top
From the Open-Publishing Calendar
From the Open-Publishing Newswire
Indybay Feature
Related Categories: Iraq | International | U.S. | Government & Elections
Obama smeared by Taheri on Iraq Troop Withdrawals; Journalist Notorious for False Story on Iranian Jews; Odierno Warns Iraq
by juan cole (reposted)
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 7:32 AM
From a Wednesday, September 17, 2008 entry on Informed Comment, Juan Cole's blog

Obama smeared by Taheri on Iraq Troop Withdrawals;
Journalist Notorious for False Story on Iranian Jews;
Odierno Warns Iraq still Unstable

Amir Taheri, the rightwing Iranian 'journalist' who is the least accurate reporter to feign practicing journalism since Gutenberg invented movable metal type accused Barack Obama of seeking to delay 'a deal to delay US troops' from Iraq when he was in Baghdad last summer.

That makes no sense. The Iraqis have published their negotiating points, and they have been saying that they want a US withdrawal by 2010. That is virtually the same as Obama's plan, so it is highly unlikely that he was urging them to extend that timetable to 2011 or beyond. Taheri has garbled what Iraqi Foreign Minister Zebari told him.

The Obama campaign said,

'But Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri's article bore "as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial."

In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said.

In the face of resistance from Bush, the Democrat has long said that any such agreement must be reviewed by the US Congress as it would tie a future administration's hands on Iraq.

"Barack Obama has never urged a delay in negotiations, nor has he urged a delay in immediately beginning a responsible drawdown of our combat brigades," Morigi said.'


Taheri can't get his facts right. He alleged in his piece that Iraq would form a new government after elections late this year. False. What are being planned are only provincial elections. The al-Maliki government is safe until early 2010 when the next round of parliamentary elections is scheduled to be held. Since al-Maliki has a stable constituency in the Shite south, 60% of the population, it is a little unlikely that he will be unseated.

Amir Taheri is the one who tried to get a false story started a couple of years ago that the Iranian government had passed a law requiring Iranian Jews to wear special clothing. The story was false and was denied by the Jewish member of the Iranian parliament. Taheri has a connection to the Neoconservative 'talent' agency, Benador Associates, whose clients helped get up the Iraq War.

If McCain trusts Taheri's account on this one, he is setting himself up for a fall.

Lt. Gen. Ray Odierno has taken over command of US troops in Iraq and began his duties with a warning of how difficult things still are.

The success of Republican Party propaganda that Iraq is "calm" now has the disadvantage for US commanders facing daily violence that it may mislead Congress and the public into cutting the support the commanders feel is still very much necessary.

Ned Parker of the LAT argues that Iraq is now in the hands of Iran and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki in any case, and increasingly that the scope for American action there is limited. Al-Maliki has gotten control of the Iraqi military and intelligence apparatuses and makes his decisions independently of the US. Iran has helped convince the Mahdi Army to stand down, allowing him to consolidate control over the Shiite areas. He will take control of 50,000 Sunnis in the awakening councils on October 1 and may demobilize them and even prosecute some of them for past acts of terrorism. He has also started projecting state power into parts of Iraq now patrolled by the Kurdish Peshmerga, provoking a conflict with the Kurds of some bitterness. Kurdistan Regional Government president Massoud Barzani warned on Sunday that Kurdish troops in the Iraqi army could mutiny if the Arab-Kurdish conflict deepened. Barzani's outrage derives from his realization that Baghdad is reasserting itself under al-Maliki.

The Bush administration has declared itwill confiscate bank accounts and assets in the United States of the Association of Muslim Scholars, a clerical political party of Sunni fundamentalists, which Washington accuses of plotting terrorist actions against the Green Zone. The AMS, which has no assets anyplace the US treasury department could get at them, denies the charges.


Iraq is being flooded with weapons and Amnesty International says that the US and the UK are doing too little to interdict them.

Labels: Iraq

posted by Juan Cole @ 9/17/2008 01:18:00 AM


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Katie
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 8:47 AM
Ah! The Emperor's New Clothes! Or should we say The Messiah's New Clothes!
And so it begins, the unraveling of the Great One.
It's on You Tube now so the MSM can no longer ignore it and Obama can Um and Ah all he wants, he can call Hoshyar Zebari a liar all he wants, and you can try to spin all you want, the United States citizens will not swallow this one.
by Ace
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 10:20 AM
"Obama's national security spokeswoman Wendy Morigi said Taheri's article bore "as much resemblance to the truth as a McCain campaign commercial."

In fact, Obama had told the Iraqis that they should not rush through a "Strategic Framework Agreement" governing the future of US forces until after President George W. Bush leaves office, she said. "

Uhhh, is that supposed to be a denial??? His spokeswoman says he told the Iraqis to wait until after Bush leave office. A senator does not have the authority to negotiate with foreign governments on foreign policy. That power is constitutionally reserved SOLELY to the executive branch. If a senator had that power, then every time we went to war, every senator could go negotiate what they think the troops or governments should do. It's ridiculous. And it is illegal. Obama admits this. The only wonder right now is that it took Taheri's article to clarify the problem. This should have been picked up back in the spring when it was going on.

Obama is way, way out of line. And he admitted it.
by Ace
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 10:21 AM
Katie, do you have the youtube link to it? I would like to repost that in various blogs. The MSM is ignoring this (how shocking), but it is picking up steam online and on radio. Thanks!
by katie
Wednesday Sep 17th, 2008 2:26 PM
This from Wizbang.com :

"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."

This looks very bad for Obama, but I'm sure it will be ignored by MSM and the rabid fanatics he attracts will remain so.