.

1 comment:

Chris Hanks said...
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