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Author: Subject: Obama Tries To Pull Fast One While In Iraq

Zen Peach





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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 04:48 PM
Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari is quoted directly;


quote:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/09152008/postopinion/opedcolumnists/obama _tried_to_stall_gis_iraq_withdrawal_129150.htm

OBAMA TRIED TO STALL GIS' IRAQ WITHDRAWAL

By Amir Taheri

September 15, 2008

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.

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.

Supposing he wins, Obama's administration wouldn't be fully operational before February - and naming a new ambassador to Baghdad and forming a new negotiation team might take longer still.

By then, Iraq will be in the throes of its own campaign season. Judging by the past two elections, forming a new coalition government may then take three months. So the Iraqi negotiating team might not be in place until next June.

Then, judging by how long the current talks have taken, restarting the process from scratch would leave the two sides needing at least six months to come up with a draft accord. That puts us at May 2010 for when the draft might be submitted to the Iraqi parliament - which might well need another six months to pass it into law.


 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 04:58 PM
quote:
I didn't think anyone would be silly enough to swallow this tripe from the NY Post, with one single source, a whole bunch of transparent partisan garbage from an author with a reputation for falsification, and no quotes from the Obama campaign or third parties.

But then I remembered Derek... and here we are!
But it's the Post!!!

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 05:06 PM
Now if the Times or the Washington Post had reported this, now that would have been big news.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 05:54 PM
quote:
I didn't think anyone would be silly enough to swallow this tripe from the NY Post, with one single source,


It could be bogus. Then again, he seems to directly quote from the Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari.

Here is some spin. At first the Obama camp denies anything even close to this happening;

quote:
http://www.nypost.com/seven/09162008/news/politics/barack_denies_usin g_stall_tactics_with_i_129289.htm

By GEOFF EARLE, Post Correspondent
Posted: 4:17 am
September 16, 2008

WASHINGTON - Barack Obama said yesterday he didn't urge Iraq to hold up an agreement with the Bush administration over the status of US troops serving in Iraq.

"Obama has never urged a delay in negotiations, nor has he urged a delay in immediately beginning a responsible drawdown of our combat brigades," said Wendy Morigi, an Obama spokeswoman in response to a column in yesterday's Post.

Morigi cited "outright distortions" in an column by Amir Taheri, but the Obama camp did not specifically dispute any of the quotes in the piece.




Or is it this;

quote:
http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hi9TDNHvuBZpFsO8ZbiFYsnbIl3A

............Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri's article bore "as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial."

In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.




Which is it? And when the hell did Obama become president of the United States??

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 06:08 PM
quote:
If a story happens entirely within the world of the NY Post, and no other media outlets pick it up,


Gee, what a shock.

quote:
I don't dispute that the quotes came from Zebari, I just wouldn't dismiss the possibility that Zebari is lying or distorting what Obama really said.


Why??? Isn't Obama the one that wants US troops out the quickest? In light of that, why would Zebari do this?


Really?? This makes sense to you??

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 06:39 PM
There are a couple of thoughts I have about this topic. First, it's a valid point to not want an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration that would possibly be binding on the next president .

Second, lest anyone in particular get bent about the proposal to wait for the next administration and be sanctimonious about the troops being there longer than necessary, remember how Reagan had the release of the hostages delayed until after he took office so Carter wouldn't get any credit for negotiating their freedom?

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 07:41 PM
quote:
There are a couple of thoughts I have about this topic. First, it's a valid point to not want an agreement negotiated by the Bush administration that would possibly be binding on the next president .

Second, lest anyone in particular get bent about the proposal to wait for the next administration and be sanctimonious about the troops being there longer than necessary, remember how Reagan had the release of the hostages delayed until after he took office so Carter wouldn't get any credit for negotiating their freedom?


I knew someone would bring that up. That story was de-bunked decades ago but I see as long as it is allegedly perpetrated by the Republicans then its presumed valid, simply stated as fact. ANd btw, it is fine for him to not WANT an agreement. It is NOT fine for him to speak to the Iraqi government and undermine American policy. I cannot conceive that you would be ok with this if, say GW Bush in 2000 did this while CLinton was negotiating something. At least the others here are attacking the truth of the allegation (and I agree we should have some furthe corroboration) but you seem to be the only one who thinks it's no big deal. It's because anything the opponent of the Bush administration does is by definition either right or no big deal .

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 08:32 PM
http://scribblativeagincourting.wordpress.com/2008/07/29/when-the-reagan-ca mpaign-secretly-delayed-the-iranian-hostage-release/

First of all, I never said I was okay with it. I said it was a valid point to not want something negotiated by Bush for the next president....whoever it might be....to have to honor. It's already been all over the media a while back that Bush wants to get something in writing that will commit the next pesident to continue with his course of action. This isn't a well run war and I wouldn't trust anything Bush negotiated.

