“The Blow-Off. It’s All Behind The Curtain.”
Image courtesy of http://www.sideshowworld.com/Blowoff.html.
Wow. Talk about self serving action behind the curtains. Is this illegal, or is Obama just walking the fine line on the tight rope?
Now we find out that Senator Barack Obama, presumptive Democrat presidential nominee at the time in July 2008, was talking one way to the cameras, and maneuvering quite another way in private. Public statements of encouraging U.S forces to withdraw from Iraq were being made, although he privately was trying to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay the process until after the presidential election and transition in January 2009.
Obama claimed, per the New York Post,
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.
“…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.”
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 given Iraqis the impression that he doesn’t want Iraq to appear anything like a success, let alone a victory, for America. The reason? He fears that the perception of US victory there might revive the Bush Doctrine of “pre-emptive” war – that is, removing a threat before it strikes at America.
Considering theoretically, that the pace at which withdrawal could occur would be delayed after a new president takes office, appropriate governmental appointees can actually begin to effect change, intertwined with negotiations with the Iraqis who also would be maneuvering through their own elections, this markedly alters the timetable of U.S. withdrawl from the region. The Obama date of 2010 does not hold.
But wait. How do the Iraqis view Obama’s meddling?
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani…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.
Maliki’s advisers have persuaded him that Obama will win – but the prime minister worries about the senator’s “political debt to the anti-war lobby” – which is determined to transform Iraq into a disaster to prove that toppling Saddam Hussein was “the biggest strategic blunder in US history.”
Other prominent Iraqi leaders, such as Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani, believe that Sen. John McCain would show “a more realistic approach to Iraqi issues.”
Odd, how a person with no governmental authority whatsoever, has the impertinent belief, that because he is the presumptive nominee for president at the time, that he can negotiate anything having to do with official United States forces actions. Isn’t this the sole responsibility and duty of CURRENT office holders such as President George Bush and his entourage? Or is this just Barack Obama trying to flex a little of that foreign policy experience he picked up on his trip to the Middle East?
Hot Air succinctly notes,
Hypocrisy isn’t the issue here; it’s the interference of Obama in military and diplomatic affairs. Just on diplomacy, interfering with the United States in its diplomatic efforts is a Logan Act violation. Interfering with war policy treads on even more serious ground, especially since the primary motivation appears to be winning an election without regard to whether it damages our ability to fight the enemy or drives wedges between us and our ally, the elected, representative government in Baghdad.
Whizbang makes a great point.
We can only guess what Obama’s motivation was for postponing the negotiations until after the election and a new administration – who wouldn’t assume he meant his administration, he was at the height of his celebrity then – is in charge. This truly is the height of hubris. He is a junior senator from Illinois and just because he is a candidate for president doesn’t give him any authority to act as if he already is president, so he had no business trying to scuttle those troop draw-down negotiations.
Instapundit wryly notes,
Of course, reports like this should be taken with a grain of salt unless there’s further confirmation.
American officials should take notice and investigate. Mainstream media cannot be expected to pursue this objectively, given their infotainment agenda this election season.
Image courtesy of http://www.weilandworks.com/summerland/blog/UserFiles/obama_danger.gif.
A look back at Obama’s words from June 2008 at MSNBC,
“My concern is that the Bush administration–in a weakened state politically–ends up trying to rush an agreement that in some ways might be binding to the next administration, whether it was my administration or Sen. McCain’s administration,” Obama said. “The foreign minister agreed that the next administration should not be bound by an agreement that’s currently made.”
he doesn’t know whether Obama tried to undermine Iraqi leaders but such action is unprecedented.
“It should be concerning to all that he reportedly urged that the democratically-elected Iraqi government listen to him rather than the U.S. administration in power. If news reports are accurate, this is an egregious act of political interference by a presidential candidate seeking political advantage overseas,” Scheunemann said.
From Stop The ACLU,
A new low for Obama. An action that is full of arrogance, gall, audacity, and political opportunism. This is aboslutely deplorable and reckless.
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 lections 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. …
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.
In other words, since his opposition to the surge was wrong and we are now seeing success, he wanted to sweep away all opportunities for bringing the troops home until he, if he were to become president, would get the credit. Shameless!