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In an opinion piece published by the New York Post in September, I drew public attention to Senator Barack Obama's attempt to interfere with negotiations between Iraq and the United States regarding the presence of American troops and future defence co-operation between the two countries. I argued that by trying to undercut the incumbent president, Obama had broken a golden rule of American politics and manifested either his naïveté in matters of diplomacy or, worse still, a remarkable degree of cynicism.

At first, the Obama camp tried to ignore the whole matter. However, when it became clear that the issue was attracting massive public interest, it reacted in three ways.

The first was to confirm what I said, but to claim that I had confused the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) with the Strategic Framework Agreement (SFA). Both agreements are still being negotiated by Washington and Baghdad. SOFA provides the legal basis between the two countries for the continued presence and operation of US armed forces in Iraq after the UN Security Council mandate expires on 31 December. The SFA covers the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

The claim was that Obama had supported the former and opposed the latter. A day after my op-ed piece was published, Obama's campaign issued a statement, in effect confirming what I had said.

It said, in part, "Senator Obama has consistently said that any security arrangements that outlast this administration should have the backing of the US Congress - especially given the fact that the Iraqi parliament will have the opportunity to vote on it."

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Criss Noice
November 14th, 2008
3:11 PM
The experiences of Amir Taheri in regard to harrassment from supporters of the Obama campaign are of course, terrible. However, it must be remembered that every campaign has its extremists - that is the nature of society. People with extreme views will latch on to a campaign and use it as a smokescreen to put forward their views. I fear this is what has happened here. Also, I think that Mr Taheri is trying to portray the notion in this article that somehow Obama and himself were locked in a war of words over several issues. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Mr Taheri is one of many commentators on the Obama campaign and to be honest, I would go as far as to say that Barack Obama would not be inclined to take any notice of what he has said in regard to foreign policy. This article shows a misrepresentation of facts and a bias of opinion that should be reserved for the Letters pages alone. The coverage that it has received is in my opinion entirely due to the fact that it is going against the current trend of "Obamamania" from those living outside the US.

Byron in Wahroonga
November 12th, 2008
8:11 AM
***Do you possess a scintilla of evidence to link the online harassment you have suffered to the official Obama campaign?*** Mr Taheri never claimed the online harrassment was 'due to the official Obama campaign.' Seek treatment for your comprehension issues, Laurence.

Anonymous
November 11th, 2008
3:11 AM
Ian, you have obviously never been in a swarm of mosquitoes and don't seem to know that malaria kills a large portion of the population of many countries every year. Mr. Taheri is a brave and honest man.

Laurence Boyce
November 10th, 2008
4:11 AM
"Obama militants attacked my email accounts and used the marshlands of the internet to unleash the deadly mosquitoes of rumour and innuendo against me." This is rather pathetic. Do you possess a scintilla of evidence to link the online harassment you have suffered to the official Obama campaign? If not then it is you, Amir, who are doing all the smearing.

Ian M Hill
November 6th, 2008
2:11 PM
The deadly mosquitoes of rumour and innuendo ? How terrifying for you.

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