While campaigning for the past 18 months, Senator Barack Obama has consistently called for an immediate withdrawal of US troops from Iraq. Sen. Obama apparently tried in private to persuade Iraqi leaders to delay an agreement on a draw-down of the American military presence while on his whirlwind tour in July.
According to Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari, Obama made his demand for the delay of withdrawing American troops a key theme of his discussions with Iraqi leaders in Baghdad.
“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.”
Obama has given Iraqis the impression that he doesn’t want Iraq to appear anything like a success, let alone a victory, for America. One reason for this is that Senator Obama already has a problem with his consistent position that the “surge” in Iraq was a bad concept and could not and would not work being proved wrong. Additionally, his private demands of the Iraqis is totally in opposition to his position a year ago when he was saying, “The best way to protect our security and to pressure Iraq’s leaders to resolve their civil war is to immediately begin to remove our combat troops, not in six months or one year – now.”
In trying to delay the withdrawal of American troops until after the election and establishment of the next U.S.administration, Obama, who hopes to be at the head of that administration, wants to get the credit for implementing the policy of U.S. withdrawal.