That question seems anti-intuitive, doesn’t it? Barack Obama has been consistent about nothing, if not his call to “bring the troops home,” for the past two years.
And yet, this piece by Amir Taheri accuses Obama of trying – during his “Now I Have Foreign Policy Experience World Tour” in July – to get in the way of troop withdrawals, to hold them off until after the November elections.
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.
Can we call this “Troopergate ala Obama?”
The press, of course, will yawn over this. After all, it’s not like Obama paraphrased a Lincolnian prayer or did not ban books in a local library. As with any story touching negatively on Obama, the press will display a spectacular indifference to this question.
Someone needs to ask Obama about this charge. It is a “serious” one, so it’s game for questioning, don’t you think?
Ed Morrissey, noting that Taheri can sometimes need doublechecking writes:
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.
Taheri has had some credibility problems in the past…
This looks different, if for no other reason than Taheri’s main source goes on the record. Hoshyar Zebari didn’t hide behind a “high-level source in Baghdad” tag for this story. Zebari’s testimony puts the onus on Obama to explain why he attempted to interfere with the Bush administration’s negotiations despite his having absolutely no authority to do so. If Obama wants to negotiate a defeat for America, he needs to wait until Americans elect him to the White House before betraying our allies and our troops in the field. – [emphasis mine – admin]
As Ronald Reagan finished his inaugural address, the American hostages who had been held in Iran for 444 days were released; we watched the live pictures of their plane leaving the tarmac in Tehran. One can’t help wondering of Obama wanted to begin his presidency with that Reaganesque bit of drama, with the press intercutting live video of the weary troops “coming home” as he was finishing his speech. The press, we know, would do it artfully, for him.
Logan Act aside – and that is a serious aside – it feels like one more example of the halo of inauthenticity that seems, to me, to surround Sen. Obama lately.
Bookworm’s mind is running along the same track:
There is no doubt in my mind that Obama grew up knowing about this charge against Reagan, and saw it as yet another example of Reagan’s and the Republicans’ myriad calumnies. Heck, I don’t even doubt that Obama dismisses the official debunking and believes it’s completely true that Reagan engaged in this heinous act. Or, let’s put it another way — an act that was heinous when a Republican committed it against a Democrat.
I also have absolutely no doubt that Obama used Reagan’s alleged negotiations with the hostages as an inspiration for his undermining the American government, not during a “crisis,” but during an actual war.
We won’t hold our breath, I guess. The media is too heavily invested in the hagiography of Barack Obama; they can’t ask him a serious question, anymore.
Jim Geraghty is calling Obama a hothouse flower. Yes. Created by a caretaking press; place him outside optimal conditions and he wilts.
Instapundit: a “praiseworthy shift in position.” Heh.
Also, I mentioned it the other day, but Glenn puts the head on it. Palin did not ban books in Wasilla, but Bill Clinton is still banning ABC’s The Path to 9/11. No word on how the press feels about that.
People should start worrying about voter fraud in ’08. I’ve been saying that since ’04, and the GOP needed to address it. They did not.
More Obama Stuff:
Rick at Brutally Honest on Obama’s version of “troopergate”.
Ewwwwwwww….this Obama spokesperson makes me feel like I need a shower. I hate these “spokespeople” whose job it is to simply keep talking, keep talking, stay on point, and not really answer a question. I’m weary of it, aren’t you?
Has Obama inflated his resume? Honestly, that’s one I normally wouldn’t touch, but since kitchen sinks are being thrown, toward Palin, I’ll go ahead and link to it. We Irish love a free-for-all.
Kristol: an anti-establishment awakening?
Surber: Bad mapping?
“Obama’s Troopergate” discussed here
Crittenden: He was against the war, before he was for it!.
UPDATE: The Obama Camp responds by calling the whole thing “lies” and then clarifying what Obama actually said to the Iraqis What he said was…exactly what Taheri said he said. Hmmmm.
NOW can we talk about the Logan Act? Well, we can, but nothing will be done, because if Obama were charged under it, the move would be seen as “strictly political” and there would be an uproar. So…nothing can be done, but McCain/Palin need to emphasize it so that the whole country is aware that The Democrat Nominee for President tried to interfere in US Foreign Policy in a Time of War, and Not to America’s Advantage. Of course Obama “True Believers” won’t care. But others need to be aware of it.
Bob Owens has more at Pajamas Media.
Meanwhile, this is worth reading: the lonely decision of George W. Bush to go for the surge.