When the story first broke from the New York Post, I thought “If it’s true, it’s reckless and completely irresponsible. If it’s true.” Yesterday, Obama’s spokesperson said that the story sounds like a “bad McCain ad”, but then said the content was effectively accurate. And now a new report adds final confirmation.
The Obama campaign spent more than five hours on Monday attempting to figure out the best refutation of the explosive New York Post report that quoted Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari as saying that Barack Obama during his July visit to Baghdad demanded that Iraq not negotiate with the Bush Administration on the withdrawal of American troops. Instead, he asked that they delay such negotiations until after the presidential handover at the end of January.
The three problems, according to campaign sources: The report was true, there were at least three other people in the room with Obama and Zebari to confirm the conversation, and there was concern that there were enough aggressive reporters based in Baghdad with the sources to confirm the conversation that to deny the comments would create a bigger problem.
Instead, Obama’s national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi told reporters that Obama told the Iraqis that they should not rush through what she termed a “Strategic Framework Agreement” governing the future of U.S. forces until after President Bush left office. In other words, the Iraqis should not negotiate an American troop withdrawal.
According to a Senate staffer working for Sen. Joseph Biden, Biden himself got involved in the shaping of the statement. “The whole reason he’s on the ticket is the foreign policy insight,” explained the staffer.
Obama tried to manipulate foreign policy– in particular, a policy that attempted to undermine the current administration (and inflict damage on relations between Iraq and the U.S., possibly costing American and Iraqi lives).
You don’t try to manipulate a fragile foreign policy situation to score political points. It simply highlights how Obama is not a candidate of change. (And how Biden’s “experience” in foreign policy is horribly misguided.)