Barrack Obama has said all along that he wants the troops out of Iraq immediately but does he really?
This article from the Washington Post may paint a different picture.
According to the article, while Obama was touring Iraq he campaigned to have Iraqi officials and General Patraeus delay the troop withdrawal until he took office in January.
I will ignore the obvious arrogance on Obama’s part in assuming he will take office in January.
First up are the Iraqi officials. From the article we have this: (emphasis mine)
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."
Turns out though that the Iraqi officials have no interest in this idea;
"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.
Obama then went on to attempt to persuade the US generals to delay the withdrawal for a “realistic withdrawal date”, of which they declined.
The article went on to point out that his attempt at delaying the withdrawal is contradictory not only because of his ‘out of Iraq now’ stance but also because of his recent promise to have all troops out of Iraq by 2010.
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.
There is also one other contradiction that the article did not address. Obama cannot seem to make clear what “all of the troops” mean. He makes the promise that he will withdraw all troops then in the next sentence say “some” troops will have to remain behind. Am I the only one having a flashback to Bill Clinton’s definition of is moment?
I think there’s a couple of reasons Obama is attempting to delay the withdrawal. First, Bush announcing troop withdrawals now steals some of his “I’ll bring the troops home” thunder. The image of troops returning to US bases will take some steam from one of his main campaign themes, withdrawal from Iraq. Second, he wants to be the one to bring the troops home. He doesn’t actually care if they home or not, as long as he can be seen as the one “liberating” them.
Another flashback takes us back to Germany and Obama’s decision to go to the gym instead of meeting with injured troops and Ramstein Airbase because he could not take the press with him. I have said it before and I will say it again. The troops are nothing more than props for Barrack Obama and the Democrats.