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During his July Tour of Iraq, Obama Tried to Undermine Negotiations between the US and Iraq for Troop Draw-Down

Back in July when Senator Obama visited Iraq, he interfered with diplomatic and military negotiations between the United States and the Iraqi government on the draw-down of troops. In a New York Post editorial, Amir Taheri writes that, according to Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Senator Obama told Iraqi officials that President Bush's government was in a '"state of weakness and political confusion'" so the negotiations should be postponed until after the election:

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.

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.

Senator Barack Obama's actions were not only completely inappropriate but they may have treaded on some illegal and unethical ground. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air explains:

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.

It will be interesting to note whether the mainstream media pick up on this because if it had been a Republican candidate for president interfering with a sitting Democratic president's military and diplomatic efforts, they would be screaming in outrage about this from the mountain tops.

Update: The Anchoress, as always, is right on:

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.

Others blogging:

Instapundit
Hot Air
Lucianne

Lorie adds: Here are a few pro-military groups producing ads against Obama. They need help to get their message to the public: Move America Forward Freedom PAC, Our Country Deserves Better, and Vets for Freedom.


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Comments (48)

If this is true, it's prett... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

If this is true, it's pretty damning. But, you know, the more I read about the guy, the more I wouldn't put it past him to try to put off the "glory" until his administration, troops be damned.

The U.S. doesn't have to ne... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

The U.S. doesn't have to negotiate with Iraq in order to withdraw troops. Any negotiation would have to do with keeping troops in Iraq after the U.N. mandate expires in December.

Obama is a real scumbag. Ob... (Below threshold)
fg:

Obama is a real scumbag. Obama: "Screw the troops, I can play this like I am ending the war!"

This should be no surprise ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

This should be no surprise to anyone. To paraphrase McCain: Obama would rather lose the war than lose the elections. As with the rest of the left, Obama is fully invested in defeat in Iraq.

Key words : "In a New York ... (Below threshold)
jp2:

Key words : "In a New York Post editorial."

TAHERI (note spelling) has ... (Below threshold)
epador:

TAHERI (note spelling) has been the source of refuted allegations before. Sorry Kim, much as I'd like to believe this story, it doesn't pass the stink test yet.

And, as much as I'd like to... (Below threshold)
epador:

And, as much as I'd like to avoid it, I agree with jp2.

Extraordinary charges requi... (Below threshold)

Extraordinary charges require extraordinary evidence. This is an extraordinary charge and as yet I see no extraordinary evidence. If that comes out, Obama is in serious trouble.

The U.S. doesn't h... (Below threshold)
Eric:
The U.S. doesn't have to negotiate with Iraq in order to withdraw troops. Any negotiation would have to do with keeping troops in Iraq after the U.N. mandate expires in December.

That's not true, any draw downs we do must be coordinated with the Iraqi government to backfill those troops and prevent a vacuum.

It will be interesting t... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

It will be interesting to note whether the mainstream media pick up on this...

Your kidding. Right?

Eric (#9), there is a disti... (Below threshold)

Eric (#9), there is a distinction between "wisdom" and "requirement". We would be required to come to some arrangement with Iraq in order to maintain troops on their sovereign territory after December. It would be wise to negotiate any withdrawal with them so as to avoid a vacuum. But we are not required to negotiate with them in order to leave, only in order to stay.

Will this have legs? Very l... (Below threshold)

Will this have legs? Very likely not. But why do I have the feeling that the significance of this would escape the general voter (which excludes most political bloggers) anyway

In Obama's defense, at that... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

In Obama's defense, at that point in time the polls indicated he would likely be the next POTUS. This was confirmed by figures from Intrade.

In Obama's defense... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
In Obama's defense, at that point in time the polls indicated he would likely be the next POTUS. This was confirmed by figures from Intrade.

Obama's chances of becoming the next POTUS have been declining since his acceptance speech in Denver. Given that trend and nearly two months to go until election day, it's highly premature to declare Obama the winner. Aside for that, Obama's attempting to tamper with the Bush administration's negotiations with Iraq for his own political advantage proves McCain is right about Obama's character.

Key words : "In a ... (Below threshold)
LaMedusa:
Key words : "In a New York Post editorial."

Translated:"I can just blow off this whole post by citing the source and implying it's not reliable! How smart of me!"

