Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Re, Zebari worries about Obama back in June

Lefty, Lefty, Lefty: You claim I am wrong. Tsk, tsk. Let’s take the elements in the article step by step:

Mr. Zebari, who has served as foreign minister in every Iraqi government since 2003, finds Mr. Obama's proposal worrying. In a meeting with Post editors and reporters Tuesday, he said that after all the pain and sacrifices of the past five years, "we are just turning the corner in Iraq." A precipitous withdrawal, he said, "would create a huge vacuum and undo all the gains and achievements.”

Also, “But Mr. Obama has not altered his position: He still proposes withdrawing most U.S. troops according to a fixed timetable, set to the most rapid pace at which commanders have said American forces could be pulled out.”

Did Obama propose that to Zebari? We conclude yes because Zebari said he “finds Mr. Obama's proposal worrying.”

Zebari responds to Obama: “Mr. Zebari says he believes U.S. forces can and should be drawn down. His point is that reductions should be made gradually, as the Iraqi army becomes stronger.”

Zebari then says, “. . . he was reassured by the candidate's response, which caused him to think that Mr. Obama might not differ all that much from Mr. McCain.”

Let me summarize: Obama presented his plan. Zebari countered with his concerns. Obama responded further. We aren’t told what that response was, but Zebari concluded he had changed Obama’s mind and that Obama at the end was close to McCain’s position.

Foreign Policy was discussed between a Foreign Minister of another country and someone not entitled to conduct foreign policy. Give and take occurred. The Foreign Minister was at the end convinced that Obama had been persuaded by his arguments.

Lawrence Helm

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