The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Monday, September 15, 2008
REPORT SAYS OBAMA WORKED TO STALL WITHDRAWAL TALKS WHILE IN IRAQ
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.
This is, quite simply, astounding. It is not just "beyond the pale"; in wartime it is also bordering on treason. What it definitely is NOT is "Presidential".
Former US Attorney Andrew McCarthy notes the reaction of the McCain campaign (emphasis is mine):
Question: if American servicemen or women DIE because of any delay in troop withdrawals; i.e. delayed in order to accomodate Barack's "request" for the Iraqi's to delay making an agreement --who then is responsible for those deaths?
The McCain Campaign has issued a statement responding to the report from Amer Taheri (see today's web briefing) that Sen. Obama secretly negotiated with the Iraqi government regarding U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. McCain spokesman Randy Scheunemann stated as follows:
At this point, it is not yet clear what official American negotiations Senator Obama tried to undermine with Iraqi leaders, but the possibility of such actions is unprecedented. It should be concerning to all that he reportedly urged that the democratically-elected Iraqi government listen to him rather than the US administration in power. If news reports are accurate, this is an egregious act of political interference by a presidential candidate seeking political advantage overseas. Senator Obama needs to reveal what he said to Iraq's Foreign Minister during their closed door meeting. The charge that he sought to delay the withdrawal of Americans from Iraq raises serious questions about Senator Obama's judgment and it demands an explanation.