Well, jp2, that's when you cross reference and look for other sources that might suggest the same thing when Obama visited Iraq. Reuters does have a "tendency" to be accurate:

"Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said Obama did not mention his pledge to remove U.S. combat troops within 16 months if he takes office in talks with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
But in comments suggesting Iraq and Obama are not far apart on the timeframe, Dabbagh said Baghdad's goal was for foreign combat forces to leave by the end of 2010 if security conditions allowed. Dabbagh has floated a similar timeframe before.

"We cannot give any timetables or dates but the Iraqi government believes the end of 2010 is the appropriate time for the withdrawal of the forces," Dabbagh told reporters."

So you see, it's not just one source of what was said, but another as to what was not said. Those sixteen months are in there somewhere after the negotiation, and while over there, why wouldn't Obama did ask Petraeus for a timeline?

Didn't McCain send a delega... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Didn't McCain send a delegation to Georgia and talk tough about what he'd be doing for the region once he was elected?

In this country, we have 1 ... (Below threshold)

In this country, we have 1 commander in chief at a time...

Imagine Wendell Wilkie traveling to Europe during WW2, negotiating?????

This is a violation of the Logan Act, just like Jimmy Wright during the 80's with the Nicaraguan dictator, Ortega!!!

"Extraordinary charges requ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

"Extraordinary charges require extraordinary evidence"

It's amazing that standard only applies to Democrats. When it comes to Bush and other Republicans it's "the lack of evidence isn't important but the seriousness of the charges that counts".

Talking about one will do a... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Talking about one will do as President if elected is legit. Actively talking to foreign leaders to undermine current diplomatic or military efforts is not. If McCain delegations was gathering information and expressing general support that is fine. If he was trying to convince Georgia's leader to buck Bush's effort, then he would be in the wrong.

First sentence should read ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

First sentence should read "Talking about what one will do as President if elected to the American Public is legit".

Obama's chances... (Below threshold)
Obama's chances of becoming the next POTUS have been declining since his acceptance speech in Denver. Given that trend and nearly two months to go until election day, it's highly premature to declare Obama the winner.
In fairness to the Baron, he did say "at the time." I certainly did not read his comment as declaring Obama the winner.
First off I would like to k... (Below threshold)
Kelly:

First off I would like to know about the "interview that the writer cites.
"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.

Was it Tehari's interview? when did it occur?

I have searched the web for interviews with Zebari since July of this year (after Obama's visit) there AREN'T ANY

So Tehari, did Zebari tell YOU personally what you are reporting??

Before I know the answer to this, I remain skeptical.. Oh, by the way, the first talks of any troop withdrawls happened just over a week ago when Bush said he planned to withdrawl 8,000 troops in JUNE of next year... So what withdrawl is Obama trying to stall exactly???

First off I would like to k... (Below threshold)
Kelly:

First off I would like to know about the "interview that the writer cites.
"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.

Was it Tehari's interview? when did it occur?

I have searched the web for interviews with Zebari since July of this year (after Obama's visit) there AREN'T ANY

So Tehari, did Zebari tell YOU personally what you are reporting??

Before I know the answer to this, I remain skeptical.. Oh, by the way, the first talks of any troop withdrawls happened just over a week ago when Bush said he planned to withdrawl 8,000 troopy in JUNE of next year... So what withdrawl is Obama trying to stall exactly???

In fairness to the... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
In fairness to the Baron, he did say "at the time." I certainly did not read his comment as declaring Obama the winner.

Given Obama's hubris I have no doubt he did and likely still thinks he'll be the next POTUS. Even so, Obama's attempting to tamper with the Bush administration's negotiations with Iraq for his own political advantage proves McCain is right about Obama's character.

"Oh, by the way, the first ... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

"Oh, by the way, the first talks of any troop withdrawls happened just over a week ago'
Where have you been?
http://www.slate.com/id/2195661/?from=rss

Talks (public, official and unofficial) were going on long before that. It was around July time frame that Bush said publicly that there was a time horizon for troop withdrawal. He stipulated like he has all along that it is situational dependant. Also if we started to withdraw the troops and the situation worsen that we should reintroduce our troops. Has anyone ask Obama what he would do if the situation worsens during troop drawdown?

