Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Did Obama try to stall G.I. withdrawal from Iraq?


If true, this is a very important story. I’m familiar with the autror, Amir Taheri. He wrote the justifiably famous Holy Terror, Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism. He writes in the above article,”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.”

Further down, Taheri writes, “While in Iraq, Obama also tried to persuade the US commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a "realistic withdrawal date." They declined.

“Obama has made many contradictory statements with regard to Iraq. His latest position is that US combat troops should be out by 2010. Yet his effort to delay an agreement would make that withdrawal deadline impossible to meet.”

Taheri concludes: 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.

Lawrence Helm

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