Hoshyar Zebari and Condoleeza Rice




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.

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.

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.”

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.

Despite some usual equivocations on the subject, Obama rejects pre-emption as a legitimate form of self -defense. To be credible, his foreign-policy philosophy requires Iraq to be seen as a failure, a disaster, a quagmire, a pig with lipstick or any of the other apocalyptic adjectives used by the American defeat industry in the past five years.

Yet Iraq is doing much better than its friends hoped and its enemies feared. The UN mandate will be extended in December, and we may yet get an agreement on the status of forces before President Bush leaves the White House in January.


  1. rosettasister Says:

    See also:


    There could be a lot of things going on from a simple misunderstanding to a deep game involving domestic Iraqi politics. Remember that Prime Minister Maliki sounded pretty pro-Obama after their visit. Perhaps this is payback to even things up or a reflection of an internal split among Iraqi leaders on who they’d rather see win the US election.

    Let’s be honest though, unless you are a member of the Cult of Obama, it’s pretty clear he’d rather win an election than a war that might further US interests. Because of that, I can’t say it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility. It’s all too possible that the man who parades around the country with his own presidential trappings (including his own ‘presidential’ seal and a plane dubbed O-Force One) might, from time to time, forget he is a mere Senator and a damn junior one at that.

    It’s important that our friends in the press question Obama about this (don’t laugh, it could happen). After all if we’ve learned anything from the last few weeks is that all questions must be on the table. Questions like, what are the criminal penalties for violating the Logan Act anyway?

  2. rosettasister Says:


    To: Enchante


    481 posted on Monday, September 15, 2008 1:04:30 PM by Jim Robinson

    To: Jim Robinson

    re: “Treason!”

    Sure is!! Hope this gets well substantiated and exposed widely. It’s an uphill battle, always, but the fact that it’s already been picked up by Rush, FOX News, etc. means that millions now know about it and there should be more pressure building. Too bad it couldn’t have hit on a slow news day/week when the MSM might feel they had to report on it…..

    486 posted on 09/15/2008 12:10:08 PM PDT by Enchante

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