In all seriousness, I'm not... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

In all seriousness, I'm not inclined to believe this story.

Now obviously, a new administration can go back and renegotiate any agreement made by the prior. But in terms of reality and political cover it would make sense for Obama to push HARD for a binding agreement to be negotiated BEFORE he (Zeus forbid) takes office.

Why? His mouth wrote an "immediate withdrawal from Iraq" check his ass can't cash. He's admitted as much.

But if his "hands are tied" by another "failed Bush policy" he would, in theory and eventually, be able to claim the credit for Bush's ultimately successful change in counterterrorism tactics on the ground in Iraq. And when he fucks it up - and he would - he's once again got his "failed Bush policy" excuse on which to fall back.

Wayne (#18), I feel the sam... (Below threshold)

Wayne (#18), I feel the same way about charges against Republicans. An apologist for progressives I ain't.

OBAMA TRIED TO STALL GI'S I... (Below threshold)
Howard:

OBAMA TRIED TO STALL GI'S IRAQ WITHDRAWAL
while campaigning in public for a speedy withdrawal
of U.S. troops from Iraq.
Obama only cares about Obama. This two faced liar will do, or say anything to get elected. And, don't add insult to injury, by telling us that you never heard Jeremiah Wright's anti-American racist sermons, or noticed the literature in the church's lobby, for TWENTY YEARS!!!
No Wright, no Farrakhan, no Ayers, no Rezko, no mean Michelle, HOBAMA !!

See the Dem's ...trust the ... (Below threshold)
rookieat65:

See the Dem's ...trust the "Post" on McCain. Not on Obama.

Hey he NAMED his sources. Yor going to name a high Iraqi official with some proof????

Biden at Nashua, N.H. town hall meeting.
"Make no mistake about this, Hillary Clinton is as qualified or more qualified than I am to be Vice President of the United States of America."

Is not a surprise to read t... (Below threshold)
mikephx:

Is not a surprise to read this about BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA, trying at all cost to become our president. IMAGINE THIS:
JIMMY CARTER
RONALD REAGAN
GEORGE BUSH SR
BILL CLINTON
GEORGE BUSH JR
BARACK HUSSEIN
I dont think that we will have a HUSSEIN an American president, or there will ever be a JOHN SMITH, a president of SAUD ARABIA.
What is in a NAME? EVERYTHING!!!!!

Baron (#26) on the one hand... (Below threshold)
Wayne:

Baron (#26) on the one hand, yes. On the other Obama's first priority is to get elected. If there is a troop withdrawal agreement, one of his campaign slogans is all but gone.

mikephx, forgive me but... ... (Below threshold)
marc:

mikephx, forgive me but... you're an idiot that has provided nothing to the discussion but fodder for the Dems, Progressives and lefturds.

A couple have noted there is no other sources to the Post story.

I won't argue that, in fact at a certain level I agree. But I will point out the identical obama language was used back in mid-June.

"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's my administration or Senator McCain's administration," Mr. Obama said.

marc,Due respect h... (Below threshold)
JFO:

marc,

Due respect here - what is wrong with what Obama said? The Bush administration is, in fact, a weakened state if, for no other reason that it's a lame duck administration. The reality is that nothing of any substance will happen with the outgoing admin, absent an attack on us.

Why would or should either Obama or McCain want to be bound by an agreement under the present circumstances? What's unreasonable about that?

For undermining negotiation... (Below threshold)
bcass2:

For undermining negotiations in Iraq, a country we are presently at war with, Obam should be charged with TREASON.

Bcass2, are we at war with ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Bcass2, are we at war with Iraq? You blundering idiot!!! Rather than expose your stupidity, why don't you just read!!! If you don't understand then ask questions. Do you understand the UN mandate and the terms under which the US is in Iraq?

It is idiots like you why outsiders are laughing at us as Americans.

Mikeph, cut the nonsense. P... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Mikeph, cut the nonsense. Please write sensible. Or that's an impossibility for you. Rather than crticising the man because his name is Obama, why don't you go to the nearest bathroom and get rid of the shit nonsense you are spewing.

This has already been dispr... (Below threshold)
CJ:

This has already been disproven - no such meeting occured. This is nothing more than lies by a confirmed liar. All others (except the writer) have already denied that this took place, including our Military Personnel that he supposedly talked with.

