Cruising the Drudge Report tonight, I found this story at the Washington Post.
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.
Apparently, despite everything we've heard about pulling troops as quickly as possible from Mr Obama, he asked Iraqi leaders to wait until next year to figure out a troop withdrawal and form an agreement. That's a long time from now.
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."
Political confusion huh? And weakness? I just saw a video on the Beeb that showed boys swimming in Sadr City. Swimming and having fun. That's something you would not have seen even three months ago. A significant portion of the danger has left that area due to the American efforts to keep peace and protect their civilians. It's very close to being a victory -- something the Obama machine, I'm convinced, does not want the public to perceive. Because a victory or success in the Middle East is opposite to what they're telling us is happening there.
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.
Now this is what strikes me as odd. And either Mr Obama is just playing games, or he really has less clue than I thought when it comes to foreign relations and handling our current "projects" overseas. Pushing to delay a troop withdrawal agreement (which seems counter to his ever-present ethos and rhetoric) while at the same time insisting on impossible deadlines comes across as hapless.
The best part comes here:
Other prominent Iraqi leaders, such as Vice President Adel Abdul-Mahdi and Kurdish regional President Massoud Barzani, believe that Sen. John McCain would show "a more realistic approach to Iraqi issues." Obama has given Iraqis the impression that he doesn't want Iraq to appear anything like a success, let alone a victory, for America. The reason? He fears that the perception of US victory there might revive the Bush Doctrine of "pre-emptive" war - that is, removing a threat before it strikes at America.
And despite my democrat friends immediately dismissing this point, Mr Obama does not have the experience to understand this. And he's shown it.