Tarry for the Nonce

September 15, 2008

Obama’s Candor

Filed under: News — lmwalker @ 5:09 pm

Opinion though it be, it appears that Obama on Iraq is not as clear-cut as he would lead us to believe:

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 . . .

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.

[Prime Minister Nouri al-]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.”

Honestly, I don’t think Obama is politically sophisticated enough to deliberately cause failure in Iraq, but I think it’s likely that his incompetence could result in it

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5 Comments »

  1. What do you mean by “his incompetence?”

    Comment by Troy — September 16, 2008 @ 10:21 am

  2. Here is factual context, which undermines the spin that Obama is trying to “delay” withdrawal from Iraq:

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2008/06/16/1146329.aspx

    Comment by Troy — September 16, 2008 @ 12:22 pm

  3. Iraq was an artificially created country made up of ethnic factions that have centuries-old hatred for one another.

    Good luck fixing that one with any timetable.

    Comment by Howard — September 18, 2008 @ 6:10 pm

  4. Troy: Maybe I’m missing something, but both sources seem to agree that Obama wants the agreements to be delayed. The articles do appear to disagree on whether Obama successfully convinced Zebari to delay. But the bigger issue may be the degree to which Obama is engaging in foreign relations and undermining the Executive’s authority.

    Comment by Kevin — September 20, 2008 @ 3:40 pm

  5. I think it makes sense that the next president, whoever he may be, should negotiate the terms of the withdrawal.

    Comment by Troy — September 22, 2008 @ 6:03 pm


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