That being said, of course it's not a wise thing for someone to undermind US policy with another country.....unless the policy is so incredibly flawed it shouldn't continue. And before anyone thinks I'm absolving Obama.....I would still be okay with it if McCain had chosen that direction.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 08:55 PM
quote:

That being said, of course it's not a wise thing for someone to undermind US policy with another country.....unless the policy is so incredibly flawed it shouldn't continue.


Well Ann, you have just indicated that you are OK with treason. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treason#United_States

To avoid the abuses of the English law (including executions by Henry VIII of those who criticized his repeated marriages), treason was specifically defined in the United States Constitution, the only crime so defined. Article III Section 3 delineates treason as follows:

Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

However, Congress has, at times, passed statutes creating related offenses which undermine the government or the national security, such as sedition in the 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts, or espionage and sedition in the 1917 Espionage Act,

I say we draw and quarter old BO since that's one of the punishments!!

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 08:59 PM
I hope he did ask them to delay an agreement. I don't want the Bush administration agreeing to anything that McCain or Obama will have to fix.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 09:00 PM
I'm not certain how what was mentioned in the article rises to the level of treason against this country but I'm willing to discuss it further. Now, if you also want to include some of the stuff Bush and Cheney have done in that discussion, even better.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 09:49 PM
quote:
I'm not certain how what was mentioned in the article rises to the level of treason against this country but I'm willing to discuss it further. Now, if you also want to include some of the stuff Bush and Cheney have done in that discussion, even better.


You said: "it's not a wise thing for someone to undermind US policy with another country.....unless the policy is so incredibly flawed it shouldn't continue."

Based on the definition of treason, you are saying you are OK with treason. I'm not commenting on Obama, I'm commenting that you are saying you're ok with it. Based on the story being in the NY Post, and ONLY in the Post, I'm taking it with enough grains of salt to need to check my BP.

I'm just kidding you about the treason by the way...I hope you realize that. I have a mac and for some reason can't always get the smilies to work.

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 10:07 PM
I didn't figure you were going to turn me in to the feds.

Of course everything I'm writing is 'in theory'. Without knowing the details of everything, I don't know if it would rise to the level of treason.....however, no matter who's at the head of the government I ascribe to what Stephen Decatur said 'Our country! In her intercourse with foreign nations, may she always be in the right; but our country, right or wrong.'

 

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  posted on 9/17/2008 at 10:40 PM
Leave it to Derek to come running with the latest Right Wing nutjob nonsense. Apparently the guy coming up with this story has a long history of fabrication (surprised?)


Still, if Taheri's report were accurate, and Obama had indeed talked to Zebari about delaying any shorter-term deal, it would at least represent a change of position for the candidate.

But Taheri doesn't exactly have a reputation for care and precision in his work. In May 2006, he published an explosive story in the Post (since removed from the paper's site), as well as Canada's National Post, about an Iranian law that forced Jews to wear a yellow stripe, stoking fears of a second Nazi Germany. Only problem: it turned out to be a complete fabrication.

That turned out to be typical of Taheri's work. A 1989 review of Taheri's book, Nest of Spies: America's Journey to Disaster in Iran, written for The New Republic by noted Iranian scholar Shaul Bakhash and unearthed by TPMmuckraker in 2006, noted that Taheri "repeatedly refers us to books where the information cited does not exist," and is "capable of generalizations of breathtaking sweep and inaccuracy." According to Bakhash, "[Taheri's] interpretations of the documents are often egregiously inaccurate," and he "has trouble transcribing even the simplest information."

One Iraq scholar told TPMmuckraker after the false yellow-star report, referring to Taheri: "This is a person who doesn't have any credibility."

Doesn't exactly sound like a reliable source.


Links to the information here
http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/09/noted_bamboozler_behind_l atest.php

 

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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 12:54 PM
Undermining McCain Campaign Attack, Republicans Back Obama‘s Version of Meeting with Iraqi Leaders

September 19, 2008 1:06 PM

quote:
Earlier this week, the campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., seized upon a column in the New York Post that described Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., as having urged Iraqi leaders in a private meeting to delay coming to an agreement with the Bush administration on the status of U.S. troops.

"Obama has tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence," Post columnist Amir Tehari wrote, quoting Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari who told the Post that Obama during his meeting with Iraqi leaders in July "asked why we were not prepared to delay an agreement until after the US elections and the formation of a new administration in Washington."

The charge -- that Obama asked the Iraqis to delay signing off on a "Status of Forces Agreement," thus delaying US troop withdrawal and interfering in U.S. foreign policy -- has been picked up on the internet, talk radio and by Republicans including the McCain campaign, which seized on the story as possible evidence of duplicity.

The Obama campaign said that the Post report consisted of "outright distortions."

