American Elephants


Obama’s Statements Are Raising Some Huge Questions. by The Elephant's Child
September 17, 2008, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Iraq, Military, Terrorism, The Constitution | Tags: , ,

The Obama campaign objected to the article from Amir Taheri that I quote  in the article below. The campaign’s response says that Taheri’s article was “filled with distortions”, but their rebuttal centers on a technical point: the differences between two Iraqi-US accords that are being negotiated — the Status of Forces Agreement which will set rules governing US military personnel in Iraq (SOFA) and the Strategic Framework Agreement, to settle the legal basis for the US military presence in Iraq in the years ahead (SFA).

One agreement cannot be settled without the other, for the two are interlinked. The Obama campaign waffles and misconstrues, but the record ends up confirming just what Taheri suggested in his article:

Obama preferred to have no agreement on US troop withdrawals until a new administration took office in Washington.

Obama has changed position on another key issue.  In [an] NBC report, he pretends that US troops do not have a  “clear mandate.” Now, however, he admits that there is a clear mandate from the UN Security Council and that he’d have no objection to extending it pending a bilateral Iraq-US agreement.

This may seem technical, but it is important to understand.  Obama is merely a candidate for the office of President of the United States.  He has no authority and no right to pretend to any. Senators don’t get to run around the world trying to make policy. Democrats seem to have lost a sense of the constitution, and what rights are given to what branch of the government.  Former presidents have no business going around the world making foreign policy speeches.  Candidates who claim expertise in constitutional law should know better.  It should be an election changing error on Obama’s part.

Obama has demonstrated a great lack of understanding of American foreign policy, of our position in the world, and of our responsibilities and challenges.  His claim that he knows more about foreign policy than his opponents because he lived in Indonesia when he was 6 to 10 and has relatives in Africa is laughable. He sneered at senatorial trips abroad when they met with government officials, as unimportant, yet is with governmental officials that the American government must deal.  In his own meetings with foreign officials, as in the case of Iraqi officials he seems more interested in using them to further his ambitions than in learning from them.

In a long interview with the pan-Arab daily Asharq al-Awsat, [Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar] Zebari says’ “Obama asked my why, in view of the closeness of a change of administration, we were hurrying the signing of this special agreement, and why we did not wait until the coming of the new administration next year ang agree on some issues and matters.”

Again, note that Zebari mentions a single set of agreements, encompasssing both SFA and SOFA. Zebari continues’ “I told Obama that, as an Iraqi, I believe that even if there is a Democratic administration in the White House it had better continue the present policy instead of wasting a lot of time thinking what to do.”

He now talks of “the prospect of lasting success,” perhaps hoping that his own administration would inherit the kudos…He has even abandoned his earlier claim that toppling Saddam Hussein was “illegal” and admits that the US-led coalition’s presence in Iraq has a legal framework in the shape of the UN mandate.

In other words, Obama was trying to derail current US policy, whild Zebari was urging him not to “waste time.”

…Obama no longer talks of “withdrawal” but of “redeployment” and “drawdown” — which is exactly what is happening now.

While I am encouraed by the senator’s evolution, I must also appeal to him to issue a “cease and desist” plea to the battalions of his sympathizers — who have been threatening me with death and worse in the days since my article appeared.

Obama’s ambitions have run away with him, and his desires exceed his knowledge of the office he seeks.  It is very important to look closely at his claims and his promises , and consider what the facts are and if his promises hold water.  They don’t.


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