Phil Harris

The article has been making the rounds through email inboxes, and had I not found the story myself, I was tempted to chalk it up to conspiracy theories gone wild. It is an opinion piece written by Amir Taheri at the New York Post on Sept. 15th, 2008. The title reads: OBAMA TRIED TO STALL GIS' IRAQ WITHDRAWAL.

I do not pretend to be a journalist or a news reporter, otherwise known as a professional who employs fact-checking and source-vetting; providing readers with unbiased information about the world they live in. I think we used to think of such folks as being The Press.

The Press, enshrined in the 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, is not what I am. My gig falls more in line with plain old Freedom of Speech. Of course, Freedom of Speech is listed before The Press in the 1st Amendment, but I doubt order of mention had much to do with importance.

Or did it? The goal of removing government from the hair of the religious was a big concern, so perhaps that is why those first two thoughts about religious freedom were placed at the beginning.

In any case, I would encourage you to read the Obama/Iraq story for yourself. If there is truth to what I have read, I am so utterly flabbergasted and appalled that I am barely able to constrain myself. In fact, there are two levels of outrage in this topic.

The first and most obvious outrage is the utter disregard by Senator Obama for the limited role of Congress, and especially the (even more) limited role of individual Congressmen and Senators. The Congress is a deliberative body, whose sole purpose is to consider, pass, or repeal laws (mostly having to do with taxation and spending).

It is the unique and reserved role of the President to handle foreign policy, to negotiate treaties, and in the case of Iraq (an active war zone) to handle matters of war and peace. Sure, the congress gets to ratify treaties, but they don't get to negotiate them, and members of Congress certainly do not get to negotiate with foreign leaders on behalf of The United States of America.

The second and most horrifying outrage, if this story is true, is that a political candidate should interject himself in the ongoing work of the current President, especially as it relates to foreign leaders and matters of war. I do not believe that our Congressmen and Senators ought to be trotting around the globe, meeting with foreign leaders as a general rule anyway, but when one of them actually thwarts the Constitutional Powers of the President, for political purposes, I consider that treasonous and treacherous.

Phil Harris

Phil Harris is a software engineer, author of Cry for the Shadows and blogs at Citizen Phil.

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