Amei Taheri reports that even while Obama called for a speedy withdrawal from Iraq on the campaign trail, The Democrats' standard bearer privately tried to delay an agreement on a draw-down of U.S. forces from Iraq:
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.
Taheri also reports that Obama also failed to "persuade the US commanders, including Gen. David Petraeus, to suggest a 'realistic withdrawal date.'"
This, like his prediction that the surge would make things worse, is further evidence of Obama's poor judgment on national security matters.
Taheri explains how Obama's stalling tactic was not well thought out:
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.
By then, Iraq will be in the throes of its own campaign season. Judging by the past two elections, forming a new coalition government may then take three months. So the Iraqi negotiating team might not be in place until next June.
Then, judging by how long the current talks have taken, restarting the process from scratch would leave the two sides needing at least six months to come up with a draft accord. That puts us at May 2010 for when the draft might be submitted to the Iraqi parliament - which might well need another six months to pass it into law.
Thus, the 2010 deadline fixed by Obama is a meaningless concept, thrown in as a sop to his anti-war base.
Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the Bush administration have a more flexible timetable in mind.
Obama once again caught saying one thing, while doing another. Trying to delay an Iraq withdrawal is a good example of why Obama had to change his mantra from "change we can believe in" to "change we need." We can't believe in the change Obama says he proposes because we can't count on anything Obama says.
Don't forget Obama broke his promise to vote against and filibuster the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) re-authorization, went back on his commitment to accept public financing for the general election. Obama also has reversed course on NAFTA, whether the D.C. gun ban was constitutional, meeting with rogue leaders without preconditions and the unity of Jerusalem. That's Obama's change.