Back in July when Senator Obama visited Iraq, he interfered with diplomatic and military negotiations between the United States and the Iraqi government on the draw-down of troops. In a New York Post editorial, Amir Taheri writes that, according to Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Senator Obama told Iraqi officials that President Bush’s government was in a ‘”state of weakness and political confusion'” so the negotiations should be postponed until after the election:
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.
We can only guess what Obama’s motivation was for postponing the negotiations until after the election and a new administration – who wouldn’t assume he meant his administration, he was at the height of his celebrity then – is in charge. This truly is the height of hubris. He is a junior senator from Illinois and just because he is a candidate for president doesn’t give him any authority to act as if he already is president, so he had no business trying to scuttle those troop draw-down negotiations.
Senator Barack Obama’s actions were not only completely inappropriate but they may have treaded on some illegal and unethical ground. Ed Morrissey at Hot Air explains:
Hypocrisy isn’t the issue here; it’s the interference of Obama in military and diplomatic affairs. Just on diplomacy, interfering with the United States in its diplomatic efforts is a Logan Act violation. Interfering with war policy treads on even more serious ground, especially since the primary motivation appears to be winning an election without regard to whether it damages our ability to fight the enemy or drives wedges between us and our ally, the elected, representative government in Baghdad.
It will be interesting to note whether the mainstream media pick up on this because if it had been a Republican candidate for president interfering with a sitting Democratic president’s military and diplomatic efforts, they would be screaming in outrage about this from the mountain tops.
Update: The Anchoress, as always, is right on:
The press, of course, will yawn over this. After all, it’s not like Obama paraphrased a Lincolnian prayer or did not ban books in a local library. As with any story touching negatively on Obama, the press will display a spectacular indifference to this question.
Lorie adds: Here are a few pro-military groups producing ads against Obama. They need help to get their message to the public: Move America Forward Freedom PAC, Our Country Deserves Better, and Vets for Freedom.