Mike have you been to Iraq?... (Below threshold)
Mark:

Mike have you been to Iraq? I have been and it's far worst than what is shown in the media. There are many in the armed forces that are longing to return home. So, if there is a troop reduction, many would be happy.

It boggles the mind how see... (Below threshold)
Ms McGhee:

It boggles the mind how seemingly intelligent individuals are willing to latch on to such utter nonsense, all in the name of patriotism. If there were even a shred of truth to this rubbish, the legal and political ramifications would be insurmountable. Democrat, Republican, Independent aside. People please!

CJ, can you please give me ... (Below threshold)

CJ, can you please give me a link to where I can confirm this? Just curious.

Ya'll do know that "Amir Ta... (Below threshold)
The Listkeeper:

Ya'll do know that "Amir Taheri" is Arabic for "Dan Rather", right?

Its exactly what needs to h... (Below threshold)
Bill:

Its exactly what needs to happen with Iraq, considering it took Bush and McCain's Gop over 4000 dead soldiers, uncounted american civilians, and god only knows how many Iraqi naturals died before they finally decided to do something different.
Any one calling for Barack to Admit he was wrong on the surge is just as blind as McCain.
I guarantee you, as soon as we draw down, and probably sooner, their will be just as much, if not more , infighting throughout Iraq.
Bush is trying to put another notch in his bedpost, another "assumed win" for his policies, when this conflict waqs lost before we even got there.Whoever the next president is, and you all better pray it's Obama, will be dealing with Iraq, for at least 4 years.Why would BUSH want to make any changes to a "Good Tactical Decision" 3 months before he leaves office for good? Must be some unfinished buisness with the oil revenue.

#32 Marc, here is a link to... (Below threshold)
Carolyn:

#32 Marc, here is a link to an MSNBC article in June confirming this meeting.

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/16/1146192.aspx

Obama would say or do anyth... (Below threshold)
Howard:

Obama would say or do anything to get elected. If elected, he would bring change all right ... he would change everything that over 200 years of American history and tradition has achieved. He would have no allegiance to our country's laws or customs. America would soon become a third world country with a totally weakened ability to defend itself. Since Obama talked his followers into believing and submitting to blind faith, instead of reason, Obama disciples are so emotionally invested in their messiah, that even if truth and facts are presented to them, they simply refuse to believe it. LIke lemmings, they would rather follow Obama off a cliff, than to accept the fact that he has been using them to achieve his personal ambitions. No Wright, no Farrakhan, no Rezko, no Ayers, no mean Michelle, NOBAMA !!!

Trackback for « <a href="ht... (Below threshold)

Trackback for « It's Over, It's O O O O ver, It's Obamover « docweaselblog said:

[...] As we've been chronicling, Obama continues to lose ground in "safe" blue states: never mind the battle ground states he hopes to make up where Kerry and Gore lost, if the Democrat ticket can't hold the blue states, all bets are off and we're talking McCain Landslide of epic proportions. Our early posts on the matter back in May now seem eerily prescient: the docweaselblog team should play the lottery this week.
[...]

No one is denying the meeti... (Below threshold)
CJ:

No one is denying the meeting took place what has been denied by all parties involved is that Obama supposedly tried to undermine the negotiations. He was accompied by Republican Chuck Hagel and Senator Reed and all have disputed this account of facts.

Wow, people got offended I ... (Below threshold)
mikephx:

Wow, people got offended I see, its all good thou, you dont have to agree with what I am saying, and in the same time you dont have to use name calling crap just because the truth hurts. The point is that the enemies of this beautiful country for more then 60 years are breading inside people that will take public offices, manipulating the stupid masses, doing what ever it takes to have their dream fulfill, a week USA in her knees before a world that has nothing better to offer, but complains. How you explain a muslim kid from a broken family, spending years with affiliations and groups that promoted death and hate for the rich, end up being sponsored by some Saudies to enroll to Haward? Just because democrats are pursuing at all costs regardless the outcome to be in the white house?

So I see most of you don't ... (Below threshold)
CMMM:

So I see most of you don't have Google! Try it some time, it helps you fish out the truth from the sea of crap. But then again most of you aren't looking for the truth you just want dirt you can use to feel vindicated in hating something.




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