American Elephants


What sounded good in the campaign doesn’t work so well in the White House. by The Elephant's Child
January 21, 2009, 11:40 pm
Filed under: Foreign Policy, Freedom, Military, Terrorism | Tags:

President Obama said on Tuesday that we would leave Iraq to the Iraqis.  The Obama White House website has apparently transferred all the campaign rhetoric directly from the campaign website to the White House.  The “permanent campaign” has begun.

The website brags that Obama, as an Illinois state senator, supported keeping Saddam Hussein, the ‘Butcher of Baghdad’ in control of Iraq.

Judgment You Can Trust

In 2002, Obama had the judgment and courage to speak out against going to war, and to warn of “an occupation of undetermined length, with undetermined costs, and undetermined consequences.” He and Joe Biden are fully committed to ending the war in Iraq.

A Responsible, Phased Withdrawal

Barack Obama and Joe Biden believe we must be as careful getting out of Iraq as we were careless getting in.   Immediately upon taking office, Obama will give his Secretary of Defense and military commanders a new mission in Iraq ending the war. …

This is just the same boilerplate that was posted on his campaign website, so he hasn’t taken the time to look into things a little further, or investigate the national security implications.  I guess they wanted the White House website to look “up-and-running” right off the bat.  There is really no big rush to make big declarations, and it would be very advisable to do a little studying of the situation as he settles into the job.  But then he announced during the campaign that even genocide was not a good enough reason to keep US troops in Iraq.

The Iraqi government told Obama today that by the way—legally Obama cannot withdraw US troops for one year after they are notified, and only after Iraqi officials agree to the withdrawal.

21/1/2009

BAGHDAD/ Aswat al-Iraq: Legal expert Tareq Harb on Wednesday said that new U.S. President Barack Obama can not withdraw his troops from Iraq before one year from notifying the Iraqi side, noting that he can withdraw the forces only if the Iraqi government agrees.

Commenting on Obama’s speech upon taking office, Harb said “the president vowed to withdraw troops from Iraq but he did not mention the articles of the agreement in this respect.””The agreement stipulates the withdrawal of troops in one year after notifying the Iraqi side,” he said, noting that the agreement does not allow the withdrawal before this period unless the Iraqi government agrees.

New U.S. President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the United States will leave Iraq to Iraqis.

In a speech upon taking office, Obama echoed key promises from his historic election campaign by saying:  “we will begin to responsibly leave Iraq to its people.”

It had seemed that Barack Obama was beginning to talk more sensibly about Iraq, but perhaps that is not the case. The frantic rush to seem to “take charge” from day one might be better postponed in favor of wise decisions.

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