Lending significant credence to Obama's response is the fact that -- though it's absent from the Post story and other retellings -- in addition to Obama and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, this July meeting was also attended by Bush administration officials such as U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker and the Baghdad embassy's Legislative Affairs advisor Rich Haughton, as well as a Republican senator, Chuck Hagel of Nebraska.

Attendees of the meeting back Obama's account, including not just Sen. Jack Reed, D-RI, but Hagel, Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffers from both parties. Officials of the Bush administration who were briefed on the meeting by the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad also support Obama's account and dispute the Post story and McCain attack.

The Post story is "absolutely not true," Hagel spokesman Mike Buttry told ABC News.

"Barack Obama has never urged a delay in negotiations," said Obama campaign national security spokesperson Wendy Morigi, "nor has he urged a delay in immediately beginning a responsible drawdown of our combat brigades."

Buttry said that Hagel agrees with Obama's account of the meeting: Obama began the meeting with Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki by asserting that the United States speaks with one foreign policy voice, and that voice belongs to the Bush administration.

A Bush administration official with knowledge of the meeting says that during the meeting Obama stressed to Maliki that he would not interfere with President Bush's negotiations concerning the US troop presence in Iraq, and that he supports the Bush administration's position on the need to negotiate as soon as possible the Status of Forces Agreement, which deals with among other matters US troops having immunity from local prosecution.

Obama did assert at the meeting with the Iraqis that he agrees with those – including Hagel and Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., the ranking Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee -- who advocate congressional review of the Strategic Framework Agreement being worked out between the Bush administration and the Iraqi government, including the Iraqi parliament.

The Strategic Framework Agreement is a document that generally describes what the relationship between the two countries should look like over time.

According one person present at the meeting, Obama told Maliki that the American people wouldn't understand why the Iraqi Parliament would get to have a say on the Strategic Framework Agreement but the U.S. Congress would not, especially since the President Bush is only months from leaving the White House, regardless of whether Obama or McCain succeeds him.

Morigi said in a statement that "Barack Obama has consistently called for any Strategic Framework Agreement to be submitted to the U.S. Congress so that the American people have the same opportunity for review as the Iraqi Parliament."

It’s possible, Obama advisers believe, that either Zebari or columnist Taheri confused the Strategic Framework Agreement, which Obama feels should be reviewed by Congress, with the Status of Forces Agreement, which Obama says the Bush administration should negotiate with the Iraqis as soon as possible.

Two officials of the Bush administration say that if Obama had done what the Post story asserted – which they believe to be untrue – U.S. Ambassador Crocker and embassy officials attending the meeting would have ensured that the Bush administration heard about it immediately. If such an incident occurred in front of officials of the Bush administration, it would have constituted a foreign policy breach and would have been front-page huge news; it would not have leaked out two months later in an op-ed column.

Nonetheless, based on nothing more than the Post report, McCain senior foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann issued a statement earlier this week expressing outrage.

“It should be concerning to all that (Obama) reportedly urged that the democratically-elected Iraqi government listen to him rather than the US administration in power,” Scheunemann said, apparently not having talked to anyone with knowledge about the meeting in Bush administration, the US Embassy in Baghdad, GOP Sen. Hagel, or any Republican staffers on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

“If news reports are accurate, this is an egregious act of political interference by a presidential candidate seeking political advantage overseas,” Scheunemann continued. “Senator Obama needs to reveal what he said to Iraq's Foreign Minister during their closed door meeting. The charge that he sought to delay the withdrawal of Americans from Iraq raises serious questions about Senator Obama's judgment and it demands an explanation.”

What actually demands an explanation is why the McCain campaign was so willing to give credence to such a questionable story with such tremendous international implications without first talking to Republicans present at Obama’s meeting with Maliki, who back Obama’s version of the meeting and completely dismiss the Post column as untrue.

http://blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2008/09/undermining-mcc.html

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 01:48 PM
quote:
According one person present at the meeting, Obama told Maliki that the American people wouldn't understand why the Iraqi Parliament would get to have a say on the Strategic Framework Agreement but the U.S. Congress would not, especially since the President Bush is only months from leaving the White House, regardless of whether Obama or McCain succeeds him.

Morigi said in a statement that "Barack Obama has consistently called for any Strategic Framework Agreement to be submitted to the U.S. Congress so that the American people have the same opportunity for review as the Iraqi Parliament."

It’s possible, Obama advisers believe, that either Zebari or columnist Taheri confused the Strategic Framework Agreement, which Obama feels should be reviewed by Congress, with the Status of Forces Agreement, which Obama says the Bush administration should negotiate with the Iraqis as soon as possible.




That explanation sounds right to me, although Zebari was quoted directly. It was good of Obama to not violate the Logan Act.

 

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  posted on 9/19/2008 at 03:49 PM
I heard it was in HTN!

 

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